“The importance of place is overlooked, underestimated, and insufficiently acted upon. Living in the wrong place is a self-inflicted life handicap. Living in one's right place is the foundation of a fulfilling life. And for each of us, there is an ideal place,” writes Gene GeRue.
For our family, the ideal is place is Duluth.
How We Came to be Duluthians
Tim and I knew Duluth was where we wanted to live, but it took us nearly two decades to follow our hearts after graduating from UMD in the early 1990s. We traveled and worked in Europe, pursued advanced degrees on the East Coast, and finally returned to our beloved Midwest in 2005 when Kristina secured a tenure-track position at a university in Wisconsin.
With enjoyable jobs, a roof over our heads, nice friends, and our first child, life should have felt satisfying.
We felt stuck.
Our hearts just weren’t fulfilled.
We wanted more time together outside with natural beauty surrounding us. We wanted easy access to outdoor activities. We craved simple hikes in the woods. We craved the awesomeness of Lake Superior.
We craved Duluth.
Following Our Hearts to Duluth
We often talked about moving to Duluth, but then the reality of careers, kids, and security would trickle into the conversation. Then Tim’s brother died. I had three consecutive miscarriages. A close friend’s baby died. Those events, while traumatic, offered us a space to reflect on life.
We asked, “How do we want to live our life?”
The answer always included Duluth.
We made the move in 2012, leaving behind good jobs, good friends, and family. Yet, this place feels more like home than any other place we have lived. It’s topography, climate, community engagement, landmarks, and more make it home.
We are proud that someday, when our children are asked, “Where are you from?”, their answer will be, “Duluth.”
--- Kristina Bourne chronicles her family's outdoor adventures in and around Duluth at her blog, Outside In Duluth.