As soon as our plans of sailing to blue water became clearer, I (Anett) started having anxiety about moving out of New York City. What’s going to happen if we move out of our apartment? Will we ever be back in the city? Can we stay just a little longer?

A friend helped me put what I was feeling into perspective: leaving on a high note is always the hardest, but also the best time to do so. We were making plans for the unknown when everything seemed to be going so well: our jobs were humming along, we lived in a great, by NYC standards affordable apartment we loved, we had a fantastic group of friends we’d see regularly, we knew the city like the back of our palms when it came to restaurants yet we were always pleasantly surprised by something new. So why would we make a change? The reason was obvious: we were comfortable with our lives, a little bit too much so. Complacency is scary, especially when things seem to be going “well.” We needed to move on, which I knew all along, but it didn’t make leaving New York City easier.

Leaving on a high noteis always the hardest

To balance all things we loved dearly about this place (Friends! The energy! Coffee shops! Cocktails! Rooftops! The high standards & affordability of Asian food! Food any time, any where, really… Speakeasies! Biking to work, museums, parks and so much more) and all things we disliked (packed subway cars, summer heat and winter slush, traffic, $$$ rent, cock roaches although thank goodness our 96th street apartment never had any – a miracle) we had developed a good routine for ourselves and our sanity. While many New Yorkers don’t have a car in the city, due to the traveling nature of Willem’s job we always did, and we used it almost every weekend to leave the noise behind. Our schedules were dictated by the seasons, heading to Jiminy Peak to snowboard during winter months and sailing in Rhode Island over the summer. Unless we were able to con some of our friends into joining our weekend activities, we would only see them on weekdays or spring/fall weekends because we left for our A&W Adventures every single weekend otherwise. After the third year of this routine we knew we needed to get out and experience more – sailing seemed to be the activity that moved us the farthest from our comfort zone. (Perhaps we will be planning something epic related to snowboarding next.)

Here we were, packing up in our almost empty apartment (we procrastinated packing for as long as we could.. spending our last evening in the city having dinner – and dessert! Photo attached to prove it – with friends rather than addressing the million items we still didn’t box up. How did we ever fit so much stuff into 450 square feet?!) and wiping our tears as we took the final photos before leaving. Our first lease we signed together! Where we spent the first 5 years of our relationship! We planned our wedding here, and decorated the walls with photos from our adventures. But now it was time to go.

The best decisionwe've ever made

As we took our final elevator ride down, I asked Willem if this is really a good idea – just needed to hear some reassurance at this point – and I remember his words exactly: “This is the best decision we’ve ever made.” We have yet to learn the end of the story, but I believe him with all my heart.