It’s been over a year since I’ve last blogged. Not all years are the same. Some feel as though not much has changed at all, while others seem to be full of moving pieces. Reflecting back, these past 12 months have been almost constant change, with some exhilarating ups and miserable downs. There is so much that’s different today vs. a year ago, it’s hard to know where to begin, so I’ll start with an easy topic: our move to New Jersey.
To Move or Not to Move?
The decision to move was certainly not an easy topic at the start. My husband and I love Pittsburgh. It’s full of people we love, is affordable, and offers a lot to do. If we ever left there, we imagined we’d be moving somewhere close to other family; however, a good work opportunity was calling, so my husband answered. Long term, we had never lived somewhere family wasn’t an hour’s drive away, which ultimately made this feel like a chance for us to move to a new place together to explore.
Despite us living here for over eight months now, NJ natives still ask us what we think of the state. New Jersey gets a bad reputation, as many people have only seen Newark airport and the surrounding areas, which are undeniably not why they call it The Garden State. There are many parts of the state that are breathtaking, including the numerous parks throughout NJ. The downside? Bugs (and therefore spiders) come in bulk.
Another significant adjustment for us was getting used to the cost of living. We’re in the northern part of the state, which means that the price tags on housing and freeway tolls seem to add up quickly, especially when compared alongside Pittsburgh rates.
Go, Go, Go!
The overall culture is also very different. Everyone is in a rush pretty much everywhere in NJ. In Pittsburgh, people are much more laid back. In the ‘Burgh, I had a three second rule before honking when being in my car behind someone who didn’t notice that a red light had turned green, but here, it’s treated like a game show, where if they hit their horn before the person in front of them the gas, they win! Also, if you are driving at the speed limit on a one lane road, be prepared to be over- (or even under-) taken. I’m not saying that Pittsburgh drivers can’t be equally maddening, with people often coming to a full stop to let someone merge in front of them, which can be frustrating when you’re in a rush – it’s just different.
Whaddya Wanna Do?
Although we can’t easily go to a Steelers game or stop by Piper’s Pub for a boxty, there is a lot to do around here. There are tons of beaches to go to during the summer. NYC is also a short distance away. There are lots of people who go to “the city” on vacation, which has been nice because we’ve been able to catch up with some we haven’t seen in years for lunch. There are smaller, quaint towns to visit as well. Nothing can compare to Pittsburgh for me, but it’s been a good adventure here so far.