Monday, May 11, 2009

Nostalgia

Yesterday El Hombre and I went to the beach. Normally we try to vary where we go, but I was exhausted from karate and bellydance, so we settled with the usual spot at 7th street on South Beach. I'm not sure why, because that's our default, but yesterday was a different experience because it reminded me of coming to Miami on vacation right after college.

To give you a quick history of "Christina's decision to move to Miami," I had been to Miami on vacation four times before I elected to move here. But three of the trips were not your typical, "WooHoo! I'm a college kid on vacation in South Beach! Let me drink my face off!" vacations. I stayed the first time in Coral Gables, the second time in South Beach (spring break) and the third and fourth times in Homestead. Excepting my spring break trip, every time I had been here before, I was here for karate. I decided on that first trip, when I was 20, that I was moving to Miami after college. That was it.

Somehow yesterday brought back the memory of my last trip to Miami that cemented my decision to move here once and for all. I came down in a crappy Ford rental car from my college with my two oldest friends, Stacey and Laura. That trip was amazing, I had just graduated, I was with good friends and we explored much of South Florida. We went to Key Largo and Key West, Coconut Grove and South Beach. We met and flirted with cute boys, ate amazing food and chilled on the beach. I was there for my first big karate test, and between the stress of graduating college, the test and all the worldly problems of a 22-year-old with no idea what she was going to do next, I just wanted to have fun.

On my last day of that trip, Stacey and I took the car and drove to South Beach between my karate trainings. We were laughing at the radio because they kept talking about how it was a dark day. Yes there were a few clouds, but they dissipated by the time we got to the MacArthur. We parked at 7th street, grabbed our towels and camped out on the beach. To this day I will remember sitting on the beach with my friend that I have known since I was four, laughing at the aged yogi behind us who was meditating in the sand and thinking, "yes, this is where I need to be." We jumped in the water and swam out to the end of that sand bar and stood facing the sand, and at that point I had a moment of clarity.

Somehow in that moment I realized that I wanted an adventure. I wanted to move to this place and make it work, come hell or high water. I realized that life is constantly moving and changing, and all that matters is to make the most of it, because you will never know what you will be doing in the next 5, 10 or 15 years.

And somehow that was the foundation on which this blog was built, at least for me.

7 comments:

catsteevens said...

Thank you for this post, I really enjoyed reading it. I just drove through some nasty lunch-hour traffic, you remind me to appreciate where I live. I hope SoFla is everything you want it to be.

Christina said...

Hi Cat,

Thanks for your kind words, I really appreciate them! In the past 5 years, South Florida has been everything I wanted it to be and more. There have definitely been many life lessons since those days... But totally worth it!

Anonymous said...

Seems like a very similar topic to another post written recently. Gee how original.

Christina said...

Anon,

I am not sure which post you are referencing, but thanks for the close readership!

mg said...

My wife and I have been dreaming about moving to Miami for the past 7 years. We always had something that stopped us from doing it - first she had her first job out of college, then I went to grad school, then we had a kid, and now we are having another one. Thankfully the pre-k schools are very expensive in NYC area - with god lord's help we will be moving to Mia next year..!
Could you talk about Miami's bad stereotypes - it's too hot to go outside, you are always stuck in traffic, the public parks are too crowded, without Spanish you can't get a managerial job at a large corporation, there are very few jobs for corporate professionals..?

Thank you in advance,
Mark

Christina said...

Hi Mark, glad you commented.

Miami is very hot in the summer, but not any hotter than NYC. In fact, it's actually hotter in North Carolina during the summer. The big difference is that the sun is much more strong and it's very humid.

If you haven't found this website yet, check out MiamiBeach411.com they have a section called "discuss" where you can register and ask all sorts of questions about moving to Miami (I also post over there)

I have never had a problem with overcrowding at public parks, neither has el capitan (my co-blogger) as far as I know. If there are events for holidays then yes, they are more crowded but that's normal. As for needing Spanish, it's definitely a benefit, but you don't absolutely need Spanish. I speak very little and have always found jobs. The job market here is tight because of the economy, but it's not impossible.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I would love to help!

Christina

mg said...

Thanks so much for your reply Christina - will definitely check the MiamiBeach411.com out!

Mark