I get asked three questions from out-of-towners on a rotating basis.
- Was it scary to quit your job and move out here by yourself? The idea was terrifying the actual move was surreal and frankly, the best decision I’ve ever made
- Are there a lot of drugs out here? Yes, but I’m not much of a druggie so I rarely come across them
- How do you live off $10.25/hour? The only things I spend money on are rent, groceries, gas, and the occasional night out
What people don’t realize, especially when it comes to the cost of living in Summit County, is that out here the majority of the daily activities are free or have a minimal fee. I spend my days hiking, skiing, going for a run/walk, going sledding, and generally spending as much time outside as possible.
Sure cities offer a multitude of free activities, but when I was living in Chicago, especially during the winter, I found myself spending a lot of money on frivolous things that I thought
I needed to make myself happy. Things like leopard print skinny jeans
(sound as ugly as they look…), a ridiculous number of pumps and purses, expensive cocktails, $25 lunches on Fridays with coworkers (miss those, but can’t believe I spent that much money on LUNCH!), and cabs (probably upwards of $60/week on cabs!).
Living out here, I’ve found that the need I felt for certain items has disappeared and has been replaced with the urge to go for a late night walk to look at the stars (so cliche, but I’ve never seen stars like this!), go for a run on a remote trail, hike up to the back bowls, embrace $3 PBRs at the Snake
, what have you.
I may not have the money to eat out every night, buy that fancy new jacket, or get my nails done every week; but I do have a fantastic quality of life that brings me to a level of happiness that I rarely witnessed when I did have that money. I mean, how many people can say that they skied for three hours on Monday before heading to work!? It’s less about the money, and entirely about living life in a way that brings you a mountain of wealth in terms of happiness.