One of the biggest concerns we had about moving back to the United States was the accessibility to traveling. Living in Italy, I was spoiled rotten with how convenient & affordable it is to be at a beautiful coastal town, or hillside town of Tuscany, or in downtown Rome & Milano within hours.
We are a couple that likes to stay busy, we like to experience new places, we like to eat & drink. Naturally, because of the size of the United States, it's not as easy to do these things on the flip of a dime. You have to plan, mark the calendar and prepare for it. I do recognize this could be vastly different for others, depending on where you are living. I imagine that in California, it might be a bit easier to hit the beach, mountains and countryside much faster than it is from Atlanta, Georgia.
With that being said, we here in the south are blessed to have the Smoky mountains at our fingertips. We can hop in the car and be at my families, mountain cabin of serenity in about 4 hours driving. (about the same time it takes from Milano - Roma by train). I have never been a "nature" person, I like cafe's, museums, shopping, lots of activity, people watching way too much! BUT, I do love taking a break from chaos every once & awhile. In Italy, we went to the beach or to Tuscany. Here, we head to the Smoky mountains and soon to the beaches of Florida. Taking in some fresh air & sounds of the river helps to put me back into the mindset of taking it easy and not trying to do so much.
I am thankful we are able to go here whenever we want, eat good food, see family and get some R&R. Hopefully my husband will continue his good luck streak and catch a fish every time we visit.