Pursuing Happiness in the Keystone State

In October of 2020, while so much of the world was learning how to make sourdough bread or putting their own spin on the latest TikTok dance, I was packing up my home to move my family from Southern California (where I had lived my entire life) to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here’s how it happened and what I learned.

More Time for Reflection

2020 was a year with so much darkness, but there were some silver linings and glimmers of light. Being virtual created opportunities to be present and moments of self-reflection. I had morning coffee with my husband, watched the kids play together in the backyard, and took long walks alone through my neighborhood. 

When you’re busy grinding through each day, there isn’t much room to be creative about how your world could look. 2020 gave me that room. 

It gave me a chance to think about my personal and professional life and dream about how I wanted to shape it. It also shook up my family’s whole routine, which removed some of the fear that comes with making big changes. It reawakened my family’s collective sense of adventure.

Finding Our Adventure

My husband and I had long entertained leaving California to live somewhere else but could never agree on where that new place would be. We were both born and raised in California. As much as we loved Los Angeles, 2020 made it easier to leave all that was familiar and comfortable behind. After all, we could work and do remote learning from virtually anywhere. 

As a family, we made a list of where we’d love to live based on places we’d visited—as well as some wild cards from our kids. Among the many places, from Portland to Paris, Philadelphia ended up on our short list. Years prior, we took a family trip there and absolutely loved it. The history, culture and diversity, art, and (I’d argue the most important part) the food scene. 

It was the perfect example of a big city with small town character, charm, and green space. It’s no wonder it topped our list. The new challenge was how the heck we’d get there. 

The Universe (and a New Job) Called

Not even a month after we made that list of ideal cities for our new adventure, I was interviewing for two amazing job opportunities. One was nearby in Los Angeles for an entertainment company. The other was a media and technology giant headquartered in—you guessed it–Philadelphia. 

We were so excited as a family for both. I figured that the job offer I received would determine our next step for us. When I got both offers, my family and I had a tough decision to make:

  1. Choose comfort by taking the local job and staying in the place I’d spent my whole life, or
  2. Choose adventure and change our lives, without having it all figured out. 

We went for it. 

We packed up our home and made the cross-country move. And because we weren’t quite ready to get on a plane at the height of the pandemic, we drove. Now that was an adventure all its own for another blog post. 

I remember the feeling when we crossed the Pennsylvania state line and saw the motto: “Pursue Your Happiness.” We definitely felt that’s what we were doing, and we never looked back.

Two Years Later, the Adventure Continues

We just celebrated our two-year “Philaversary” and I’m happy to report, we’re still loving it.

Not only do I have a new job I love, but I was also elected the next chair of the Board of Directors for Social Media Day PHL. I get to work with some amazing people and focus on bringing together the communications community in Philadelphia through a wonderful non-profit.

We’ve already explored so much of this incredible city, made new friends, and created a new home for ourselves. But there’s still so much to see and do here in Philly, and with easy access to the east coast, there’s much left to explore.

Sometimes you need a force to push you out of your comfort zone. The circumstances of the pandemic did that for us. It gave us time to dream up something new together and helped us recognize the opportunity to create a new reality.

And while we were hesitant to leave behind the life we’d built and the relationships we’d forged where we were, we’re thrilled that we listened to the universe… which really was reflecting the intention we put out.

We couldn’t be happier in our new home and we know our adventure is far from over.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *