A One-Way Ticket


This morning, I took an early run on the seaside. The freezing water splashed my ankles, clearing away sleep as I breathed within the salt air and appeared out on the horizon, a view that’s all the time made me really feel deeply calm. Once I acquired again to the home, I sliced up tomatoes from the farm stand down the street and ate them on toasted sourdough with basil leaves and massive flakes of sea salt. It appears like a scene from summer time trip (or Portlandia, lol) or from the fantasies of dwelling on the seaside I’ve had for so long as I can bear in mind. When life will get anxious, my thoughts has all the time gone to the sounds of the ocean, the dream of a slower tempo towards the backdrop of ocean waves. However for the primary time ever, it’s actual life… and we haven’t booked our return flight to Austin.

This summer time, we took the plunge on our years-long dream of getting a home in California, and it’s been thrilling and anxious, messy and blissful. A complete curler coaster, from “OMG we acquired the home!!!” to “We want to simply accept that this will not occur,” to “What are we doing??”

However even with the dangers, the fears, the frustrations — it’s the best journey we’ve had as far as a household.

Simply three months in the past, I had no thought this could be within the playing cards for us. Although dwelling close to the seaside has been a lifelong fantasy, it wasn’t on our radar as one thing that will occur any time quickly. There have been one million explanation why, largely: our children had been in class, Adam and I each labored in Austin-based places of work, we thought we needed to have one other child… Then a couple of months in the past, it dawned on us that none of these causes existed on this second. In my final electronic mail, I shared that getting readability on one main life choice (the infant one) opened us as much as extra potentialities — and this was considered one of them.

Together with the uncertainty of the pandemic got here a brand new degree of flexibility; not did we’ve got to be in a single location to perform in work, college, and life. All of the sudden we questioned why we weren’t really doing issues we’d been speaking about for years. As a substitute of ready for “sometime” within the obscure future, might we begin shifting in direction of our best goals proper now? Even taking only one child step ahead?

Trying again, it’s loopy to see how we’d been planning and dealing in direction of this step for years. Again in 2013, Adam and I took the leap and purchased a fixer higher in Austin that will grow to be my first actual workplace. We transformed on a budget, and simply once I thought I had my dream work area, we obtained phrase that our rezoning software wouldn’t get authorized, and we had been compelled to maneuver out. On the time, it felt like a step again to return to my residence workplace, however promoting that property enabled us to take a position extra price range within the subsequent actual property challenge: a 100-year-old bungalow downtown in want of a intestine renovation. Once I suppose again on the creativity and connection that occurred in these partitions, the crew conferences and picture shoots and hysterical laughter, I miss all of it. However issues are completely different (I chronicled my choice to surrender our studio right here), and regardless of moments of disappointment, I knew in my intestine it was time for the following chapter. Promoting the studio created a chance that Adam and I might spend money on a brand new journey.

So we talked to a realtor, acquired on Zillow, and found out if we might make it work. It was each scary and energizing – there’s rather a lot at stake in making any large funding, and I’ve heard that having a second residence is likely one of the most anxious and financially draining selections you can also make. And but, we knew this was a dream price exploring. I envisioned a spot the place our household would create reminiscences, the place individuals we love might collect, and a form of “west coast headquarters” for my crew to create and interview topics and host retreats for different creatives. We knew that it would take years to search out the right spot that checked all of the bins of what we needed, and that was in our value vary.

However there was this one property we discovered on-line, a bungalow with the craziest ground plan, in want of some main love. It had its points, however it additionally had sundown views over the Pacific, doorways that opened as much as the ocean breezes, and citrus and avocado timber. I caught Adam scrolling by way of the images after we turned the lights off at evening, and I saved watching the “digital video” on Zillow in the course of the workday. We acquired an alert that the vendor dropped the value, and 48 hours later, we donned our masks to take our first flight since January to see the home in particular person.

In Haley Nahman’s current e-newsletter, known as “In favor of recklessness,” she talks about the necessity to do one thing that feels loopy as soon as in awhile:

“I’m cautious and considerate, risk-averse and self-disciplined. In some methods these are factors of pleasure, and but all of my favourite selections observe virtually completely with occasions I’ve railed towards these qualities inside myself… In consequence I’ve grow to be more and more enamored with the concept recklessness is inherent to a life totally lived. It’s an interesting but threatening thought, as a result of it takes my largest concern—that by way of my very own carelessness I’ll endure unnecessarily—and posits that struggling is price it.”

I’ll spare the small print of the following few weeks of negotiation and uncertainty – lots of you who’ve bought a house will determine with the highs and lows that come from making a proposal, getting a mortgage, questioning if you happen to’re stretching your self too skinny financially, questioning – is that this good or extremely silly?, going by way of inspections, particularly on an previous home that’s in lower than pristine situation. However right here we’re, welcoming September in our little seaside bungalow, and I’m scripting this beneath the shade of our palm timber with views of a horse farm and ocean waves stretching in entrance of me.

There’s a lot extra I need to share with you guys about this place. We’re in strolling distance of Zuma Seaside, the place it’s all about browsing, farms, and climbing trails. There’s an excellent burrito place close by, a neighborhood grocery retailer that makes wonderful smoothies, a surf store, and never a complete lot else. The cell sign is horrible, and we’re out of vary of supply companies. Tonight we’re venturing to a farm the place we’ll eat wood-fired pizzas at a picnic desk beneath the celebrities.

I’ve by no means felt this free-spirited. I’ve by no means not had a return flight on my calendar.

And the concept a change in surroundings sparks new inspiration has come alive for me. The previous few months have been powerful, in various levels for everybody I do know. Even within the good occasions, there’s an undercurrent of hysteria hanging within the background – it feels redundant to checklist all the explanations 2020 has been a drain. I’ve felt confused over being too busy with work, after which responsible for being confused as a result of – hey, a minimum of I’ve work. Whereas these privileges actually make issues simpler, they don’t take away nervousness and actual worries.

This new Sunday morning be aware has been a cherished inventive outlet for me, however the lack of recent locations and new individuals over the previous six months has taken extra of a toll on my power that I might have predicted. It made me understand what number of of my concepts are sparked from lengthy conversations over espresso or wine with buddies, crew members, and even strangers. My pure curiosity waned, and I used to be spending method too many evenings bingeing Million Greenback Itemizing (however significantly, greatest present ever.) I used to be in a rut.

Two weeks in the past, the day we closed on the home, I picked up my rental automotive from LAX and drove an hour alongside the Pacific Coast Freeway, home windows down and solar on my face. I felt free to dive totally again into life, to see, style, really feel, and breathe in all the things this new place has to supply. We’ll return to Austin sooner or later within the fall, however I’m excited to see how our journey right here continues to unfold… and I’m shocked on the journey that’s already unfolding inside me.

These previous few months have proven many people that with a view to thrive, we have to see with recent eyes. Generally you might want to change your entire life or take a giant danger… and generally you simply want a shift in perspective.

Have you ever “modified your surroundings” these days?



I’m all a few easy out of doors exercise proper now, and these bangles energy up a decrease physique transfer in document time.  (Bonus for being extremely cute.)


Brené is again for season 2, and this episode was precisely what I wanted.


Suruchi invented my new fave snack – sudden however scrumptious.


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