Laura, the kids and I have made the decision to move from San Antonio, TX to Tennessee. Dandridge, TN to be exact. We’ll be moving “officially” in mid-June, once the kids are out of school for the year. It’s bittersweet. On the one hand, we are looking forward to the new adventure, but on the other hand I will miss my family tremendously.

I was born and raised in San Antonio. Laura, however, was born in Delaware and moved to San Antonio in 2004. Just a few months before we met. I had always dreamed about moving somewhere else, but once I turned 40 a few years ago, I pretty much assumed that the time had passed.

About a year ago, Laura went to visit her Aunt Becky who currently resides in Dandridge, TN. She fell in love with the area. We followed up that trip with one last summer in which we all went to visit, and we all fell in love with the area. The weather is good, there are a lot of good outdoor activites, and the cost of living is better.

For as long as I can remember, there has been this image in my mind of the ideal place where I’d want to live. I recently realized that for the past decade or so, whenever we would take a trip to Disney World I found myself wanting to stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. I realized that the image that I had in my mind of my ideal place to live closely matched the theming of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. The feeling that I get when I’m at the Wilderness Lodge is the same feeling that I get when I’m in and around Dandridge, TN. Dandridge is a short drive away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the entire area feels like it was part of the inspiration for the Imagineers who designed the Wilderness Lodge. I had found it. I had found the place that I’ve dreamed of my entire life.

Even though this move could potentially mean one of my dreams coming true, there are still a lot of things that cause me great concern and worry. My two youngest kids are in a great school at the moment. They are thriving. Moving to Dandridge means having to enroll them in a private school in order to ensure that they have a chance at a good eduction in that area. Will they thrive just as well in that school? Will they feel welcomed in that new environment?

Then there is the issue of my oldest and his daughter, my first grandchild. There is no mincing words on this one. I’m going to miss the hell out of both of them. As of this writing, Lizzie is almost 6 months old. And she loves playing “Bonk!” with me. That’s not a game that lends itself well to FaceTime.

There there are my parents. I love them with my whole heart. They have been so good to me my entire life and I know that I would not be where I am without them. They aren’t getting any younger, nor will they be here forever.

I will miss my brother and his wife as well. He’s the best brother I could have asked for, and he’s a great uncle to my kids. He’s pretty much the only uncle my kids know. Laura’s brother isn’t involved in their lives, so my brother is all they have. He isn’t a fan of children, but my kids would never even know. He makes them feel like the most important kids in the world.

Finally, my wife (who is disabled) will need to find all new doctors in nearby Knoxville, TN. Will being 30 minutes from Knoxville cause any issues in regards to any health emergencies? Will her doctors in Tennessee be as good as, or better, then her current doctors? We could argue that a) it currently takes us 30 minutes to get just about anywhere in San Antonio as it is and b) she may be able to access the Univerisity of Tennessee medical school for care which may lead to her being able to take advantage of advancements in medicine sooner. Only time will tell on any of these fronts.

But the best news is that my employer (for the past 19+ years) has agreed to allow me to work remotely from Tennessee so that I can continue doing the same job that I’ve been doing with the same team. They have been very accomodating and I couldn’t be happier with their flexibility.

Well, wish me luck! I am about to embark on the scariest yet most exciting adventure of my lifetime!