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We are Moving Home to Cincinnati: Questions and Answers

Posted on December 12, 2010 at 8:35pm Madrid / 2:35pm Cincinnati by Kelly Larbes

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Jay and I are moving back to our hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. We’ve made Split, Croatia and Madrid, Spain our homes for almost two years, but Cincinnati has always been our true home. Jay will be headed home January 2 and I will be home at the end of February.

We’ve already shared the news with lots of family and friends. Here are the most common questions we’ve gotten, along with their answers.

Why are we moving home?

Our time abroad was never intended to be permanent. We always knew we wanted to move back to Cincinnati. Our families live in Cincinnati. We are very close to both of our families and have a strong community of friends. It means a lot to be near to them. The two things that bring me the most joy in my life are my family and being abroad. Sadly, it is impossible for me to have both (a fact that brings me much distress)! There is a lot that excites us about going back to Cincinnati, even though we aren’t quite ready to move back. Now is the time though.

If you aren’t quite ready, why are you moving home now?

Jay’s work. Jay has been working at Sanger & Eby since 2002. When we decided we were going to move abroad, they decided to let Jay work remotely. They were a huge factor in making our time abroad go smoothly. Sanger & Eby decided though that it was difficult for Jay to be a part of its growth if he was abroad. They want him in Cincinnati to fully contribute to the team.

After careful consideration, we decided it would be foolish for Jay to give up a job he is really passionate about when we planned to eventually move back to Cincinnati anyways. Many people at Sanger & Eby have become like second family to him. His boss, Mike, and the owners, Donna and Lisa, have helped him develop from a shy intern into a leader in the company. We are both eager to see where Sanger & Eby’s potential leads.

Why aren’t you moving home when Jay does?

It was a difficult decision, but I know I will get a lot out of two more months here. It will give me an opportunity to really immerse myself in the language, especially since I will be living with one of my Spanish colleagues. It will also allow me to finish up a fun large project I have been laboring on at work. It will be much more satisfactory to see it through.

Isn’t it weird to want to be away from your husband? Won’t you miss him?

No, I don’t find it weird. Yes, I will miss him terribly. We are perfectly happy and comfortable with our relationship. We believe our support of each others individual pursuits in life makes our relationship stronger. I am confident I will benefit a lot from my two months here. I’m sure it will fly by and we will together before we know it.

Where are you going to work when you move home?

I don’t know. Work here has discussed with me continuing on as a freelancer. That is the plan right now, but nothing has been formalized. Being abroad and experiencing new working opportunities has definitely cemented for me that I love being a designer. I enjoy solving problems with smart multi-disciplinary teams. I am a very curious person, which is probably the biggest reason I have a passion for traveling, and also one of the main reasons that I love the field of design.

Cincinnati isn’t San Francisco or New York, but there are plenty of opportunities for designers in Cincinnati. It is time for me to learn more about all of the options out there, decide more precisely what I want and to go for it. I’m definitely up for suggestions and advice. I’ll probably be hitting up many of you up individually in the next few months for precisely that.

Where are you going to live when you move home?

We will be joining the ranks of the boomerang generation and invading my parents’ empty nest. Living with my parents for a few months will make the move back to Cincinnati easier and give us an opportunity to save more money for a down payment on a house. Jay and I are lucky to have families who are both more than happy to have us around. Jay will be living with his parents until I get home.

When you do buy a house, in which neighborhood will it be?

No idea. There is so much to consider:

  • We don’t want to be too far from our families. (My family lives north of the city in West Chester and Jay’s family is 45 minutes away from them, west of the city in Delhi.)
  • We want to be near a major highway and not too far from downtown (definitely inside the I-275 loop highway).
  • We’d like to be in a good school district. (We aren’t having kids soon. I don’t know when we will, but when we do we want them to go to a good school, and preferably not a private one because we both had very positive public school experiences.)
  • I’d also like to be able to walk to places, but I’m not sure how realistic this is.

The good school district makes the biggest challenge. We’ve started perusing online ads in areas like Wyoming, Sycamore, Indian Hills and Madeira just for the fun of it, but houses in those neighborhoods are nearly 50% more than houses in other neighborhoods such as Colerain. We know we can always move again before our non-existent kids go to school, but we feel like housing prices are low now, so we’d be missing a good opportunity if we didn’t buy in a good school district. Of course, we have no idea what the future holds, so we feel silly thinking about all of this now, but buying a house is a huge investment, so here we are, thinking about all of this silly stuff. Once again, I am definitely open to suggestions and advice.

Are you going to stop blogging?

I don’t think so. Even though this blog started out as simply a way to share our adventures abroad with family and friends, its grown for me in meaning and in audience. I’ve always enjoyed writing and keeping a blog has been a new outlet for creativity. The blog will, of course, change. I’m just not sure how it will transform yet.

If you could do it all over again, would you still decide to live abroad?

100% definitely! It may be the best decision we’ve ever made.

2 Reader Comments to “We are Moving Home to Cincinnati: Questions and Answers”

  1. Pat on December 12, 2010 at 10:17pm Split / 4:17pm Cincinnati

    It’s so great to hear the official announcement. Jay had filled me in on the plans, but it’s exciting to imagine you guys back in town. Please keep me updated with as much detail as possible. If you need any help with things while you’re still “abroad”, please let me know and I’ll definitely see what I can do. I’ve missed you guys dearly and I can’t wait to see you again!

  2. Jay Larbes on December 12, 2010 at 10:50pm Split / 4:50pm Cincinnati

    Pat, thanks for such kind words. We have missed you, and all of our family and friends in Cincinnati, very dearly as well. For me, being away from everyone we like, care about and love has been by far the most difficult part* of living abroad.

    *A not-very-close second: having some kind of sporting event to watch every single day on an HDTV — I haven’t had that at all since we’ve been gone, and definitely miss it, too. I always have to wait until 6pm or 7pm on the weekends for sports to begin. But I am lucky that I have my Slingbox so that I can watch USA sports when they are on. In fact, I’m watching the Bengals lose to the Steelers right now. I’m sad, I know…

    That said, living abroad has been an amazing journey and experience. We have had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in two different cultures, meet new people and make new friends, learn about different ways of life, learn more about ourselves, and travel to many amazing destinations. If I was asked today if I would do it over again, absolutely I would.

    Wow, I’ll be back in Cincinnati in 21 days. It hasn’t quite hit home yet, but I’m sure it will soon. I feel both happy and sad about returning home. Happy to be back home, with family, with friends, with familiarity. Sad that our unique adventure has come to an end. But, we have many new and different adventures to look forward to!