I can't believe that it's already been three months since I moved to Virginia Beach! I feel like I blinked and the first 90 days went by. Although I share small day-to-day updates week week in my Midweek Ramblings posts, I thought it might be good to get all caught up on how everything has really been going since I moved here. (Spoiler alert: very good!)
Photos by Ashley Marie Photography
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A quick outfit note to start: I found this dress on a sale a couple months ago at LOFT and loved it! Definitely something that I can wear to work, but also dress down more for weekends. Now that it's getting colder here I'll probably have to put this away for the season, but I am already excited to bring it back next spring! I paired it with two of my favorite timeless Tory Burch accessories: a reversible leather belt and brown crossbody purse.
I can't believe it's already been three months for me in Hampton Roads. I was actively job searching for about seven months before finding this radio job opportunity in Virginia Beach. It was such an interesting experience to be working so hard to find something new for so long... and then suddenly find it and have everything about my life change in less than three weeks! It was a super quick and crazy turnaround time for me to move from Charlottesville to Virginia Beach, but I was more than ready.
So how has life been the past three months? Do I think moving here and taking this new job was the right decision? Did I prefer Virginia life in the mountains versus the coast?
The answers are 1.) Life has been amazing, 2.) Moving here and taking this job is probably ranked in one of the top 5 best decisions I've ever made in my life, and 3.) Coastal living 1000% over the mountains for me! 😊
Let's start with a little geography lesson for if you're not familiar with this part of Virginia. Hampton Roads is the name of the metro area that Virginia Beach is in. There are seven cities that comprise Hampton Roads, all connected by a series of bridges and tunnels (there is so much water around- ocean, bay, rivers and lakes!). The cities of Hampton Roads are Newport News, Hampton, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach is not only the largest city by population in Hampton Roads, but also in the entire state of Virginia! (It has almost double the population of the capital city of Richmond, which is mind-blowing to me.) I live and work in Virginia Beach, but I love how close all of these other cities are. They all have their own distinct feel and unique attractions, and it helps fulfill my constant need for wanderlust to have so many cool cities in one area.
Virginia Beach itself has been so fun to live in and explore! It is a very spread out city with lots of different neighborhoods and areas, and also many beaches! VB is kind of like one giant suburb with various neighborhoods, instead of a traditional big city feel with a large downtown. When people think of visiting "Virginia Beach," they most likely think of the Oceanfront, which is the touristy area with the big hotels and the Boardwalk. While the Oceanfront is fun to spend time at, my favorites parts of Virginia Beach are elsewhere! The Shore Drive area (Chic's Beach) and Sandbridge Beach have become two spots that I've been loving frequenting- these are both less touristy and have more locals that hang out there.
Whenever I do crave more of a city feel, I head to the neighboring city of Norfolk. I first visited Norfolk in 2019 and really enjoyed it, and it's only gotten better living close by! Norfolk does have a traditional downtown scene, with lots of tall office buildings and parking garages. And it's all right by a beautiful riverfront! There is also an awesome local restaurant scene in Norfolk's downtown. (Although I have also enjoyed checking out local restaurants in VB too! Honestly I've eaten very well since moving here.)
My new job still doesn't feel real some days. There are so many more career opportunities for me here than I ever could have dreamed of at my previous radio jobs in Charlottesville or Burlington, VT! This feels like the type of morning show job that I dreamed about having someday when I was still a college radio intern. The first month especially had some stressful days and there has been a lot of learning (as is the case with any new job), but with each week that goes by I feel more settled, and I am truly enjoying things so much. The work event opportunities here are just so cool!
The way that I have been most humbled by God's blessings in this new chapter has been with making friends in Virginia Beach. I've met all of my new friends here through one of two ways: Junior League and Instagram. I'll start with Junior League! If you're not familiar with what Junior League is, it's an international women's service organization with chapters all over the country. I looked into joining in both Burlington and Charlottesville, but decided I wanted to wait until I was a bit more settled in my career/adult life before committing to join this type of organization. The timing was perfect to do it here! I have loved getting to know the other amazing women in my New Member class. It's been so fun to get to know them through official JL events, and also hanging out for dinners and Happy Hours outside. I've only been a member for about two months, but I can't wait for the rest of my New Member year and all the fun and volunteering opportunities to come with these new friends!
The other way that I've made friends here is so crazy. I've had multiple amazing women reach out to me through Instagram that have followed this blog for awhile and lived in the Hampton Roads area! While I have made many friends through the blogging world and Instagram over the years, that's mostly been with other women who also blog or do Instagram influencing. But here I was lucky enough to be warmly welcomed to the area by so many blog readers!! Special shout-out to Emily, Kendall, Amanda and Amanda (yes- two Amanda's! 😊) for being so kind and welcoming. Social media can get such a bad rap sometimes, but when I think about how many new friends I've already connected with in Hampton Roads just from sharing my life on the internet, I am so humbled! What a blessing! I have also gotten to connect with two other Instagrammers/bloggers who were among the first ladies I met after moving- check out Bea and Kelly-Anne on Instagram!
Clearly there has been so much good and excitement in my life since the move! With that said, I have to be honest that it hasn't all been easy. During my first two months here, there were many days when my life felt so in flux and unsettled after the move. I was so happy to be here, but missed my friend community and reliable routines from life in Charlottesville. I've uprooted my life to a new city or state three times in adulthood so far: at 22, 23 and then this year at almost 27. It definitely felt harder in some ways to be "starting over" again with all aspects of my life in my late 20s versus early 20s.
There was something disappointing that happened to me during my third week in Virginia Beach. Normally, I'd consider a situation like this to be a minor disappointment, and then move on with my week. However when this happened, I realized that I didn't really have any new friends in VB yet that I knew well enough to want to talk about this situation with, or be with while I was upset. I suddenly felt so alone, and I really missed my friends in Charlottesville and the other places that I've lived. I ended up being in a bad funk for the next few days. Everything is totally fine now, and I do realize that I probably reacted so strongly to this situation because I wasn't feeling settled after moving in my personal life yet. Anyways- I share that just to show y'all that even though overall things are going great here, life is never perfect! And any move has a transition period with ups and downs.
Okay- this is now getting long so I'm going to wrap it up! I hope you've enjoyed this look into my first few months in Virginia Beach. I can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings!