People often ask me if we’re ever going to move back to the east coast. If you asked me before this year, the answer would be a hard no.
But then the pandemic happened. And it changed a lot.
My husband and I moved to Seattle in July 2012. We knew two people who lived there. But with a great job offer and youth on our side, we took a chance. We packed up some of our stuff that my father-in-law drove across the country in a week-long road trip, and never looked back.
Seattle Became Home
We lived in downtown Seattle in 5 different apartments within the same building for over 8 years. It was home to us. We started looking at houses around the area in mid-2019 after our son was born. We were already feeling like it was time to move out of our apartment and the city. It’s a challenging type of place to raise a baby.
The Seattle area is so expensive. We were struggling to find what we wanted in a home in a price range that felt right to us. By looking further and further away from the city, we were getting closer to what we wanted in a house but leaving what we loved about Seattle behind.
Then in March, the pandemic hit the United States.
We were aware of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. My husband works at a global company with offices in the area and was in touch with co-workers over there. We were keeping a cautious eye on what was happening, having a feeling it would impact us eventually, but the extent of which was unfathomable at the time.
In February we signed a lease to move to a bigger apartment at the beginning of March. My in-laws flew in to help us move and flew out in what was in retrospect, a dangerous time, but in realtime what felt like the nick of time.
My husband’s company was one of the first in our area to go work-from-home. After that, a few things happened that were hinting that this was going to be a long-haul type of situation. We pulled our son out of daycare and shortly after that, they closed anyway.
We are very thankful that we were able to move to a bigger space when we did. Especially with the three of us being home constantly, we definitely relished the more open, lighter floor plan.
Quickly after that, Seattle was shut down. Many of our favorite spots closed permanently. Others had no idea when they would reopen. Even leaving our building and taking out the trash felt precarious.
Things stayed like this through the summer months. Going into July, we found out we were expecting our second son. At this point, we were starting to feel isolated. We wanted our son to be able to go outside and have more space. And we soon knew what felt like a lot of space would hardly be anything once baby #2 arrived.
We also didn’t know how we were going to manage two children, a full-time job, and three businesses. We’re unsure of when we will feel safe sending our oldest son to daycare or even if we want to.
We were also feeling isolated from family. We had no idea when would be able to see our family members again. And welcoming a new baby means that time is all the more precious.
So we started browsing for houses online. We didn’t expect to move right away, but then we found what seemed like a great fit for us.
We sent our in-laws to look, and they agreed.
So the wheels were in motion, much sooner than expected.
We packed up and moved across the country during a pandemic.
See you later, Seattle
Leaving Seattle behind is like leaving a piece of myself 3,000 miles away.
I miss the mountains, the water, the pace of the city, and my people.
I never really missed the east coast because we have so many roots here. There are so many people that bring us back here at least once a year. But Seattle is a place we planted our own tree that we left behind.
I think we will be back one day. I find it hard to stay away from a place we’ve called home for so long. A place that will always be home in my heart.
So it’s not goodbye, it’s just see you later, Seattle.