Leaving California & Moving to a Small Town in Missouri


California coast


Am I crazy?!? 

I seem to have somehow turned my life upside down in the last few weeks. Totally topsy turvy. It’s been completely insane, and maybe I am too.

My grandchildren, son, and daughter-in-law have settled in to small town life in Missouri. I miss them terribly and  thought I would end up there at some point, but always felt anchored to this place where I was born and have lived my life for almost 62 years.

And then, three things happened within a few weeks: 

  • My friend died. She had been trapped in a body she couldn’t move and unable to speak for years and being her friend through this process has been a long road. Now she is free of her earthly body and I found myself feeling kind of floaty with new empty space in my life.
  • The University of Santa Monica (USM) discontinued it’s Master’s Program and I will no longer be needed as a volunteer. I have spent at least one weekend a month in this beloved environment since 2009 and will soon be grieving the loss of these special times and the amazing people I have had the privilege of working with.
  • And then, just before I left for my grandson’s graduation in Missouri, I got a surprise cash offer on my house that was very, very tempting.

It seemed as if God was giving me plenty of signs that leaving CA was the right thing to do.

The next week I was in MO for my grandson’s graduation and it was a rollercoaster ride of looking at houses, making big decisions, offers that were too late, looking for rental options when none existed, and a last minute opportunity that I made an offer on.

A few days later I cancelled escrow on the house when the inspection revealed some serious issues I was not comfortable with.

I might be leaving, but my fear of becoming homeless was getting stronger and stronger.  

But, that same night I negotiated a deal on a “for sale by owner” property I liked, but felt was overpriced. I was back in escrow again.

leaving CA and moving to small town Missouri

This is a good move for me: 

  • I will be near my family for the first time in years and get to enjoy time with my grandchildren
  • My house will be mortgage free and my financial future more secure
  • My business is portable since it is mostly online and by phone
  • I feel like I really needed both a new adventure and a fresh start
  • Life seems quieter and slower there, which may be just what I need
  • The small town I am in is really cute and only a half hour away from a city that is regularly on the Best Places to Retire lists.

It’s all good. 

And now, I enter a season of goodbyes. To people, communities, my hikes in the hills, places I love, and half of my possessions.  I can live with that because soon it will be a season of hello’s as I make new friends, find my place in a new community, explore the area, and build a home sanctuary.  Thanks to email and social media I can stay connected to all.

I will always love California.  It’s in my blood. I’t’s just time for a new adventure. 

Goodbye sweet California. I will miss you.

House image: © 2017 Linda Luke

31 thoughts on “Leaving California & Moving to a Small Town in Missouri

  1. Flora Morris Brown says:


    I celebrate your new move and adventures with you, knowing that your California life will always be a part of you too. The universe spoke loud and clear to you in the last few months. Although I’m going to miss having you in CA,I’m so glad you listened and acted on that very strong pull. Besides, as long as we have the internet and telephones, it doesn’t feel that far. And warning: since MO is my home state I now have another person to visit when I’m there.

    Let the fun begin! Yay!

  2. Teri says:

    Oh my gosh, Linda, what a whirlwind adventure! While I know you will be missed in California, it sounds like this is the perfect move for you in perfect timing, and I send you much Light ahead for a smooth, graceful relocation. I have already been priced out of the L.A. rental market, and may be leaving the West Coast myself soon, for Colorado…at least for a while. I hope our paths will cross again in the future, dear heart. Much love to you! <3

    • Linda Luke says:

      One thing about the cost of living here is that it allows us to feel really wealthy when we move somewhere else. I will be at USM next weekend and hope to see you then.

  3. HEATHER WECK says:

    ….Can we all go with you????!!!!!!!

    We need more photos of your NEW HOME Miss Linda!!!…whenever you can get ’em on-line. This is so Wonderful…you are really living your Dream.

    …and by doing so encouraging all the rest of us to step a little further into ours.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Inspiring and so courageous. I do understand all of it. Light ahead beautiful one!! Love you!

  5. Susan Cherry says:

    You are not crazy!!! Sounds a wonderful plan!!!! I am planning 8 weeks road trip across the states… Lots of planning.. You inspire me!!! Will you keep doing your work (Life Coach) while you live in Missouri??

  6. How exciting for you, Linda. I wish you well on your grand adventure. Sometimes listening to what the universe is trying to tell you offers grand opportunities. I imagine it will be a bit of a culture shock (which you’ve probably experienced big time living in CA for the past 62 years already anyway), but a fun experience for you. I’ve been through a bit of a similar experience myself recently.

  7. Lynette says:

    A fond farewell to the physical you I have had the pleasure of seeing twice a month, and a big hello to the adventure that will be the virtual you. Peace, Love, and Light.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Having left California after 42 years I can assure that there is an afterlife I have found it to be strange and wonderful at the same time. Light ahead for your new life. Tom Petty
    Said it for me ” some things you carry, some things are lost” You might be surprised by what each will be for you.

  9. Penny Braund says:

    Congratulations Linda! You are not crazy. You are ready for a new adventure and you will do well. We can stay connected on FB and email. Hugs, Penny Braund

  10. Christina says:

    Linda, what a wonderful adventure you have before you. I left California 10 years ago and never looked back. Living in a different environment and taking life at a slower pace has proved to be a good decision for me. I’m happy for you and wish you all the best with this new chapter in your life.

    • Linda Luke says:

      That is exciting to hear. I feel like my heart is already in my new home as I play out these last few weeks here. Thanks to you, I now know it can work.

  11. Lisa Barker says:

    Hi Linda- I’m Lisa, a USM’r (MA- 2009, CHH 2014)- my story has a few similarities. I’ve now lived in Santa Fe for almost 2 years. it was the weekend we were studying attachments- including positive ones…. I came to Santa Fe on a Monday that May to meet my new granddaughter (now 2, then 2 weeks old) . By Saturday, I was under contract to buy my home here. Being near my 3 grandkids has been an ineffable blessing…. light ahead! Grace, ~Lisa B

    • Linda Luke says:

      Thanks for sharing your journey with me. Grandchildren open our hearts and apparently help us let go of attachments as well. Keep enjoying your life with your precious granddaughter.

  12. Just Plain Marie says:

    It’s wonderful when everything lines up, just as you’re starting to worry if it will go wrong. What an exciting adventure! 🙂

  13. John Soden says:

    We had a similar move 5 years ago because of a corporate move to Dallas, TX. As it turns out, we have been blessed with new friends, an improved economic situation, and whole new areas to explore. Though it is still difficult to figure our North, East, South, and West because there are no mountains or oceans to reference, we are happy with the change. I think you have made a wise decision and will be very happy with your move. I believe your grand children will be very happy to have grandma around.

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