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Moving to Falls Church, Virginia

Share Your Story: Moving to the Washington DC Area

By Peggy

Where did you move from?

Surprise, Arizona

How long ago did you move here?

Six months ago

Where do you live and what do you like about the area?

I currently rent an apartment in Falls Church, VA. Well, it's very eclectic. Close to shopping, not too far from the metro.

Why I moved to the DC Area

I was working in procurement for a municipal government located west of Phoenix, Arizona. The town was hit hard by the economic downturn, and separated a great many of their work force, including me. After a fruitless six-month search for jobs in Arizona, I started looking elsewhere. I expanded my search to neighboring states, and finally, to the federal government. I was offered a job in DC, and felt that it was a good career move. Turns out that I really love the job!

What my biggest challenges have been

Please note that these challenges are not necessarily in the order of their importance:

1) Leaving my new husband. We were married just three weeks before I started my job here. He remains in Arizona.

2) Leaving my children. While they are grown now, it's still hard being so far away from them.

3) Leaving my parents. They are getting up in age, and I miss them every day.

4) Outrageous airfares. It makes it hard to go home, even if we plan months in advance. At least I don't have to check luggage!!

5) Loneliness. I've made new friends, but it's not the same as those you leave behind.

6) Apartment living. I own a nice, large house in Arizona, with a great big kitchen, just made for entertaining.

7) The weather. Although Arizona can be challenging in the summer, you are never forced to stay indoors because the roads are impassable. You leave your air conditioned house, jump in your air conditioned car, go to your air conditioned office, stop at the air conditioned store, and go back to spend the evening on your mist-cooled patio by your pool. Even in February!

Advice

  • Don't leave? Oh, wait, that won't work. Okay - try to find a network of other displaced, relocated people with whom you can commiserate. If you know of such network, can you let me know?
  • Don't be afraid to venture out and explore. Everyone has a sense of adventure, and that's what I try to do - treat every moment like an adventure.
  • Don't expect a Wal*Mart every three miles like at home, at least not inside the beltway. When you find one, stock up.
  • Figure out what the heck the beltway is.
  • Frequent Flyer. Sign up. Soon.
  • Skype and a good camera. Learn how to use them.

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