It may not look like it from the bare trees and the small amount of snow on the ground in some of these photos, but Spring is trying it’s hardest to show itself here in Massachusetts. It really is! We’ve had a few pleasantly warm days amid some more frigid mornings and rainy afternoons these past couple of weeks- but the trees and flowers should begin blooming anytime now. I can just feel it… I swear, I’m not in denial…
… I’m seriously ready to embrace allergies with open arms if it means not shivering like crazy every time I go outside to start my car…
I digress. With the sunnier seasons approaching, I’ve been out and about in Western Massachusetts recently- and not just for hiking (in multiple layers to keep warm, of course) on my days off- but to look at apartments in the Northampton area, too.
Yes, it’s true- one of the savviest city-lovin’ gals in the Boston area is looking to pack up and head out to live in the quieter, less hectic- but MUCH cleaner- Pioneer Valley. The news came as a shock to a lot of my friends when I announced my plans to relocate to a studio apartment or loft in the downtown NoHo area in the coming months.
So why the Pioneer Valley- and why Northampton? Well, for starters- Northampton is a beautiful community with a thriving art, music and theater scene. People are active in Northampton- meaning that there’s more motivation to get out there and get into/maintain my shape- and there are so many independent and locally owned & operated shops, restaurants, cafes, and galleries for miles in every direction that you don’t have to worry about the quality of what you’re purchasing/eating or that your money is going to support some greedy executive who mistreats their employees. Your money goes back into building and maintaining the community.
And while Northampton could certainly be classified as a ‘College Town’ (there’s five of them in and around the area)– it’s not nearly as loud or out of control as other places that are predominantly populated by college kids. The atmosphere and overall vibe is much, much different than what I’m used to- and I really enjoy it. I feel it’s a lot safer and a lot healthier.
Best of all? Northampton isn’t too far from anything, really. A quick jump on the highway and I’m still able to get to and from work at a reasonable time, or visit with my mother- and if I stay on the highway a little longer- I’m back in Boston to visit my friends! No trouble at all!
But what about San Diego? This was a pretty common question after I announced my intentions to move. It’s true that my ultimate end-game is to live in SoCal- surrounded by palm trees and street taco trucks (I’m making myself hungry)– but in terms of strategic financial and career moves: moving to the Pioneer Valley makes more sense. Not only would I save more money (cash that can go towards a move to the West Coast and those aforementioned street taco trucks)– but it will allow me some extra time to establish myself in my new career, thus making a transition to my company’s San Diego office down the line a bit more seamless. I haven’t given up on my California Dreams yet- and I won’t. I’ll get there.
I’ll be sure to update with any news on how my house hunting is going (and imagine how fun the interior decorating posts are going to be once I’ve found a place?!)
So although my recent ‘Day Off Dates’ have consisted primarily of looking at real estate- I’ve still put aside time to have a little fun, too- immersing myself in nature while I wait for Spring to finally show itself. This past Tuesday was spent hiking some of the trails at the Quabbin Reservoir after looking at a couple of less-than-savory studios and taking a lazy drive through Williamsburg where I stumbled on some fantastic abandoned places and stopped for one of the best mocha lattes and egg & cheese sandwiches I’ve ever tasted at Elbow Room Coffee. Seriously- if you’re ever in the area- go say hello to Melissa and try her menu. You won’t regret it.
As for upcoming fun? Well, today I’m heading into work for a few hours before Sean and I participate in one of those crazy “ESCAPE THE ROOM” puzzle/immersive problem-solving attractions that everyone is raving about lately- and then tomorrow it’s all about Easter Dinner with my family!
Next week I’ll have my “March Hits List” post up- as well as a look back on this past month since I have even more exciting news to share about work and some upcoming projects!
Have a great weekend, everyone!