There are actually some remarkable similarities. While you can visit a place many times or go out on numerous dates with your mate-to-be, you likely will never really know them until you get married.
At a certain point, a leap of faith is involved in choosing a mate or a place to live. You have to gamble that both the facts and your intuition are right. Even after years, you might not know if you have made the right decisions.
Eventually, you come to the point of choosing to make lemonade out of any of the lemons you have found in your life or making radical changes.
I am happy to report that I haven't had to make much lemonade either with living in Carteret County or with my soul mate.
When we started looking for a place, we did it together with the knowledge that no place is perfect.
We also began our search with the thought that time is of the essence which means that if we were going to try something new, now was the time.
Neither of us wanted to be stuck as our parents had been in their homes of many years without having tried a few of their dreams.
So we started looking for a new place to call home for at least part of the year.
We had some rigorous criteria.
First, the place had to be warm, but it had to still keep us in touch with the four seasons.
Second, our new spot had to have a growing economy where I could perhaps find a job and keep making some money.
Third, we had to be able to see water just about all of the time.
Fourth, the people had to be friendly and enough of them had to live in the area year round so that we could have some neighbors.
Fifth, we had to have more services than when we lived in the Canadian boonies. We wanted a reasonable selection of restaurants and stores that could be reached in minutes and not hours.
Sixth, we wanted to be relatively safe from day to day risks. Having survived temperatures as low as minus forty and seen plenty of storms, floods, and blizzards, we are respectful of mother nature, but not the types to hide on the Canadian Shield while waiting for the end.
Seventh, we sought an area where we could have an active outdoor lifestyle with places to hike, walk, bike, kayak, boat, and swim. We did not want taking part in those activities to involve a lot of extra effort or travel.
Eighth, the place had to have interesting people and places. We wanted an area where not everyone was born there and never moved away. We also wanted museums and places of public interest that could keep us having fun even when the weather turned nasty.
Ninth, we sought a spot where every day of our lives we would be reminded of how beautiful our world is.
Tenth, our spot had to be affordable and a good investment.
After much looking, we found Carteret County. It has turned out to be a wonderful spot with beautiful beaches, wonderful trails, and plenty to do in good and bad weather.
It is a gorgeous area which I appreciate even more. These are some photos I took during our first two years.
We like Emerald Isle so much that we wrote a travel guide about it and included information about Swansboro and Beaufort, two of our favorite places.
Helping people learn about the area including the history of the White Oak River makes me feel closer to the area and hopefully brings to Carteret County more people who care about protecting the area's the area great beauty and priceless natural resources.
Carteret County has exceeded our expectations (and we are still here in 2018).