Monday, May 9, 2011

Living The Bicoastal Life

This past weekend marked another “bicoastal holiday” for Stephen and I, as we both had little choice but to “phone it in” with our moms on Mother’s Day.

While this is of course an understandable part of living all the way across the country from our families, after six years of making it work, the past few months have for many reasons made us both eager to head back to the West Coast, or at least somewhere closer, at some point after I complete my master's.

The truth is that as great a time as we’ve had here in DC, as we and our family members all get older, the idea of seeing them just once or twice a year simply isn’t enough. My close friends are all still in California, as well, mostly in the same area. Two of them are even set to move back this summer after time spent in Boston and Germany!


The thought of being able to once again enjoy the simple luxuries others may take for granted, like going out to dinner with your close girlfriends, enjoying a shopping trip with your sister and mom, and spending the holidays seated around the table close to beloved grandparents, fills me with an eager joy and anticipation that can’t accurately be described in words.

Just as pressingly, the thought of raising children and starting a family without the support and nearness of family fills me with a great deal of anxiety and sadness. I guess it's fair to say that being far from loved ones long-term is incompatible with my vision of a happy and healthy life, career and marriage.

How far are you from your family and close friends? How do you cope when you can’t be together?

(Photo Credit: Alex Neumann Photography)

14 comments:

  1. Im very lucky to be very close to my family and friends, as they are all either still living in the town I grew up in or the city I now live in, just 18 miles away.

    My sister lives down in London so I dont see her as often as I would like but for me I would always want to be near family & friends, especially if we have children.

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  2. I am very lucky too, my family lives about 20 minutes away. I see them very often, I do not like being away for that long.. :D

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  3. My husband and I are both Bay Area natives, so we see our families fairly regularly. We were able to make the rounds this mother's day weekend, with me visiting my mom on Friday and Saturday and then having lunch with his parents on Sunday. It's still a 45 minutes drive to see our families, so we don't so it as often as we should (or could). We both want to start being better about this, and mother's day was a good start.

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  4. Most of our families live within an hour's drive so that's nice but a lot of my friends live in other states and it's hard not seeing them very often so I definitely feel your pain on that.

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  5. i think what's great about your job is that you could end up moving, couldn't you? does stephen's give any opportunity for him to move as well? i think you're right about something being nice about raising kids and having a family with your family close by. ultimately though, i hope everything works out and you don't have to spend too many more bicoastal holidays.

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  6. this post totally got to me. I 100% percent agree. Many take it for granted being so close to family. I am bLESsed to be with family every day. I wouldn't know what to do with out them on a daily basis. I say yes! Go home and enjoy every minute of it! =)

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  7. My future in-laws just moved two blocks away from us, and my parents are a 2 hour drive. The 2 hour drive away from my parents is the farthest I'm willing to live from them for the same reasons your feeling sad about being away from your family. I hope you two can finally settle somewhere close to family and friends soon. All in due time!

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  8. I can totally relate lady! Its part of the reason we moved all the way back here! The quality of our family/social life has most definitely improved since we've been back!

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  9. I can totally relate lady! Its part of the reason we moved all the way back here! The quality of our family/social life has most definitely improved since we've been back!

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  10. Skype! We dedicate an hour of skype every other day with family and friends. I can totally relate !!

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  11. Im very, very lucky to have my mom and mother-in-law live close and I got to see both of them for Mother's Day. I was busy on the acutal Mothers day so I saw my mom the monday before and my mother-in-law the Saturday before.

    It is nice to have close family and friends near by when you are raising kids and getting together for holidays. It sounds exciting that you might move back to the West Coast.

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  12. My husband and I live close to my family in New York. His family is in Boston, which isn't too far. I'd love to live in a place where real estate was cheaper but neither of us want to move away from our families in the northeast so we're staying put. :)

    Luckily since we live close to where I grew up, I have a lot of friends still in the area. I can totally understand why you'd want to move closer to your friends and family!

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  13. Ah, I totally understand. I live a 12 hour flight from my parents and a 15 hour flight from my in laws (in the opposite direction!). Though we have chosen to live in the US as it is common ground for both of us and the best place for our careers right now, spending Christmas and Mothers Day away from my family is wearing me down. It's been 5 years now. I think when we are ready to have kids, we might have to start edging back. I want my Mum to be there for sure!
    Heather, it will all be worth it when you go home with your qualifications. And they'll be so proud of you :)

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  14. My family and our friends live near us, but Daniel's parents and little sister are in East Asia as his parents are missionaries. They've been gone for a couple years now and will continue to live there for another 3 years or so. It hasn't been hard on us yet I think because we've seen them for our wedding, and last year they visited all summer so it didn't really feel like they were gone much.

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