Thursday, July 2, 2009

Moving to Indianapolis, But Not Giving Up My Healthy Lifestyle

The Berkey's are on the move! I've been packing all day. Aaron and I have decided to move to an affordable city to improve our quality of life. Less stress from crazy commutes, more buying power to purchase a family-sized home with a yard, and being close to family were the main factors for choosing Indy. Indianapolis has over 2 million people in the metro area and with that has many cultural events and a brand-new airport so I can take trips back to California to see my family.

I've been in Chicago 7-years and in my condo for over 5-years. We've loved living in Chicago, but we're ready to start the next step in our lives. We're planning to buy a house in the city because we like the urban lifestyle for the cultural events and diversity. Indianapolis is only 2 hours from Aaron's parent's lake house in Northern Indiana so that will help when we have children. The lake house feels like a retreat for us because we visit family and friends, but it's unrealistic for us to move up there because it's very rural (less business, cultural opportunities).

Moving to Indiana still shocks me a bit because I never thought I'd stay in the Midwest as long as I had. But moving to my home state, California, is even more expensive than living in the city of Chicago! Aaron tells me that Indy is a bit "hippy" and liberal so I'm hoping that will satisfy my West Coast nature.

Things are moving with the speed of light! We made this decision only 4 weeks ago and now, we both have new jobs and a temporary apartment. In fact, we both got job offers on the same day! That's a sign that we made the right decision. I'm going to work at a different software company doing product marketing and Aaron started his job doing media sales at Nuvo, an alternative weekly newspaper. Our Chicago condo is on the market and we're hoping the 6-month lease will give us time to sell our condo and buy a new house down in Indy.

Our healthy lifestyle is always a driving factor in our life decisions. When you're making life decisions like where to live or work, think about your health and wellness. Here are some thoughts that might help you.
  • Fitness: We selected our apartment because it's near Monon Trail for hiking, biking, running, or walking our dog, Bena. And it's 10-minutes from my gym, which I will transfer to from my Chicago membership. Look for fitness centers that are near your home because it's easier to incorporate in your daily routine. My new employer has a wellness program and you can earn points to belong to the gym 1-block from the office. Many employees workout at lunch so the corporate culture encourages a healthy lifestyle!
  • Sourcing Local Produce: I have a produce delivery service lined up for the week after we move down there. The weekly delivery will include local organic and artisan-crafted produce and foods. Our apartment is also only a few minutes from Whole Foods. I'm also going to look for Farmer's Markets to get fresh, local produce.
  • Minimize Work Commute: Indy has few traffic jams - another bonus for living there! Our apartment is 20-25 minutes from the new office and when we move to our desired neighborhood, it should be only 15 minutes. At my last company, I lived 30 miles from the office and with Chicago traffic being one of the worst in the country, I chose to take a commuter train. I walked to the train station from my house, rode the train for 45 minutes, and then drove 15 minutes to my office, leaving my car at the train station permanently. The train was great for relaxing, but, if one thing happened to throw off my schedule, I would be stuck out in the suburbs and home 1 hour later! Instead of commute 2 hours and 45 minutes every day, my commute will be 40 minutes total. I'm excited to gain 2 hours of my day again! More time means I can relax more. Less stress is going to be great for my body, too.
Aaron and I are thrilled to explore Indy. We have some friends down there, but we're not going to be too far from our Chicago friends. Indy is only a 2 1/2 hour drive from Chicago. Gotta get back to packing....

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