Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Home.

It's a beautiful morning for a stroll.

When I was 15 I wanted to live in New York City. I wished it, I dreamed it. I imagined being grown up (21 or 22 probably- "old" at that time), and walking around in my adult clothes, doing adult things, all on my own. Later after graduating from college I was all ready to move to Japan to teach English, thoughts of Tokyo and big buildings and things I had only seen in photographs swirling around my mind. I dreamed of big places, big cities, but the older I got, and the more I traveled, the more I realized that what my heart yearned for was quite the opposite.

And now here I am in this small town. This town that I write about all the time, the town I love so much, and really, the last place I ever thought I would call home. Once in college Shirley and I had to take my car to get fixed, and the closest place to our college town of Flagstaff that serviced my type of car happened to be in Prescott (wherever that was, we said). I remember that first time I saw downtown- for some reason it almost seemed like an old Western movie- in my memory there are false storefronts and far less people out than I'm sure there were. I just remember thinking about what a tiny place it was, even smaller than the town I grew up in, and how weird it was to be there. Shirley and I actually ended up getting lost for hours, with her her subsequently being late for her first day of work at new job because of those godforsaken name-changing roads, but we made it back eventually, laughing about our day in that strange little place.

Tsunami on the Square 2012
May Day picnic

So later when I met Hank I had to smile when he told me it was where he was born and raised. To me it was just that town Shirley and I spent an afternoon in, driving in circles. But little by little I became enamored with it. The drive up became therapeutic, full of trees and mountains and fresh air. We spent so much time walking around downtown, around the square, and maybe it was because I was falling in love, or maybe it was because it's just that wonderful, but I never grew sick of it. And now almost eight years later it's still just as exciting.

I love so much about this slow little life- our quiet weekends, doing the same kinds of things we always do. We visit the same restaurants we've called our favorites for years, being greeted by name when we walk in, looked at in surprise if we change up our usual order. We can't go anywhere without running into at least one person we know (sometimes annoying, most times charming), and it's refreshing to really feel involved in the community. And of course small town living has its funny perks too: special collections at Target are always in stock, the rail seat at the movies is almost always guaranteed, and friends always want to come visit to "get away from it all" (especially Phoenix friends who want to escape the heat come summer!).

Untitled
photo by Christina Heaston

Sometimes I wonder if it's this place, or if it's Hank and Henry, but this little town has become one of my favorite places in the world. It's funny, isn't it, how our idea of home shifts as we grow. How somewhere we could have never imagined calling home, slowly becomes the one place we couldn't ever imagine leaving. How sometimes big cities can feel small too (I know this to be true). And in Hank's case, how sometimes the place we grew up is the place we will grow old. Home is a magical idea, sometimes just one place for one person, or many places for another. And sometimes we just know it's home the moment we step foot inside, be it a town, a house, or someone's arms.

I'd love to hear your "home" stories. Where do you live? Where did you want to live growing up? Where do you call home? I look forward to reading your responses!

xoxo


64 comments:

  1. I grew up in a very small town (South Padre Island, TX) and left just two weeks after graduating high school. Since then, I've lived in Austin, San Diego, Honolulu, Ecuador, and now Tanzania... but I always have a very strong sense of longing for my first home. At the same time, parts of me long for the other places I've lived, too. It's like there are pieces of me scattered everywhere and I'll always feel like something is missing... Kind of a bummer, actually. I'm glad you've found your "home."

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  2. I live in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, and I've lived in the area my whole life. I definitely call this place my home. It's nice here because there are so many different neighborhoods in such a small amount of space.You can go about a half hour either direction and end up in downtown Cleveland, or at Patterson's Fruit Farm, and I love that contrast. Whenever I go and visit other cities, I always get a bit homesick. Growing up, I wanted to move to a big city like Chicago or New York, to find some kind of adventure I guess! I still live at home with my family (I'm 22) but I'm beginning to realize I don't have such a strong desire to move so far away, I would miss this place too much, so I definitely call this home.
    Amia-http://teapotsandbelles.blogspot.com/

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  3. Home is where my books and my music collection are. :)

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  4. I grew up in Lawrence, KS. It is a college town {home to Kansas University} of about 89,000. It was an artsy, hip, fun place to grow up. I moved from there to Manhattan, KS, definitely podunk in comparison. It's an interesting mix of country loving cowboys, vintage loving hipsters. and angsty sweats-clad college students. Manhattan has become my home. I met my husband, had my baby, graduated college, and made deep, friends-forever-no-matter-where-we-live kind friendships here. I absolutely love it. But recently, my heart has moved, and so {as the saying goes} my home has also. 'Home' is now Drogheda, Ireland. We are getting ready to move there in a year or so. It's hard feeling displaced here, waiting and longing to be home. Somedays my heart aches painfully with homesickness for a place that I've never lived! Home is a wonderful thing, and I'm so glad that you have found it.

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    1. Hi Megan,
      I was reading your comment and it's ironic because my family and I are about to move to Lawrence, Kansas on the 15th of March and I am extremely anxious about it. I appreciated hearing a bit more about the town you call home! I am moving from Phiiladelphia Pennsylvania and when I tell people I'm moving to Kansas the comments are usually negative. I would love and appreciate an opportunity to connect with you and ask you a few questions if you were to have the time.
      you can email me at stephbastian19@gmail.com or contact me through my blog at http://sunshineandlollipops-stephanie.blogspot.com/.

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  5. For me, home is mostly where my family is. I live in Auckland, New Zealand, in a suburb not far from the rural outskirts that I grew up in. The family farm is home, but so is my little flat, because my family are all close by. I spent 8 years as a teen in a town I hated - it was too far away from everything/everyone I loved. Back then I just wanted to come back to Auckland, but I always thought I would wind up overseas in NY, London or Paris. Now? I would love to see those cities, and I might even enjoy living in them for a bit, but I can't see myself permanently being away from my family. Here feels good.

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  6. Home is where we end up, no matter how we plan it. x

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  7. To me, home is Vancouver. I grew up in a suuuuuuuuuuper small town on an island and when I was a kid my family would take the ferry for 90 minutes to the mainland and go to Vancouver for our vacations. After high school I moved here, almost 20 years ago (argh). A few times I lived in East Van and a couple times I moved out to the suburbs, but I've almost always lived right downtown, in the West End. tbh I probably won't ever live anywhere else (unless by some miracle we actually come up with enough money to buy a house in another part of the city, because houses downtown cost LITERALLY millions of dollars so that's never going to happen). Where I live totally has the small-town-in-the-big-city feeling. My neighbors & I all know each other, our kids have grown up together, I know everyone who works at the stores and restaurants my husband and I frequent and they know us. Everything is close by- a 24 hour drug store for when the kids get sick in the middle of the night, the post office I'm at 2-3 times a week shipping etsy orders, a restaurant with over 30 different kinds of poutine aka the greatest restaurant ever. Even the hospital where I had both my daughters, it's half a block away and so when I was in labour I just walked there. In the summertime the farmer's market is right in front of my place- like, they close my street and that's where the farmer's market is. The beach is ten blocks away, my daughter's school is five blocks away, and the off-leash dog park is across the street. What more do I need?

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  8. I grew up in Austria third largest city (Linz), which has about 200,000 inhabitants, so basically it is still a small town. When I was done with high school, I moved to the second biggest city, a real university town with lots of students about and cultural offers. I met my long-term boyfriend here, and together, we kind of made this town our own. I love living here, and it really feels like home.
    I just hope that our jobs do not force us to move away!

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  9. very nice blog!! ;) Mine is full of DIY!!! You're welcome:

    http://art-diy.blogspot.it/

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  10. I live in France ! I grew up in a small town in Brittany, near the sea, but nothing's never happened so it's quite annoying.. I travelled a lot for my studies (mostly in France) and when my studies were over, I just wanted to go home, see my friends, family and country sides ! But I didn't wanted to live in my little town so I moved to Rennes, a largest town, fool of students and young workers ! It's such a nice town to live. I have my habits, my friends, my job. And it's about 1 hour from my family ;)
    The first day I visit this town, I knew it was made for me !

    Great blog !

    And sorry for the english ;)

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  11. This was lovely! Your town seems like a beautiful and happy place. It's funny that you posted this now. I was actually out on Sunday taking pictures of a town very close to the one I grew up in. I've dreamed of living in NYC for as long as I can remember, but now that I feel like I'm settling (and I mean that in the best way possible) into life and my relationship, I think I'm really starting to appreciate my small town upbringing and I want that for myself in the future. I don't know if my boyfriend and I are going to get married. I can see it happening, but I'm not 100% sure. I'm wondering if that's a bad thing. Hmm. Anyway, we were walking around town, snapping pictures, talking to folks, and everything just felt right. It doesn't hurt that there's a Montessori school in town, too! For my future children. Yes. Something I don't know if I can actually post about on my blog, because my boyfriend's family reads it.

    Thanks for sharing this and for giving me the kick in the butt (albeit inadvertently, I'm sure) to get my weekend pics up and tell a little tale about my own small town. (I started writing it out here, but it was turning into a novel). I'll be sure to link when I'm done!

    www.theramblingfangirl.com

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  12. I too always wanted to live in a city, and did for a time, but growing up reminded me that I wanted my kids to be close to family, close to the life I knew as a kid. So after years in LA & NYC my bunch & I are back in slow and sunny Florida. :)

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  13. Ah, it's so nice seeing an Arizona flag outside of my house! My fiance grew up in Arizona so we have a big one here in Australia :) I'm not sure where home is. I've never felt at home in Australia, but it was the only place I'd ever lived until my early 20's when I moved to London. That felt like home, but it was an uneasy home full of violence and status. I yearn for a small town, where I could have a family. There were a few places in the U.S.A, like Phoenicia in NY. Newport, RI. A lot in the North East. I loved Arizona. The Pacific Northwest. I'm sure I'll find it one day. I look forward to it.
    xo

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  14. That is so wonderful! I grew up only about 5 miles from where I live now.. but I thought for so many of my teenage years that I would end up somewhere fancier than old hillbilly Missouri... A new part of life ushered in and swept me off my feet. Now, I can't imagine living anywhere else as we start our life off as a small family. I love your story!!

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  15. Home is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. I'm in that college stage where being at my parents house where I grew up my whole life isn't quite home, and where I live and spend my many months per year in my college town isn't quite home either. Both places have great people and great opportunities, so wherever I am, I'm lucky, but can't help but miss the other place and the other people I love. Thanks for sharing your perspective!

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  16. I am now back in my hometown, after years of resisting. I felt at "home" in my beloved college town, then for 5 years in the place I lived as a real adult for the first time. Thanks for the reminder that its ok to grow up and grow old in the same place :-)

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  17. makes me believe that home really is where the heart is. growing up i moved a lot. from portugal where i grew up to nj, different places in nj, san diego, nyc, back to nj and finally ending up in miami where i have now been for well over 10 years. the longest i have lived anywhere. miami is where i met my husband who is from wv. and although we are settling nice here, i can't help but to feel that "home" is still somewhere else....

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  18. I love reading about your town! My family and I are about to move from Philadelphia PA to Lawrence Kansas and I am hoping Lawrence is just as charming as Prescott. They seem to have a lot of similiar features:)

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  19. My sister-in-law wanted to move to Japan to teach English too. She took Japanese in college & can read it too, but she never really pursued that idea. Oh well.
    My home is wherever my husband is, honestly. I recently wrote how he became my home in high school before we had even started dating.

    Growing up I wanted to live in Ireland.
    +Victoria+

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  20. We're in Chicago and right around this time of the year I always start complaining about needing to move somewhere warm! But honesty, I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. I love living in a big city that is made up of little neighborhoods. There may be millions of people bustling about yet somehow we also still manage to bump into friends and neighbors wherever we go.

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  21. I love how you have put into words how I feel about big/small towns. It's always hard to explain to people why I feel more comfortable in smaller towns and cities. Currently living in Dallas, but thinking about having a family (EEK!) makes me really yearn for the slow small town way of life.

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  22. I moved so often growing up I never am sure where to say I lived. As much as I love big city I hope to move somewhere warm and live on a farm to raise my kids! I always loved visiting my Grandmas farm growing up!

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  23. After growing up the sprawling burbs of San Diego, I went to grad school in Tucson and then taught for a number of years in Boulder. None of that prepared me for the small town life I have now in Vermont. The scale here is so tiny that I now consider any place that has a Target (there isn't one in the whole state) to be a big city. And I love it.

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  24. I`m here in germany.
    I was born in Berlin, lived a long time in Ingolstadt (it`s the city where all the AUDI-Cars came from!)
    and now I went to Munich. Because there is my love.

    But there are so many beautiful places in the own country we are never know.

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  25. I love reading stories like this about hometowns - big or small. In my 24 years I've moved 12 times - my dad served in the Air Force for 20 years, so that kept us shuffled around pretty well for my first 12 years. My parents were high school sweethearts who grew up in a tiny town in the south - Gaffney, South Carolina - so until fairly recently I adopted that as my hometown, even though the longest I'd ever lived there was just shy of 3 months. I loved having the experience of getting to travel and having a fresh start every 2-3 years, but it is fun looking at my friends who have roots and can navigate their neighborhood streets by memories of their first broken bone or where they learned to ride a bike. I wouldn't change my circumstances for the world, and now it's sort of funny [and frankly, pretty cliché] that wherever I am with my husband feels like home to me. One of my greatest hopes is that someday our children grow up with a sense of home and community, but will have enough of a spirit of adventure that they never feel tied to wherever we end up calling home.

    Prescott seems really lovely - it's always fun seeing pictures of the little celebrations your town holds! :)

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  26. One of my most favorite cities as well. It is truly unique and beautiful. Great post!

    xo.
    -abombshelllife.blogspot.com

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  27. I had a similar experience; grew up in a smaaaalll town in the Maritimes, Canada (about 5,000-10,000 ppl) and could not wait to move away (I wanted to go to a big city like Toronto or New York, or anywhere in Europe). I spent one year in an even smaller university town, then transferred to a larger university 'city' near my hometown (still only about 45-50,000), then after university moved to a 'big city' called Halifax (about 350,000). My husband and I enjoyed it there a lot but decided to move back home to be closer to family and to afford the type of house we wanted. So even though I despised my hometown when I was younger, now I am here and couldn't really imagine living anywhere else at the moment. We're actually outside of town in a tiny little village which is probably only in the 100s! I find it funny that you call Prescott a 'small' town, even though there are about 100,000 people there! It's all perspective I suppose, we live in a very large country that has a relatively small population for the amount of space we have, it seems incredible that the States has about 10X the amount of people but not as much space!

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    1. I'm about 45 minutes outside of Halifax.. in a small town of about 2000 I think, I'm not even sure of the population! But same thing, we wanted to buy a house and couldn't afford the 'big city' prices, but we were also just sick of it anyway. I'm going to go leave my original comment now, but seeing yours sidetracked me!

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  28. I LOVE this post! I ALWAYS dreamed of living in NYC but once I had a baby, my focus shifted. I have lived in the same town my whole life and can't imagine life any other way. Ive really started to embrace it though. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words. xo

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  29. I was born and raised in Odessa, Texas. Ever seen the movie {not the TV series} Friday Night Lights? Yeah, that was my high school. I grew up living high school football: games, pep rallies, dances....and I swore I'd get out the first chance I had! Now, I've been gone from "home" for over 9 years. When I go back and visit my family, it's nostalgic. I'm not sure I could ever live there again, especially after living in Colorado for so long {!!} but it IS fun to visit.

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  30. It's funny how our ideas and focus change as we get older.

    I had to travel to Prescott with my friend to get her car fixed too! We left NAU and drove to Prescott to the closest VW place...well it was her window that was broken and it just happened to be a blizzard outside, so here I am in the passenger seat, with a window that won't roll up and snow flying in the car.

    It was a ton of fun though :)

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  31. I've had lots of friends want to move to the big city (Toronto in my case) and some who actually go through with it, but most return to good old Thunder Bay. Me, I've always loved my small town. It's comfortable and easy to navigate, but has most of the amenities of a big city. Honestly, all we're missing is bigger shopping malls and more chain restaurants, both of which I can do without! Thunder Bay is seriously one of the quirkiest cities, with our "Persians" (a pastry - not the cat or the people), unique slang and relative isolation, but there is NOWHERE else I'd rather live!

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  32. After moving away from my hometown of Kansas City I am more than excited to move back. I only moved 40 minutes away but that's far enough for me to appreciate what I once had. I started missing home just a few months into my new adventure and promised myself I'd stick it out for at least two years and if I still missed KC so much I'd move back. Well, my two years are up and I'm back to Kansas City. I never realized how much I love this town.

    Rae

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  33. Ah, I love Precott. Or as everyone I know from there calls it 'Presskitt'. My favorite place in Arizona.

    As a native southern californian, i have a love/hate relationship with my hometown. love the mild winters, creative types and beautiful places in close proximity (joshua tree, beautiful beaches, mountains). But sometimes, usually August, I'm ready to bail to more temperate climates...

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  34. oh i love this story. i love home and hearing about people's homes. so glad that you and your little family have made such a happy home where you are! my home is a very special place to me, too. i was born and raised on the same ground my family and i are living on now. like you, i once thought i would live far away in a great big city and make a new home in a huge place. how quickly, though, my heart took me right back to my roots. you know what they say: home is where the heart is. <3

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  35. I absolutely love small towns! I've always enjoyed the idea of a small town to live in and big cities just for visits/vacations. And yours has so much meaning! I hope wherever my husband and I end up when he's out of the Navy will be special. I know we'll have to make it that way, seeing as how we have no clue where we want to settle when we can! I love love love your blog! I follow your Instagram, Twitter, and Vine, also. Your little boy is such a delight to watch on your videos. I love your book suggestions, too! They seem like books I'd like, so that's usually where I get my next reads from. :) And I eventually want to work my way to doing CrossFit, but I really don't do any form of exercise right now, terrible I know! As someone who has always done some form of exercise, could you maybe suggest where to start? Just basics that you highly recommend/enjoy doing when you workout? TIA! Never stop posting please! Can't wait until you find out if your summer baby is a boy or girl and their name! You're so beautiful, too! Sorry...done rambling! :)

    From South Carolina,
    Ashley <3

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  36. I love that memory from our road trip to Prescott in college! :) And I'm so happy that you and Hank love in such a cute town--Nate and I love to visit and try out all of your favorite spots!

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  37. so funny, I just returned to my current home from my hometown where my family and I had a weeks vacation. I had such a strange few days trying to figure out the whole notion of what home exactly is. I blogged about it here: http://cocoonofchaos.typepad.com/cocooon_of_chaos/2013/02/notes-on-home.html
    Thanks so much for sharing your story, Danielle.

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  38. What a sweet story. :)

    I was born & raised in a small town in Southern Ontario, about an hour from Toronto. I lived in the neighbourhood where I went to school, made friends, and explored nature, until I was 21 and my parents got divorced. After that I moved with my mom down the street until she got re-married. Another move took me around the corner, to live with my grandparents. And my latest move, four years ago, took me around yet another close corner, to live with my fiance and his family. It's been 29 years and I've always lived in the same neighbourhood, even after moving three times. It has a hold on me. :)

    I'm not sure where I'll live in the future but if it was in or near this city that I planted my roots in, that wouldn't be such a bad thing.

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  39. My "home" story is very similar to yours! :) I come from a small town and always dreamed I'd live in a big fancy city (I can even remember my mom saying, "you just wait...you'll probably change your mind.") even though I'd never spent much time in one. I moved to a medium sized city for college (200,000) and stayed there through school and for four years after graduation until my husband was offered a job back in our hometown (we're from the same area). The past few years, especially this past year back in a small town, has made me realize that I'm much more a small town, country girl and I wouldn't have it any other way! Luckily, my job allows me to travel a bit and it satisfies the itch I get every now and then to be in a city :)

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  40. I was born in Burma (Myanmar) and move to NYC & lived there for many many decades...going to visit my birthplace one day.

    Now I live at the suburb of NJ with my husband.

    We are talking about moving to Arizona or someplace else. We still debating.

    Home to me is not that sentimental though...as long as I can have my books, sewing/crafting, gardening...I can be anywhere.

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  41. What a beautiful ode to your home. You describe your lfe in there in such a nice way. I can picture you and your family there.

    I moved to London 22 years ago and as soon as i came here I knew this was my town. It is a very tough city to live in, a beast, but once you learn how to live in here, it is magical. On any given day, you'll see people from everywhere in the world, hear many different languages, eat all sorts of different foods, see amazing performances and other cultural things.
    So London is definitely my home.
    But also, home is where my family is too. I am lucky to have two places where i feel i belong.

    Great post and blog.

    Red

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  42. I was the same way. I always said throughout high school and college that I would live somewhere big like NYC. I actually ended back up in my hometown for my first year of teaching and I'm actually really liking how laid back everything is here. I lived in a "big" city compared to my hometown for about a year after college and while I do really like some of the amenities that a bigger town has, it is nice to know people and get away from the hustle and bustle of highly populated area.

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  43. I can't help but think of my parents who still live in the same place where I was born (31 years ago!), with the same phone number we had while i was growing up! It seems kinda crazy nowadays!

    As soon as I finished high school I left our beautiful island (Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia) for a bigger city (Halifax, NS), and have lived there off and on for the past 13 years. I spent time in California, and British Columbia, but staying in smaller cities/towns.. and travelling a little in between. I became tired of being right in the heart of Halifax after coming back for some time.
    So when my husband and I decided to buy a house in 2011 all we knew was we wanted to be outside of the city (but still commuting distance, as we still both work there). We love where we ended up, which actually reminds us both of Cape Breton a little, which is kind of comforting. Who knows if we're in it here for the long haul, but it's definitely home for now!

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  44. What a great post!!! I love how appreciative you are of where you live. So refreshing!

    I'm from a small town in Northwestern Ontario.. It's really cold here in the winters and the summers are absolutely beautiful! I actually have to laugh when people in the South complain about cold weather & snow because they really don't have any idea hahaha. It's freezing here in the Winters.

    I used to want to escape so bad.. live somewhere bigger like Toronto or Vancouver or somewhere in the States.. but alas how that has changed. I want to raise a family here & live out on the lake somewhere (a beautiful lake is only 20 minutes from town!) I love where I live and I'm happy I finally realized that.

    jessica

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  45. Home is an idea I feel like I chase, but never really settle into. I think I just cannot kick the wanderer in me. But oddly, Alaska is where we have felt the most at home and I didn't realize it until we left and moved to the town where I grew up and always considered home. We are moving back to AK next month, and while the distance from family breaks my heart, everything else about it feels like going home. Who would have thought! It was supposed to be a temporary adventure, but it sucked us back in as it often does to people. We fit in better there than anywhere else I've ever experienced. Growing up, it was always "supposed" to be Boston, or NYC, or I'd travel Italy and bounce around, never isolated in Alaska. But we cannot control where our heart feels at home, it would appear.

    -Victoria
    www.grownorthblog.blogspot.com

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  46. I currently live in El Paso, Texas.. but it's not somewhere I plan to call home. I used to live in Syracuse, New York but it wasn't for me. I couldn't wait to escape. I went to New York City once and liked it but never imagined living there. Lately, I dream of living there or California.. I would love to call one of those places home. I can't wait to be on my own and have a new place to discover!

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  47. "Home" for me is still just a feeling, not a place. I'm still living where I was born and raised and dreaming of where I want to be. Though, I fell in love with California. As a child I was lucky to have family members who had second (or third) homes in other states so I was able to travel alot. California always just felt right, I would cry having to come back to New Jersey. But who knows what the future has instore for me. I don't know where "home" is yet, but I know it's not here.

    x Sara from tinysugarbee.blogspot.com

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  48. great pictures! looks like you live in such a nice place!

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  49. For me home is where my heart is. I grew up moving around a fair bit, so never putting down roots anywhere particular. I was always jealous of my friends, who had live in the one spot for more than two years.

    I grew up in Tasmania (Australia), joined the Airforce when I was 18. I now live in Wahroonga (Sydney), New South Wales, but still moved around a fair bit. My husband I finally bought a little place of our own a few years ago.. have no intention of moving for quite awhile.

    We have a lovely little village near by; I love living here.

    Prescott looks like a place I could quite easily move to though... lovely.

    Stephanie

    http://steffykat.com

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  50. I recently moved back to the East Coast- not far away from where I finished my degree, a place I swore I would never return to. This time around, I love it 20x more than my first attempt. It's even beginning to feel like home.

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  51. I grew up in a small town in Southern California, I love going back "home". I would easily live back there again if I had the chance. I live in a much larger city now and I have a hard time with it; I totally grew up in a bubble! I miss my bubble. haha :)

    Never been to Prescott, but just viewing it through your blog has me totally in love! Such a quaint little town! I would love to live in a community like this one day, it's like right out of a movie. Adorable. Thank you for sharing.

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  52. Oooooh I love Prescott! I've wanted to move there for a long time, but it's a little more expensive and harder to find a home to buy than Phoenix. Mostly because I got my house when they were really cheap- my mortgage is so low!

    I know when me and my fella start a family thought I would LOVE to be able to raise my kids there, it's such an awesome place. I totally get why you love it.

    xoxo,
    Tara O.

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  53. This is one of my favorite posts of yours in awhile! Very sweet and I can definitely relate to it. I am a city person myself, but I too used to dream about moving far away from the town I grew up in. I loved growing up there but I dreamed of living in a fast paced city like New York or London. However, I moved a few hours away for college, and the older I got, the more I realized I didn't want to be far away from my family. Now I live in Minneapolis (I grew up in the suburbs), so I am still living the "city life" (I know a lot of people don't think of Mpls as a major metro, but it's a really great city & highly underrated!) - yet I am less than a half hour from my parents' house. I travel as much as I can and love to explore and discover the world, but having my home base so close to my hometown is exactly how I want it!

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  54. This is such a great post! Home is such a shifting concept for me: I come from Swiss parents, was born in Texas and then moved to England when I was 9 (or 10...I can't quite remember). In Texas, we grew up in the suburbs and at first we lived in a similar area in England. Then we moved to the smallest place on Earth with no local amenities and only a handful of houses. Sheep are our neighbours in that house and a stream runs through the garden. Now I live in a bigger city, but the countryside places will always feel like home. That house in England, my grandparents farm in Switzerland...if it's a tiny space and the people I love live there, it's my home.

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  55. I currently live in Philadelphia. I grew up in a cow town in Connecticut. I dreamed on heading to New York - but really I think I was just dreaming of getting out. I knew that my small town didn't have enough freedoms for me and I needed to find a chance to be myself. Now that I've broken away I think that one day I will end up in small New England town when I want to settle down. My how life changes.

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  56. Hello Danielle,

    I've always been a big city person but now that I'm getting older (only 30 but still) I'm starting to fancy living in a small charming town. I'm French, living in London UK and despite Europe and UK being lovely I am really jealous of your little American towns, like the ones we see on TV! I wish I could move to one of them for a little while and work in a small organic shop or something, you know, something cliche like that! :p Keep posting about Prescott!

    Take care,
    Lulla

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  57. Danielle, I adore this post so much. I love getting to hear about where people call home or where they have always dreamed about living. I was born and raised in my town and have not left. It is a small town in the middle of nowhere Indiana. There is nothing to do, we don't have a cutesy small town, it is a little on the trashier side even. Trips to walmart or mcdonalds are pretty much the only entertainment on a saturday night unless you want to drive 45 minutes to the big(ger) city. But I like it. I've grown up here. In town, on the west side, on the wrong side of the tracks. A small yellow house with a good size backyard that includes a set of trees that resemble a doorway and that I always pretended were an entrance to a secret world, and a corn field behind, in walking distance of downtown and the fair when it comes every year in September, where you can drive 5 minutes down the road and you hit open country with houses scattered at random. A town where you can't go anywhere at all without seeing at least one or two people you recognize or know. There are plenty of faults, there are many things I could say are wrong with it. But in reality this is my town. It is my home. It is where I was raised. It is where I have always dreamed of escaping from. Escaping to places like Seattle or San Francisco or Raleigh or Dallas. But those were all dreams because I knew in my mind that I would never leave. It is where I live now and most likely where I will marry and stay for the rest of my life. It is scary to think about, to realize maybe I'll never be the city girl or out there living far away from what I'm used to, but it is also a bit comforting. This is home. It is boring most of the time, it is small, it is quirky and strange and my goodness, it does get annoying. But it is where I am from. It is part of me and who I am and if this is where I stay for good, I'll be happy with it.

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  58. I had a similar experience - born and raised in a tiny town in Wisconsin, moved to Boston the second I could with 'school' as the excuse and really just wanting to get away. I still love it in Boston - well, now Somerville, with a minor commute - but think about the midwest a lot. I might not ever go back "permanently" - whatever that even means anymore - but I do look forward to my few weeks of winter break every December, when I can bask in the Wisco-fortitude. wonderful story/pictures. :]]]

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  59. this is incredibly beautiful writing and has me feeling all sentimental about my own home. sometimes i think i'd be happier somewhere with more culture etc. (such a strong pull to the northwest or new york) but i know if i left arizona my heart just wouldn't be complete. thank you for sharing this! and p.s. i love prescott :)

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  60. Grew up in New Zealand, now living in Scotland because I fell in love. Also lived in NYC, and loved it, but the older I get, the more I realise home is where my love is. I miss my family a lot, though.

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  61. Hey Danielle,
    I too, live in Prescott and loved this little post. It helped renew the appreciation and gratitude I have for our town that sometimes slips away with extended exposure. I never saw myself staying here after graduating, but once I landed a local teaching job, decided to stay. Now, more and more I realize that it could be just the right spot to raise some kiddos :) Would love to see more local favorite posts! I'll say hi if I see you around!

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