For the past four days, I've been in Daytona Beach, Florida visiting my family. It's been a fun trip with weather in the 70s nearly every day and clear skies. This is a land of open skies and spaces, with few buildings higher than 2 stories. My relatives consider three stories a 'high rise!' (I'm serious!) Out here, the only things blotting out the horizon are the giant hotels and condos on the beach. But further inland where my family resides, the sun shines uninhibited over every acre.
At first I had no desire to do much besides talk to my family, but since arriving, I’ve gone biking, boating and I went on my first golf game. 18 holes, and I'm happy to say the driving range actually helped out! I didn't look like a total doofus-if Tiger Woods had had one too many Mai Tais, he might have been about my level!
I've always seen Florida as more of a vacation spot than a possible home. I've thought I needed a city with more of a walking culture, bookstores, arts, local sports, 20 and 30-somethings, and of course career opportunities.
However, one thing these trips make me think is being up north is not a necessity for me, because I could do without winters.
When you’re a child, winter is a thrill: you get hot chocolate, days off from school, money from shoveling driveways, sledding, snow angels, and snowball fights. Yet over the years that turns to digging your car out of the driveway, worries about falling on icy sidewalks, and getting to work late because of all the traffic. Suddenly, hot chocolate isn’t enough to compensate.
I'd love to find a home where ice cold winters are exceptions rather than the rule. Whether that's DC or parts further south, only time will tell, but I guess I can begin searching in that direction.