I'm moving to RaleighFriday, August 6, 2021
In June, we took a trip to the mountains. Alie had never been to Yosemite, or any of the Sierra Nevadas before! We planned a trip with a few days in Yosemite, and a few days in Sequoia.
For those not familiar with Yosemite, the main attractions are waterfalls and rocks (very big rocks). As you could probably guess, the tree cover is not always excellent. As a result of that, at the end of our time in Yosemite, Owen, our children with albinism, was just about done with outdoors in general.
Then, we went to Sequoia National Park. We spent time in a cave, and walked along the largest trees in the world. We were outside a lot, but his demeanor was far different. Even though he was more tired from the trip, the amount of shade allowed him to have much more fun. He took longer hikes, and even did a hike up a big sunny rock. And that was okay, beacuse he had his shade time too.
On the ride home, Alie was cold texted by a realtor in the San Diego area, asking if we would ever part with our current home in Carlsbad. We wrote quickly back no, but the seed was planted. House prices are high. (They don't ever seem like they'll come down to where they were before.)
The more we thought about it, the more we realized that Carlsbad just wasn't built for Owen. All the activities are outdoors (with the exception of the Legoland aquarium). The zoo is shady, but most other places are right out in the sun. Most kids around here are perfectly fine sitting on the beach for 8 hours a day during the summer, while Owen can handle about 90 minutes before feeling uncomfortably tired. His school promised to make more shade for him on the playground, which resulted in them putting an EZ-Up over the sandbox. That can make it hard to make friends, even when you're 7 years old.
Alie and I had thought for a while that we would want to move to a different city before Owen was older. A city that he could see himself in for the long haul. That could have meant a variety of things: better public transportation (since Owen will likely never drive a car), more indoor space, and more shade.
The first cities we looked into were Portland and Seattle. Portland is really nice, shady, and cloudy. We dreamed of the farm-to-table restaurants and Portland Timbers matches. But something didn't feel right, and there was not enough in the area of tech jobs for me to feel at home. Seattle has a lot of tech jobs, but it's an expensive area to live in, and it didn't feel right for us right now.
We turned our eyes out east. Fair disclosure, we have only been to the east coast in limited quantities. Between the two of us, we've taken 10 trips to the east coast. But we did center on tech areas, which added Chicago, Boston, and Raleigh to the list. Chicago and Boston get too cold for our taste. Raleigh also gets cold, but it only results in one or two snow days a year. As we looked at houses in Raleigh (over Facetime and Redfin), we became convinced that this was the right place. We could buy a house surrounded by a lot of trees. The people are extremely nice, and Alie has a couple of friends there as well. There is a growing tech scene, aided in part by Apple's HQ2 being constructed in the area. Also, Raleigh appears to be highly-educated and highly diverse.
Finding a house was hard. The housing market knows no boundaries right now. We eventually found a nice house inside the beltline of Raleigh proper. It will need about 9 months of work to fix. On the bright side, we found a rental house around the corner.
I'm really excited for this move. My job has been extremely flexible - since I work remote, there were no questions asked about my move. I'm leery of bugs and ticks, but I'm excited for treehouses and ziplines, and trips around the east coast in our future. Raleigh will be a new adventure for us - but now we have to get ourselves, and all our things, on a truck and across the country.