If you could move anywhere…

We’re wrapping up our last day here in Philly at AETA, and it’s been pretty awesome. Aside from all of the cool tack and apparel, another part that I really like is meeting and talking to people that are from all around the world. Getting the inside scoop on the pros and cons of each place, what the industry is like there, how the shows are, etc is endlessly fascinating.

I’ve lived in Texas for the majority of my life, and while I don’t hate it, I don’t love it either. Part of me always aches for a new adventure in a new place. Texas isn’t exactly a beautiful horse mecca, so the entire benefit of it for me is the weather. Namely – we usually have really mild and not very wet winters. When the weather turns to horrid, I immediately start to wonder why I live here. Then I start to think “If I could live anywhere I wanted, where would it be?”…

While I’ve lived here for a long time, I am not a life long Texan. I’ve lived in North Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Maryland as well. Of all the places I’ve lived, Arkansas is my favorite. I could live on the northern side of Little Rock in a heartbeat. Except for the fact that it’s definitely not the place to be for riding… so that makes it a no go.  

As a rider, Maryland was heaven. There were tons of events all over the place, all the time, and everything was pretty close by. However, it gets cold there. Really cold. I hate cold. I especially hate white stuff that comes from the sky.  Let’s face it, I am not destined for life anywhere further north than North Carolina. So let’s go ahead and chop off that entire half of the country.

Of all the places I’ve visited (which is pretty much every state except for the NW and parts of the NE) Kentucky was my favorite. I’m not a fan of California or any of the desert states. I’m also not a fan of any place where the cockroaches are big enough to look like a small dog (sorry Florida). Kentucky, while absolutely beautiful, is still probably a little bit on the too-cold side of things for me.  

Where does that leave us? If I’m limiting my fantasyland to the US, I’d love to look at either the Tryon, NC area or the Aiken, SC area. If I can pick anywhere in the world, it’d be Namur, Belgium. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I absolutely fell in love with that little town and that little country. I’ll learn French, she says. No big deal, she says.  

If I was single I’d probably already be on my way out of Texas as we speak. Sadly, SO seems pretty intent on staying. Maybe someday the right opportunity will come along that we can’t say no to.

Where would you move, if you could go anywhere?

30 thoughts on “If you could move anywhere…

  1. Tryon, NC isn’t very far from where I live and is right next door to where I board. It is gorgeous and has so many horse amenities it is ridiculous. It does get chilly in the winter and will get one or two snow falls which really don’t accumulate much, but is present and shuts the entire area down for a while. It is in the mountains and the mountains make me happy. Aiken is about 2.5 hours the other direction from me and I have sadly yet to venture over there. If you want warmer weather, I’d say Aiken is the better choice.

    For me, if I were to move from SC anywhere in the world, it would be to Cardiganshire Wales. I spent a week there in college and a piece of me remains there still. The ocean leading up to green fields, otters, dolphins, more bird species than I knew existed, trails that connect he entire island that you can hike or ride on. It was paradise. Maybe someday I’ll retire over there.


  2. North Carolina calls to my heart. My ancestors lived in the mountains of North Carolina, so it just must be in my blood. If you ever get the chance you should take a vacation to Cataloochee Ranch which sits on a mountaintop above Maggie Valley NC. I am decently traveled, and to this day it is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Plus they have horses, so bonus.

    Living in Mississippi is like living in a third world country. Issues the rest of the country never even get a glimpse of reside here. It’s like the 60s. But the bad parts (according to my mom when she visits). I can not wait to pack our bags and never look back but we are also somewhat stuck here for my husband’s job. Alas. One day!!


  3. There are a lot of places that I would be interested in living in but I would need to learn more about their equestrian communities. I love SC and definitely wouldn’t mind that general area. As my family is in CA we have also considered that but the lack of grass is kind of a bummer.


  4. i always talk myself in a circle about this. philly is too cold, i hate snow, let’s move. but there are soooo many great events near here, and i can live in a big city where there is actually work for me and easily commute to all the riding i want and I think… where else would I go?

    I loved living in london but that’s not ‘easily commutable’ to horses. Like, at all.

    So I guess I’ll just stay here πŸ˜›


  5. i’m pretty much completely satisfied with maryland – my biggest winter qualm (no indoor) is more specific to the fact that i can’t move my lease mare than it is to the area in general. even after our recent blizzard, most barns were fully operational in just days. but hauling out all the time is exhausting ugh…


  6. Ireland. And I would ride Irish horses all day and then play with my Irish Wolfhounds. I’d probably be single because I’d be the crazy woman with all the dogs and horses….


  7. That’s a good question, but a hard one.

    Either Ireland (because that’s where my family is originally from and it’s beautiful and quaint); Saxony, Germany (because I fell in love with it when I spent a summer of university there, and Germany=dressage mecca); or the areas around Priddis or Cochrane, Alberta (beautiful foothills, close to people I know, good dressage barns, just crazy crazy expensive).

    Of course, wherever I went, it would include trading up my house in town for a sprawling horse property =D


  8. I’m moving to South Carolina (about 40 minutes south of Tryon) in May and really excited about it. It’s a pretty perfect location for me – I won’t have to leave the south, but it’s convenient to two big cities/airports, great weather, beaches, mountains, etc. The only thing I wish is my own family was closer. Otherwise, I think I’d look at Texas, Phoenix and I’d probably consider staying in North Carolina.


  9. I’d go back to Tennessee immediately if it weren’t for Johnny’s job here in Oklahoma. I hate everything about OK- the taxes, the toll roads, the neverending fucking WIND, the lack of eventing. I never appreciated how good I had it in the Volunteer State with the mild weather and easy access to eventing!


  10. I am a fan of this NW region. My only qualm is the loooong long drives to any recognized events (and other shows) and not having an indoor in the winter. But after living in Arizona, I actually do enjoy seasons that are not monsoon season, hot and hotter. After all is said and done, I think I would stick to Idaho or Washington.


  11. Sorry to break it to you but if you don’t like the cold or white stuff that falls from the sky Namur may not be the best place for your dream destination. Have you seen Band of Brothers or read about the Battle of the Bulge? Baston is but a stones throw from Namur and history shows how cold it can get. Not Canada or Russian cold, but it’s no Carolina – that’s for sure!


  12. I’ve been trying to convince my husband to move to Ireland. He’s not really on board with that plan. More likely, we’ll move to Colorado, the pacific NW, or possibly back to the PA/NJ area. I miss being in horse country.


  13. I am actually pretty happy with Virginia πŸ™‚ there are tons of horse shows and good trainers in Northern VA. I live in Southern VA, but trailer to Northern VA regularly. It does get cold in VA, but we are really really lucky to be able to go to WEF for part of the winter. So honestly, I wouldn’t change much about where I live. VA and Wellington are pretty awesome πŸ™‚


  14. I lived in Texas for 3 years, and I loved it so much I’m back in NJ πŸ˜‰

    I’m born and raised in New Jersey, and while the winters here can be downright cold and nasty, I actually really enjoy having 4 distinct seasons. The only thing I’d love more about living in NJ is if my barn had an indoor arena. Buuuuuuuuut we have Wawa and don’t pump our own gas, so I’m pretty content with living 35 minutes from the beach!


  15. Love living in the Tryon area! I grew up in Charlotte and as far as location to events goes Charlotte is pretty awesome (within 3 hours or less of Souther Pines, Aiken, and Tryon) but I really didn’t like the big city life there. Tryon area is cute and small but close enough to bigger cities for city needs (Spartanburg, Greenville, Hendersonville, Asheville, and hell Charlotte isn’t to bad) plus Tryon is so close to the mountains you get all the pretty views without the mountain weather πŸ™‚ I haven’t been to Aiken in years (10+?) but I always got the impression it was flat and boring. The sandy footing is nice but it also gets really hot and gross there in the summer. The winter eventing is nice down there but truthfully I’m not looking to compete every weekend and it’s only 2.5-3 hours away from Tryon- easy enough to go for a weekend and then come back for prettier scenery! 😁


  16. Pennsylvania. While I like being able to ride year round, I am not a fan of hot. We have made jokes for years that I am obviously not Florida born and bred, although I have lived here a large majority of my life. I’ve also lived in Ohio (where I was born), Georgia, Louisiana and Colorado, and both my parents live in South Carolina. Both of my parent’s families are from the Philly area. I’ve spent some time up there and I absolutely love it. And I’m good (I think?) with the white stuff. Unfortunately, my fiancΓ© is a born and bred Floridian who cannot handle temps lower than 55, so moving north just isn’t going to happen.


  17. Kentucky or maybe Tennessee for me. Far enough south that they get less snow, but not so far south that it is stupid hot in the summer. Plus I love the hills and mountains in those areas.


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