Reminiscing on my three weeks inÂ Northern California and looking through these vineyard photos, I started thinking about all that I’ve learned about appreciating the town and area IÂ grewÂ up in. Growing up in Wine Country, I’m embarrassed to admit that from the age of junior high on, I couldn’t WAIT to get out of the small town I lived in. I was impatient to live somewhere “bigger,” somewhereÂ “with more going on.”
At age 18,Â I went away to college, eager to have new experiences and to live in a new (bigger) city. After two years at a college in central California, I moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a career in the music industry. I had always dreamed of living in Nashville, but once I got there and settled in, something never felt quite like “home.” Although I loved living in Nashville, I learned SO much about appreciating the small (and beautiful) town where I’m from.
So, I thought it would be interesting to round up 6Â things I’ve learned growing up in wine country– that I carry around with me in my life, travels, and experiences.
1. Spend the extra money on high quality food! It’s worth it.
As you guys know, this is something I’m really passionate about. Personally, I would rather have high quality organic foods than an expensive purse or shoes. Growing up in wine country, my parents taught me from a young age about the importance of high quality food and ingredients. We had a large garden growing up that I’m embarrassed to admit I boycotted. I HATED having to spend hours watering the garden. Today, the opposite is true! I appreciate my parent’s garden immeasurably and whenever I’m home I love to spend time picking fresh veggies for my meals. At the end of the day, ingredients matter. We only have one body, so I believe wholeheartedly in purchasing organic ingredients that will lower the inflammation response in our bodies and in turn, promoteÂ long and healthy lives.
2. There’s something wonderful about going to the grocery store and running into friends.
This might sound silly, but I never knew how much I LOVED this until it stopped happening to me! I remember being younger and wanting desperately to get through the grocery store without having my Father stop to talk to different friends, every few minutes. I was most likely hungry and wanting to get home to eat, ha. Now, I long to do the same thing! Living in Orange County, I don’t find this happening to me very often (or ever)?? Granted I’ve only lived here for under two years, but I know one day I will really appreciate living in a small town where I run into my friend’s sister’s Mother in the grocery store and catch up on life.
3. Family is one of the greatest joys of life!
This one almost goes without saying, but I knew I had to throw it in here. If you have the pleasure of living close to your family, that is a blessing and I’m jealous. ð I’m very close to my family, and I can’t wait for the day when I have the pleasure of living close to them again!! I don’t think I appreciated living close to my family until I moved across the country and didn’t get to see them as often, but now I definitely hold this close to my heart.
4. Getting out in nature for the day will make you feel better.
This is something HUGE I notice every time I have the pleasure of going home. Everything is SO green! While living in the city hasÂ many benefits, I always notice thatÂ up north, the air is clearer and smells fresher, the trees are calming to be around, and that there’s something so refreshing about being surrounded by nature and vineyards. It’s definitely something I took for granted but now find so much joy in. If you’re feeling like you need to clear your head, get outside! Even just for a walk, preferably in nature. You will find that you come back from the walk or hike in a better mood than before. It’s an amazing (and cost effective) way to feel refreshed.
Are these things that you can relate to? Did you appreciate your hometown growing up or did it take you moving away to truly appreciate it?
I would love to hear.Â ð
P.s. On a completely different note– this Fresh Laundry dress is my newest obsession! It’s BEYOND comfortable and very versatile! It’s literally the softest dress I’ve ever owned. I am positive I will be wearingÂ it repeatedly. Shop it here or via the link below!