Moving to Vashon Island. Switching communities...

I blogged this for my other blog Miles in the Middle. Then I figured I would share it here as well.

Vashon is not far from Seattle, but people often ask us how changing locations has changed our friendships. So moving from Seattle (after living there for 4 years) to Vashon has shifted things. Here is how.

  • It is now the topic of a lot of bullshitting.

Acquaintances ALWAYS ask us about Vashon. They don't care, as far as I  can really tell, but it's like the topic that passes for giving a shit. It's really really annoying.  "So Vashon huh. You guys really like it?" or "Vashon. So are you guys going to stay."  WTF.  It never occurs to me to ask that question when someone moves to Seattle, but I guess moving to an Island is more baffling?!

  • Some people simply will not visit us.

We have lost some friends in this move.  Sadly, there are people who simply never leave Seattle, these people are NOT coming to Vashon. Not even if they walk on the ferry and we pick them up. Not even if they could morph here. It just isn't happening for them.

They might also be people who go hiking every weekend, or who will drive for hours on end to go skiing. But for some people we too close to make a visit too but too far away for it to be easy.  This is a larger pool of people than you would think!

  • Visits are now better visits.

Despite the previous comments whining, We have solidified friends in this move, the people who visit us now do so for more than an hour- for 4 or 6 hours! That's some real quality time.  And, since we are a family that deeply values quality conversation over frequency it works for us.  It also allows us to be our introverted selves without needing excuses.  We simply aren't going to socialize every weekend. On Vashon, people don't expect it.

  • And of course we just have new friends.

Of course we have made friends here too! When you have kids you have friend magnets.  So meeting people here has been pretty easy. Remarkably easy (for us) in fact.  I mean, when we lived in Seattle I year we had only 1 real friend (Junia was born when we had been there a year and only 1 person brought food).  We have lived on Vashon now for a year and have a handful (who would bring us food ,for example, if we had a baby).

  • When we go to Seattle we are more present 
I realize that the tone of the email is kinda whiny.  Sorry about that.  The other thing is that we are not seeing people as much either. Run ins don't really happen, and we have to really choose who we see in Seattle. The thing for us that people who have opened their space to us have been the easiest to see. We have a handful of friends that we are comfortable "dropping by on." So when we are going to be in Seattle for awhile and have some time to kill we will invite ourselves over.  That has actually been awesome some friends are totally game for that!

We do not like the Catholic Church on island. It's not our style. We thought we would make it to St. Mary's more. But it isn't happening. What is happening though is that 1. we are enjoying church more when we show up. Even though our church has some MAJOR problems we appreciate it more.  2. We are making church something we also do at home.  

So that's that. It isn't exactly like switching neighborhoods in Seattle (which strangely a LOT of Seattlelites never leave their neighborhoods either) but moving to Vashon has shifted things, for better and for worse.


  1. We are debating the move from Seattle after 3 years in Greenlake area. Are there any other hesitations we should think about beyond the ones you have pointed out or those that instantly pop up?

  2. SoundMom, thanks for being in touch! This is a great question. I also keep another blog that I go into a bit more detail about commuting, childcare, and in general life on the Island - it should help you go in depth into a couple other areas. If you have specific questions leave me another comment somwewhere on my blogs and I am happy to share!


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