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Hello from the beautiful Monterey Bay Aquarium, the home of playful sea otters, soothing jellyfish, and a majestic sea turtle. I was never really much of an aquarium person as a kid, but this place is amazing, and one of the many reasons I’m so excited to be living in California again.

As you might be aware, I (and Alpine Parrot) have moved back to California, returning after only a year in Denver, Colorado. We had every intention of living in Denver for longer, but sometimes life doesn’t work out that way. We left for a multitude of reasons: my husband’s graduate program didn’t work out, our expectations about access to nature didn’t meet reality, and moving in the middle of a pandemic made it supremely difficult to build an in-person community. 

So we moved back to California - my husband is in a new grad program, I’m within literal walking distance of miles of trails, and now that we’re better equipped to live in a COVID-19 world, we’re building community a lot more easily. 

I must admit that I was really nervous about coming back. My first thought was: did I fail? We crossed multiple state lines - and then moved across them all again - for only a year’s adventure in a new state. In my experience, it takes more than a year to really get used to a place, make friends, know your way around… and we didn’t do that. 

But sometimes, when you know, you know. Denver wasn’t home for us. It’s a cool city, and the foothills are 45 minutes away, where we were able to ski and hike in some incredible landscapes. And yet, it wasn’t what our souls needed.

My second thought was: does following my husband to pursue his educational goals make me a bad feminist? After all, it was his graduate program that brought us to Colorado in the first place. And it was a different graduate program that brought us to Monterey in the second place. It’s easy to fall into the mid-90’s trope that says you can’t be happy if you’re following a man around. 

Now that we’re solidly in the early 2020’s, I think it’s safe to say that I didn’t follow anyone. We moved together, as a family. A great relationship is more than compromise: it’s making choices as a team. I have the incredible privilege of owning my own business, with a totally remote team. Turning Alpine Parrot into a PBC meant that we could more easily move around the country from a legal standpoint as well. Beyond the absolute misery of packing and moving, I have no problem going on new adventures with my family - honestly, the stories we can tell are hilarious and wonderful. I wouldn’t trade them for anything!

I am genuinely delighted to be back in California. I have lived in and left this state so many times now that I know my soul is attached to this place. Sometimes we have to leave home to know where it is, and our move to Colorado did exactly that. I can’t promise how long we’ll remain in Monterey, but I’m loving every minute of it. It’s so good to be home, and I can't wait to see what kind of inspiration this place continues to give Alpine Parrot as it grows. 💖