Moving For The Love of Family (and babysitters)

Family YoungLife has a funny way of coming full circle. We spend so much of our time during the first part of our life trying to get away from our parents. (Sorry Mom and Dad!) We throw temper tantrums as kids. We rebel as teenagers. And then we often let our careers take us around the world.

Soon life finds us pursuing our dreams. Or perhaps we’re busy climbing the corporate ladder. (Sometimes, both of those things are true at the same time!) Whatever the reason, in the end, we often find ourselves away from our family. But that’s when it happens. At least to a lot of us. We get married. Have kids. Start a family. And before we know it – we’re suddenly looking around for babysitters, and family doesn’t seem like such a bad thing to have nearby.

Sure you can move around the country (or world). But if there is no one to watch your kids or give you a break, it’s not like you can see any of it!

Perhaps it’s just the stage of life I am in, but I’m noticing more people moving back home. No, not moving into the basement with Mom and Dad, but moving back to where they grew up. Or inviting the parents to come live near them. There is value in having family nearby – besides just for babysitting. And that’s definitely a reason to move for love so, let us know how we can help get you back home.

What Undercover Boss Can Teach Us

One of the shows I enjoy watching is Undercover Boss. The premise is that the boss goes undercover (I know where do they come up with these show names, right?) and observes employees acting and working “in the wild.”

Usually the show focuses on some low-paid employees who are struggling to pay their bills, or who have to put up with terrible customer behavior. All of this is interesting and sets up amusing interactions between skilled employees and a boss who can’t seem to quite do the job.

What really intrigues me about the show, however, is that in almost every episode one of the employees who works with the undercover boss is really dreaming of something else. The job they love isn’t the one they have.

How many of us does that describe? That we’re working just because that’s where we find ourselves.

In the course of the show, these employees are often generously given $10,000 or $20,000 to follow their dreams. I’ve watched as generous bosses give seed money for a new business. Buy specialized training to start a new career path. Or even pay off college loans.

At the end of the show I often think, what would it take for me to start a business that I love? What would it take for you to start?

Would You Move For a Good Meal?

IssacsWhen I was in college I used to drive 45 minutes north of school to eat at a small restaurant called “Isaac’s

Isaac’s was a special restaurant that specialized in sandwiches. But not just any sandwiches. These extra-delicious sandwiches were named after birds. To this day I can recall my favorite sandwich: the Pterodactyl. (Part of me wonders if I liked the sandwich or the name more?)

So what does this have to do with Moving for Love?

Well, ironically the last time I ate at this restaurant was a few years out of college. I flew back to the area to see a friend of mine get married. And while I live in Cincinnati, I willingly traveled. I told her it was to see her get married. But honestly Isaac’s was a big part of it. How could I pass up a chance to eat a few meals at my favorite restaurant?

Over the course of my career I’ve traveled to some of the most amazing cities in the world. I’ve eaten steak off of 5th Avenue in New York City. I’ve tasted baklava at small cafe on the streets of Athens Greece. I’ve eaten healthy salads in Los Angeles. And I’ve tasted alligator in the heart of the south.

But in all of that, if there was only one place I could go and eat, I would choose Isaac’s. Sometimes, no matter how much you’ve seen, or how much you’ve traveled, you can’t top the love of a restaurant. Would, as we often ask here, I move for this restaurant? Probably not. But you know what – it would factor in my decision! So how about you? Has there ever been a food that you’ve loved so much that you miss? Maybe it was Mom’s cooking? Or Dad’s grilling. Or the bar down the street. Maybe it’s something that’s regional such as BBQ or wings or pizza? Would you be willing to move back just for the food?

Sometimes we don’t appreciate the food that we had growing up, it’s only once we move away that we realize just how much we loved it.

Following Your Dreams

We talk a lot around here about moving to follow your passions, about moving for the things that you love. But at the end of the day, what we’re really about is helping you find a way to live your dream – to actually live a life that is worth imitating.

That’s what caught my attention in this story about “Tim’s Place“.

It’s exactly that kind of story.

Tim is a young man with Down Syndrome, who never stopped believing in his dream: owning his own restaurant. So in 2010 he opened “Tim’s Place.” Described as the “world’s friendliest restaurant.”

Tim looked at his life, and didn’t see limitations, he saw a way to use his biggest strength: his overwhelmingly positive outlook on life. In fact, with every purchase at Tim’s Place you’re entitled to a hug. So far, over 32,000 hugs have been served.

Life can be hard. There are set backs. Unexpected misfortunes. Problems that need overcome. Yet Tim’s story serves as a reminder that all of these things can be defeated. That just because life is hard, or your dream seems out of reach, it doesn’t mean that it actually is. Maybe it means you need to adjust your original vision. Or maybe it means you have to work twice as hard.

But if Tim can overcome so many obstacles in his own life – then what are you waiting for?

Moving For Hospitals

It’s funny how your priorities change over your life. When I was younger one of my biggest goals was simply to move away from my parents. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great family. But I also like my independence. So I was looking forward to moving away form college. From there, I chose my next city based on graduate school. And I decided to stay in that town because of a job. Each time I moved, I had a different priority. Now, I find my priorities have shifted once again. I’ve become the proud parent of a special little boy. Unfortunately it’s been a trying issue for the first 16 months of his life, with a long list of medical issues. The good news is that he’ll be fine in a few years. But for the first 4 years of his life, it means a lot of visits to doctors, specialists, and hospitals.

And that’s where my priorities have changed. We’ve spent many hours at the hospital, my wife and I have struck up conversations with parents going through the same issues. What has surprised us is how far parents have been willing to drive their children to see a specialist. Many parents, who see the same doctors we do, have traveled a dozen hours or more by car just to see a doctor that’s 15 minutes away from us. Of course if our situations were reversed we’d be doing the driving in a heartbeat. But living so close to a hospital and a doctor you can trust is hard to place a value on. As I said, priorities change. I’ve moved because of college. I even moved once because of a girl. But now I realize that I’m not going to move because of a hospital. Until two years ago that wouldn’t’ have even occurred to me that it should be a priority.

Like many other parents, my wife and I would do anything for our kids. Fortunately, for right now, that means appreciating exactly what Cincinnati has to offer!

Study Abroad

WorldOne of the amazing things about college is all the opportunity you have to do something new.  Most of the time we think “new career” or “new major”.  Occasionally we think 6th Year Senior.  But one of the best things about college is that it gives you a chance to see the world while learning.  As you may have guessed, I’m talking about Study Abroad programs.   While I never took advantage of a study abroad program, we did have a foreign exchange student from Germany stay with us for a year.

I’ve been thinking about this since the other day when I saw a statistic that said the average person has only visited 17 cities.  That number seems shockingly small.  But whether it’s true or not, it got me thinking – how many cities have I lived in?  And how many more cities will I live in at some point down the road?

As I said, I never took advantage of the Study Abroad programs when I was in college.  But perhaps I should have. So if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Sometimes Moving Isn’t Enough

WagonPeople decide to move for all kinds of reasons. Location. Convenience. Neighborhood. Bigger house. The list really does go on and on. But what if you didn’t want to leave the house that you love? In that case you call in the house movers. That’s right. People who don’t move your things, they move your whole house!

Does it seem absurd? Maybe, but for some movers, it’s the only way to travel.

So what do you need to do in order to move your house? Well here’s a few things you might want to consider before you move your whole house :

1. Insurance. It’s not as if you’re walking your dog around the block. You’re moving a house! You need insurance to cover your house and anything that you might “damage” along the way such as power lines, traffic lights, etc…

2. Talk to the right people. There’s lots of planning involved. From engineers, to plumbers, to contractors, to the electric company. Some moves are more complex than others, but they all involve disconnecting from power grids and plumbing.

3. Set Aside Some Money. Typical house moves cost as “little” as $30,000 and as much as more than $100,000.
So if you really want to move, but hate to leave your house behind. Maybe there’s an option for you!

Why Move to Rural Minnesota?

I have to admit, it’s not exactly my first choice of places to move. And I certainly don’t see myself moving there any time soon. But as I was looking through Google, the headline caught my eye. I began to wonder, why would people want to live in Minnesota? I’m definitely a city kind of guy (even though I grew up in a small town, or is that because I grew up in a small town?)

With my curiosity piqued, I began to read the MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) article. As I was reading I was struck by just how many people had chosen to move to a small town in Minnesota. And what was even more surprising was the variety of answers. I expected to hear that everyone was there for the community or values or maybe the privacy. While people listed those reasons, they also said it was for their kids, so they could be in a local theater company or even simply being closer to nature. For as many people that moved to rural Minnesota, there were just as many answers.

I bet if you look at your own life, you’d find that’s the case as well. We’re all motivated to do things for different reasons. What might drive one person might cause the next to fall asleep. Which means there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to moving for love!

Does It Always Work?

Moving for love is a risk. It’s easier to stay where you are. To do nothing. To avoid making changes. To embrace the status quo. When you move for love, you’re admitting that you’re doing something difficult. Something challenging. Something that might not work out.

Of course no one can guarantee success when you try something new. Neil Armstrong nearly died multiple times during failed attempts at getting to the moon. But he didn’t. Instead because he was moved by adventure and the desire to do something new, he was able to become the first person to walk on the moon. It would have been a lot easier to have given up and said, “this might not work out.”

But he didn’t. Although to keep going he had to take a risk.

I guess that’s what we all have to wrestle with. Sure we can play it safe and stay where we are. But how will you feel in 10 years? How about 20?

Are You a Fish in a Tree?

Albert Einstein once said “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

So here’s the question: are you in an environment where you thrive? Or one where you’re stuck as a fish climbing a tree?

And a bonus question: what are you going to do about it?