Visiting back home, after you move

When I moved to Florida, I bargained with myself that I would spend some time every summer “back home.” For me, that is Long Island, New York. I knew Florida would be hot and I felt I would miss my friends and family and all the fun we had.

I didn’t really miss New York yet, but Christmas had been a bit different. Palm trees wrapped in white lights, golf cart parades and time in the pool didn’t remind me of the holidays of the past. So, feeling nostalgic on New Years Day, I booked our Airbnbs for the month of June.

We always enjoyed visiting Montauk so the plan was for two weeks in a pet-friendly cottage near the ocean followed by 5 nights back in the town we just moved from. We coordinated our stay with a friend’s daughter’s high school graduation.

So, what’s it like to go back home after you’ve moved?

It is what you want it to be and maybe some parts are unexpected as well.

I wanted to enjoy the food. We have amazing pizza and Indian food and lobster rolls and restaurants in New York. During our stay, we were able to eat such yummy food that I gained back the 10 pounds I had lost the previous 3 months. It was worth it.

I wanted to see family and friends. One son is living with me in Florida right now so I see a lot of him. I did get a quick visit with the son who lives in NY. Pete was able to see his three sisters, two nephews and the flower girl and ring bearer from our wedding 3 years ago. WOW, how they have grown. We did see our good friends from the neighborhood and I met up with women from BOTH my book clubs and some friends from the school I taught in which was a wonderful treat. We planned enough time to have some good visits.

I wanted a change of scenery and temperature. We sure got that. In Montauk, it stayed in the 60s and 70s with no humidity those two weeks. The ocean was cold and I did take one quick dip but we wore sweatshirts some evenings and that was nice. We even lit a fire in the fireplace one night.

I knew the drive would be long but I didn’t expect Harry to be so happy sitting in the back in his new car seat. That was a pleasant surprise. He usually wants to sleep on my lap.

I knew I sold my house, but I didn’t expect to be so impressed with the beautiful gardens I had planted that were blooming when I saw my front yard. I was actually OK with seeing the house. I had great memories there but it is no longer a part of my future. Being on the beach where Mike died after writing my book felt a little weird. I did think a lot about that time in my life while sitting on the beach one morning by myself.

I didn’t expect to get so emotionally triggered by prom and graduation! Seeing all the signs in the yards exclaiming a graduate lives here or which college they are attending seemed to choke me up as I remembered the excitement I felt when my boys graduated and left home the first time. That window of time you are a mom with kids at home is so short and busy. I can be sentimental as I travel down memory lane.

I had a good cry one night as I reminisced about the wonderful years my family shared in my old home town. I felt sad about what happened to Mike, but I felt a sense of release to let it all out. Sometimes we just need to have a good cry.

I didn’t expect to be so happy to get home to my house in Florida. I am really enjoying my life here and being retired. I don’t think I would be as happy if I had stayed in New York or even if we kept one house up there. It’s like ripping off the bandaid. Once the decision to move here was made, this is where I want to live.

Moving forward, I don’t think I’ll plan a trip to New York for a month next year. So many places I want to travel to are now opening up since COVID is no longer as big a threat. I look forward to seeing family and friends here in Florida and definitely visiting NY for something fun like a wedding, and I am always ready to pack my bags for a girls weekend. Anyone??


At the age of 51 I unexpectedly became a widow. For the first 6 months after my husband died, I was in shock and numb. I journaled and with the help of friends, family and therapists was able to get back to living my old life, even if it is now very different. Before I was married, I had spent a semester in England and backpacked around Europe. My husband and I moved from New York to California for 8 years and started a family. Travelling took a back seat to raising a family and going to work everyday. Since the loss of my husband I have visited a lot of places with family and friends and took a solo trip to Thailand. I am enjoying sharing my stories and adventures as well as some of my insights to how I am traveling the path of being a widow. I hope to share my stories and adventures as well as some thoughts on being a middle aged widow. While I have some great experiences traveling to Thailand and cruising to Central America, some of my adventures involve a trip to see a Broadway show in nearby Manhattan and a shopping trip at Bed, Bath and Beyond. If I can inspire anyone to go out and continue to live a good life that would be my greatest accomplishment.

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4 Responses

  1. Thank you for this! I’ve found a new home in a different state, but struggle to let go of the family home … But it’s an old and gone life.

    • runawaywidow says:

      That’s how I felt once we got our house in Florida. It was perfect for the time I lived there, but I’m into a new chapter now and this one is pretty good too 😉

  2. Karen says:

    I feel the same way…incredible memories, the food and culture can’t be beat, not to mention the friendships, but it does feel good to be at the place we now call “home.” It was great getting together and we’ll see you soon! ❤️

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