Telecommuting from the mountains
For years, my wife and I have talked about moving to the country. We desperately dreamed of a rural life—connected to nature, contributing to a community, attentive to a place.
Getting there has proved difficult. In fact, life has steered us the opposite direction. Academic opportunities lured us from rural Pennsylvania to small-town North Carolina to suburban Boston to metro DC. As our career prospects improved, our quality of life plummeted. We grew more and more unhappy with the city’s crowded neighborhoods, long commutes, expensive lifestyle, and alienation from the land.
We had to get out, before life pinned us down within the city limits. Practicality be damned, finances be damned, common sense be damned; we were determined to escape the urban gravity well. With no clear future in mind, we made tentative plans to cut our ties in DC and retreat to familiar Pennsylvania. There, we could lick our wounds and start fresh, broke but hopeful. By late July, we were days away from bugging out for good.
It never came to that. A last-minute reprieve came through: a new job opportunity from my employer. They invited me to do design and development full-time, and most importantly, they offered to let me work from home.
Suddenly, all our calculations changed. We shifted instantly from mountain dreaming to mountain planning. After all, if all other things were equal, why not telecommute from somewhere we loved? This new gig presented an unusual opportunity to move to our ideal place.
But where would we go? How would we choose? What makes a place “ideal”? Next time, I’ll explain how we settled on a new hometown—how we scouted our route to the mountains.