i-am-here.jpgThese boots were clearly not made for walkin’. Except for a stint at college 2 hours away (I transferred back to Pittsburgh sophomore year), I’ve mostly been within 20 minutes of the house I grew up in. Now, living about an hour east of there (the Google Earth map you see is accurate), I still miss “home.” Yes, folks, all those people who criticize Pittsburghers as being “too provincial” are right. I was in college before I had even been to the South Hills — about 45 minutes away (but with a bridge and a tunnel between us in the North Hills). I know many fellow ‘Burghers who consider that length of drive in any direction from where they live to be “All that way? Over there? How do you even get there?”

Even with that legacy holding me here, I always wonder what it would be like to live somewhere else — another city, another state, maybe even another country. Global warming notwithstanding, I think increasingly of moving farther south to escape 3 months or more of winter drudgery every year.

Not being very well traveled, I get my inspiration from TV. Being a house junkie (I’ve owned 5 so far), I love the HGTV show “House Hunters” because it shows housing options in cities across the U.S., and there’s even an international version. It’s fascinating to see what it’s like (and how much it costs) to live in Savannah or Minneapolis or Boston or Mobile, not to mention Mexico or the Caribbean or Tuscany or Paris. Who knew that in Italy (or maybe it was Spain), people don’t have mortgages and instead save up to buy their homes outright? Can you imagine saving $100,000, $200,000, $300,000 to buy your house? Of course, a tiny apartment in the heart of Paris will run you a cool million or more. In Mexico, you can get a charming colonial (1800s) row house in the heart of a blossoming artist community for $150,000.

Who knows if this “research” will result in a move elsewhere someday. Too many variables in that decision, one Mike and I will make together and only after a lot of soul searching. 

In the meantime, dreaming is free and quite a pleasant distraction from arctic wind chills, boring work assignments, and endless fixer-upper chores. Wanna come? I hear you can get a great 2 BR condo with water views in St. Maarten for $200K.

I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering. 
                                                                ~ Steven Wright