1920s apartment in Sacramento

Summer in the City: Staycation – Or Permanent Lifestyle Change?

Last week, we moved into an Airbnb just 25 miles from our neighborhood. No, we are not doing renovations, nor do we have any other reason why we had to leave our house in the suburbs.

The Empty Nest

With the kids all grown and flown and retirement on the horizon, we’re trying to figure out where we want to spend the rest of our lives. Our house is kind of big for just the two of us, and all that maintenance is getting to be a drag. Downsizing makes sense.

That said, after all these years, we’ve made our home a comfortable spot for entertaining. We’re proud of our beautiful backyard and love how we’ve got room for all the kids to come home with their families.

If we were to downsize, it makes sense to move into a city and get a condo so we don’t have that yard to maintain anymore, but we’d also then be giving up the space to host those happy family gatherings.

You might think it’s a waste of money to rent a place for a month so close to home. But we’ve been intrigued with the idea of moving to the city. So trying on the lifestyle for a month was exactly what we needed.

Our Move to the City

Sacramento has grown up from the sleepy little town I first encountered when I moved to the region 35 years ago. It’s become a comfortable, charming and easy-to-navigate city. My husband works across the street from the state Capitol. We know the city fairly well, as my now-deceased parents lived for a decade in a downtown condo here and our daughter, son-in-law, and only grandchild live about two miles south.

We originally looked into renting a city apartment for a 6-month trial. It was tempting. However, we realized that only one of our two geriatric cats would likely take the move in stride. And then we added up the tab: $3,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment and all the associated costs. Hmmmm, we thought. How many vacations can we take on $18,000?

And then our son let us know that he and his wife, who live in Austin, wanted to take their remote jobs to our house for the summer to skip the Austin weather. He misses our California mountains. Could he and I live together again for that long? We have a good relationship, but this was a real concern.

My husband and I talked about vacationing for a month to Mexico, where he could take a Spanish-immersion course. We have friends in San Miguel de Allende which is a beautiful place to visit (seriously, check it out sometime).

How We’re Doing

Taking a month off of work is a challenge, so the thinking transitioned to “hey, let’s just live in Sacramento for a month!” We know someone with a couple of short-term rentals and here we are! We’ve just finished our first full seven days.

Husband is walking to each morning, rather than working remotely as he generally has the past 2.5 years. I think he’s happy to be back in the office, although it sounds a bit lonely. Every day is unique for me as I try out different activities available to me here.

It’s been fun so far and we probably need more than a month to know if it’s the right move for us. I’ll post another update in a week.

Our stats living here so far:
Dining/Drinking/Coffees Out: $396
Entertainment: $23
Groceries: $159*
Babysitting: 1
Avg Steps/Day: 11,838
Museum Memberships Purchased: 1

*Don’t ask me why this amount is so high since we’ve hardly cooked. We also brought some items from home.

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