Brandon and I moved to Knoxville, Tennessee at the end of June 2017. We were over the hour and half commutes in Nashville. We had nothing to do, and basically no friends to hang out with. We were stuck. Brandon is very much an outdoors guy. He loves camping, off roading, mountain biking, hiking, and any other activity that is done in the wilderness. Me, not so much. But while in Nashville, Brandon had a very stressful job and no outlet to relieve that stress.
So naturally, we fought a lot. We were bored. We were miserable. We were stuck. Stuck in this mindless state of driving an hour and half home, sitting on the couch, and staying there. Stuck in a state of miscommunication. Stuck somewhere we didn't want to be.
Nashville was a big step in our lives and relationship. I finished up school at MTSU. MTSU was great for me. I had wonderful professors and classes that helped shape me as a graphic designer and get me the dream job I currently have today. I had great work experiences in Nashville that helped with my employment at my current Knoxville job, and Nashville has some great food.
But after I graduated, things got static. Brandon was at a constant level of stress and I was lonely. We had briefly discussed moving, but we weren't sure where. We looked into moving back to Chattanooga, and even to Raleigh, NC. One day, Brandon comes up to me and says: "Sarah, we're selling the house in 2 months and moving to Knoxville." And I just said: "Okay."
So we finished renovating my dream kitchen and I got to use it for a whole month, woot woot. Then we listed the house and it sold within a week. We bought a house in Knoxville, I gave my two weeks notice to my job, and we started the tedious task of packing. I wasn't upset about moving because while Nashville was a good stepping stone in our lives, it was also a dark time in our relationship and we needed to get out. Anywhere was better than Nashville. Anywhere.
We moved to Knoxville on June 30, 2017 and didn't look back. I'm finally writing this a year later, on August 16, 2018, and I'm happy to say that this has been the BEST decision we ever made. Our relationship has taken a 360 and we are now happier than we have ever been in the 5.5 years of dating. We've joined a great church and made new friends. And we get to enjoy the wilderness whenever we want. Brandon goes camping and off-roading a lot without me, which I'm 140% okay with, and sometimes we go together. He is happier. He is more relaxed. We don't fight anymore.
So this post is about the first trip we took to the Smokies the minute we got to Knoxville. This is what we've been longing for. We packed some books, snacks, and our hammocks and just went.
We took another fun trip just a month later in July, you can see those images here.