I love Santa Barbara.
I moved here for college after visiting campus once and forming a favorable impression by seeing so many students that were actively friendly. I’m sure people are nice at all the other UCs, but here they played volleyball, rode bicycles between classes and waved at strangers. People seemed happy and social, and I wanted to be happy and social. I made amazing friends, and I fell in love with my now-husband by December.
Graduation came quickly and a wedding came two weeks later. We weren’t done with Santa Barbara so we got a tiny apartment downtown and found jobs in Goleta. We share a car and when our work schedules didn’t line up we rode bicycles the ten miles instead. We envisioned spending two more years in Santa Barbara, and it ended up being eight. I have changed jobs a *few* times and Aaron has grown steadily from his initial temp placement to his current role.
We moved from a tiny studio to a little one bedroom. The weekends were for bike rides along the coast and hiking in the mountains. It is easy to take this place for granted, but every time I see the ocean or wear a sundress in February I am reminded how blessed I am to live in this paradise. And then I look for houses on Zillow and remember that this is temporary.
When I bike through the charming downtown to get to my gym in the evenings or jog to the ocean on my lunch break, I think I am crazy to give this up. I already found the perfect place, but I am leaving it in search of new adventures and a new paradise. I hope I will love the next place as much as I love Santa Barbara.