"Aren't You Gonna Miss The Beach?"

I moved to San Diego to live in Encinitas.

Now, it’s not that I don’t like San Diego. I do like it. But I never leave the confines of the relaxed beach town that I live in unless I have a reason to. And these reasons include:

  • I have to go to the office downtown. Which is usually two or three days a week. I otherwise work from home, where I am far more productive… Spending hours immersed in Powerpoints and Excel spreadsheets.

  • I have a need to go to a high end store. I have no interest in shopping - which is very different than the Heather from six years ago. And there is no Barney’s New York, Holt Renfrew, Neiman Marcus, Burberry, Chanel, Hermes, or Saks in Encinitas.

  • I have a work-related social function.

And that’s it. I’ll venture up to Oceanside occasionally to grab a bite to eat… Or Carlsbad to get coffee and visit an indoor flea market. But other than that, I don’t leave Encinitas. This town has everything I need and want.

But still, I am considering a move to Arizona.

So much so, I bought a house last month. In Tucson.


“I can’t believe she bought a house in Tucson without looking at it,” was the sentiment my Mum expressed to my younger sister, Red.

Red, who knew what I was up to and later relayed the story to me, said to her, “What’s more likely? Heather buying a house in Tucson without seeing it? Or Heather driving to Tucson and not telling anyone, and buying a house after looking at it?”

I get it… My life seems much more random than it actually is. But a move back to Arizona is something I’ve been thinking about for about six years. But I wasn’t ready to move to Phoenix, so I chose San Diego instead.

“I’ll end up in Phoenix eventually,” I said to myself.

It’s where my family lives. It’s where the jobs are in Arizona. And it has the best food scene, after New York City… In my opinion.

But it’s not where I want to live.

I like either extremely busy, fast-paced places… Like New York City, and kind of Boston. Or I like chilled out Bohemian places where people still have a sense of grounding.

Like Encinitas. Or parts of Tucson.

So when I came across a few small houses in neighborhoods near the University of Arizona campus (where I went to school), I thought to myself, “You could easily live in something like that.”

And so I did a last-minute trip out to Tucson one weekend in July. I barely prepped, it was so last minute. I had a realtor. He had houses to show me. I went with the intention of seeing one house… But ended up making an offer on a much more suited to me house.

In one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tucson, right off campus (I can see Arizona stadium from my front yard), stands a 1400 square foot home with a sizeable back yard that is bricked in and contains no grass. (Which is good. Because I ain’t mowing.) The house has two bedrooms, and was built in 1941. I am the third person (basically) to own it since it was built. It’s turn-key, but not completely to my style.

So changes will happen. Eventually.

But first, I must close on it. Wire money. Sign more documents. That kind of thing.

That will happen in early September.

I will be in Tucson for less than a day to close. I plan to spend an hour in the house just sitting… Getting a feel for the energy of the place. I’ll burn sage. Probably use wind chimes to moves energy around in the house.

And then I’ll be on my way. Unlikely to return till early October.

I just don’t have time right now to move in.

And, also, I want to determine what life looks like with this second home.

  • Do I move there permanently, and rent my Encinitas house out? (I’ll never sell it.)

  • Do I move there permanently, and not rent my Encinitas house out? (Like when I was in Boston?)

  • Do I split my time and just spend one week a month there? (Which is what seems feasible right now, with my schedule. Starting in November or December.)

“Why’d you go ahead and buy one there?” you probably want to know.

It was time. The price was right. The place was right. And I feel more of a pull to be in Arizona. Maybe not full time. But at least part time.

“Aren’t you gonna miss the beach if you move back?” asked a friend who came out from Arizona to visit me recently.

We were sitting on the beach at the time. It was late afternoon. And I had sugary sand sludged under my finger nails.

“I never come here,” I confessed.

Since that afternoon a few weeks ago, I’ve made an effort to get to the beach more than my usual twice a year visit. (I used to walk to the beach at least twice a week at lunchtime, when my company had an office near it. But we closed that location earlier this year because I was one of the few people using it regularly.) And it is nice to go to the beach..

But only in the morning. At about 9:30am, on the weekends. Before the craziness of the crowds. I can get a spot with an unobstructed view of the surfers.

A Turkish towel, sunscreen, and reading material…

A Turkish towel, sunscreen, and reading material…

I love it.

And I may miss it. But who knows how I’ll split my time?

I have no idea. Yet.