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Sebring & Beyond

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. Last week I revealed that I had recently spent 4 days and 3 nights up in scenic Highlands County Florida.

I activated the start of a dream that I’ve been dreaming (and blogging about) for the past 7 years. That dream is to relocate and retire near Sebring (the county seat). Shortly upon arrival in Lake Placid my Real Estate Agent and I drove to my dream neighborhood where we toured 5 condos. I selected my favorite one (which was the last one we toured), and I made a purchase offer on it. It was quickly accepted by the seller. I am now 15 days into the 30-day closing process, and everything continues to work out smoothly so far.

My new home is absolutely beautiful and clean. It was love at first sight upon entering it. I had to contain my excitement for it. It’s a 3-bedroom / 2-bathroom 2ND-floor condo in a 55+ active-adult gated-community. It comes fully-furnished, and the furniture is newish. I met the husband-and-wife owners of the condo. They bought it in 2022, and they refurbished and modernized it. They were pretty much done with that, so they put it on the market a couple of months ago. (I had been tracking it online since the start of the year.) They will continue to live in the neighborhood, buy vacated condos, refurbish them, and sell them for a small profit. (The husband is a retired Civil Engineer.)

The neighborhood’s homeowners’ association requires a background security check and vote before being accepted as a resident. (They will find absolutely nothing in their investigation of me.)

If all goes well then the final closing date should be during the week of St. Patrick’s Day, and I will drive back up there to be physically present for that, and be handed the keys to my new home. I’ll also have a trunk-load of personal belongings with me, as I will begin moving-in that same day.

It’ll be a slow and gradual relocation from South Florida (Miami-Dade County) to South-Central Florida (Highlands County). I don’t retire for another 9 months, so on most weeks I’ll live and work down south from Sunday mornings to Wednesday afternoons, and I’ll live and work up north from Wednesday evenings to Sunday mornings. My commuting distance will be 186 miles, and that’s about a 3-hour and 20-minute drive. Each drive northward will be another haul of my personal belongings. Eventually the drives will be less-frequent, and I’ll spend more time in Sebring than not.

I’m looking forward to the change in lifestyle, and the change in region. This will be the first time since I lived in the United Kingdom 35+ years ago that I’ll be living in a rural area (versus suburban). I’m moving to a 1,106-square-mile county with a total population of just over 100,000. Right now over 100,000 people live within about 5 miles of me. (Over 2.7 million residents call Miami-Dade County home.)

Sebring will also be the first time in exactly 30 years – and 2ND-time in my life – that I’ll be relocating to the city / area of my choice. Back in March 1993 I relocated to Melbourne Florida – because I wanted to. 30 years later I’m relocating about 100 miles away from Melbourne – because I want to.

I can’t believe that this is finally happening, and I owe it all to my Lord + Savior Jesus Christ. It’s easy to claim that these were my plans for many years, but these were really God’s plans for me. He guided and directed me to the Florida Heartland. I preached about that this past Sunday. “Sebring & Beyond” was the title of my sermon.

Next #TravelThursday I’ll tell you all about my 2ND visit to the main office of the Sebring Historical Society. I’ll be serving with them soon. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2023 Christopher M. Day, CountUp