Finding Your Place
5 June

Finding Your Place


Sitting across the table from the recruiting officer, listening to his descriptive adventures of being an Airdale flight navigator. Our son Carder, at age seventeen was asked what he would like to do for the Coast Guard.  He replied “I.T.” The petty officer, said “Oh, no, you don’t want to do that. You would end up in a dark basement with a bunch of nerds.” If he was trying to stop him from choosing the I.T. career path while serving our country, well then he just said the wrong thing. Carder’s face lit up, with excitement, immediately fantasizing about getting paid to do what he loves. Five years later, he’s currently living and working outside of Washington DC, doing top level cyber security side by side with our nation’s top nerds. He’s making a living doing what he did at home since he was about eight years old. Hacking computer systems and fixing them.


I tell that story to tell you this story.  Sean, the girls and I made our first trip to Savannah in July 2011. We were on a scouting mission to find a new hometown for our family and business. We had a  Google map on my ipad and we drove through every neighborhood in the Savannah area, trying to imagine our family living there. I made an appointment with a collaborative workspace office in downtown Savannah. We were brainstorming ways we could get involved right away so that we could meet people and be able to network with other businesses and entrepreneurs. The man that gave us a tour of the building was enlightening us on the whole Coastal Georgia area.

Explaining the differences between Downtown, Midtown, and Southside Savannah and then he told us about “The Islands”. He strongly suggested against us living on the Islands, especially Tybee. He said “They’re weird people out there, there’s no schools or regular neighborhoods. Those people are just really strange, and they never leave the island. Plus you really don’t want to raise your kids there” Sean and my eyes grew big, our interest was piqued now more than ever.

Just like the advice Carder was given from the Coast Guard recruiter, it only added fuel to the fire of what we were looking for. Speaking words like “weird”, “not regular”  “never leaving the island”… Bells were going off for both of us and we were salivating like Pavlov’s dogs.

Two weeks later we returned to the area, signed a contract on a three month winter home on Tybee, only two doors from the ocean. We figured during those three months we could decide if island life would suit us or not. Once December rolled around and we crossed over the Lazaretto bridge, it did not take long for us to get hooked. Meeting two wonderful families the first night we were here, the O’Brien’s and the Robertson’s. They took us under their wing. Making sure we knew the important things about living on Tybee, especially with kids. From schools, to skate night, favorite restaurants and the importance of taking weekly beach days. They taught us the spontaneity of living here. You don’t need plans to have a party or get together, a quick text and bam! everyone is there.




The first six weeks felt like a really long vacation. As spring came around, we knew we had to figure  out how to rebuild our business in a new area where nobody knows us. 

We would go out a couple nights a week in an effort to meet new people, make connections and try to find our place in an already tight knit small town community. Our kids soon met other kids, we met their parents and they brought us into their groups and invited us to their parties and get togethers. After a few months, people learned about our business and skills we had to offer, we started making our living here. There were months when money was more than tight, but we were finally in a place where we were happy to scrape by, if it meant staying on Tybee. We had a newfound determination and purpose for our family as we found life in our new island hometown. Faith was restored to us, as our prayers were answered and daily provision provided.

I spent many nights and early mornings outside on our covered deck. Soothed by the sound of waves crashing on the other side of the dunes mixed with rattling palm fronds as the breeze would wrap its arms around me whispering encouraging words about plans for a future of hope and not of harm. I welcomed hope back into my life and eventually began to believe in it again.

I’m glad we didn’t take the advice of the Savannahian that suggested we should find a normal neighborhood with regular schools. Its clear that normal doesn’t fit us. Tybee life isn’t for everyone, but it certainly is for us. Wherever you are, keep believing you’ll find the right fit for you. Whether its the right career, school, church, group of friends or new hometown, there is a place waiting for you and your talents to contribute. When you find it, don’t hold back. Share all you’ve got. You’ll be glad you did.


  1. So glad to hear from you again, its been awhile. I followed your blog about your experience & move to Tybee years ago. You are such a good writer. We will be in the area of Jekyll Island in September camping. We plan to check out Tybee when we’re there.

    1. Kathy, I just realized that I had not replied to your comment. Thank you for reading. Please let us know when you come to Tybee. We can share some favorite spots with you! Thanks for reading. I have added a sign up, if you want to add your email to it. I just send a quick email when I have a new post.

  2. It sounds absolutely magical! I’m glad that you didn’t listen to him either……or at least not to the “move to a normal neighborhood part.”
    I find it disturbing that there are people who want to define what is normal or comfortable for others. Marching to your own drummer is the only way to guarantee that you’ll love the music!

    1. Normal is boring…at least it is to me. And that’s ok. Some people really want and need the predictable in their life. I enjoy the spontaneity of always changing and evolving. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  3. Wen you once again you hit the nail squarely on the head. I especially like the part of never leaving the island. That’s one the main things non-Tybee folks really don’t get. Hell most days we act like it’s a hassle to go from one end of our 3 mile island to the other! Please keep writing, it’s a pure joy to read!

  4. I just love your blogs Wen. And you are exactly right about Tybee. We LOVE living there ! And it’s also pretty cool to see my front porch in your pictures (;

  5. We have been told that many, many times by Savannah realtors and others. I don’t know what it is about Savannah but they think that Tybee is a long lost place! Eddie and I love it, we have made many friends on the Island. There is no doubt in our mind that we will one day soon live on the Island. Those are people are right, once you get there you don’t want to leave. That is good thing in my World. Enjoy your blogs and your pictures so much.

  6. Hey Wen,
    Love the post! Reminds me of my move to the Virgin Islands that lasted off and on for 20 years or so… There are island people…. and there are others.

    1. Hi Bob,
      Carolyn and I so enjoyed meeting you and Holly at he Wizard Academy in March. I loved hearing your island adventure stories, but can’t blame you for returning after so many hurricanes. I know that you are both still island people at heart!

  7. Never heard of the island til now.
    I have longed for such a place. Everywhere I have been I have been out of place.
    Still looking for home.
    The years tick away.How many left no one knows.

  8. Love your post. My husband and I made a cross country move to Santa Fe, NM as a dream to have a gallery sell his work. The gallery closed in 2008, however we moved back home and he is doing fine! Reading your blog encourages me to move again just for fun.

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