Learning to Love Where I Live

Branford Trolley Trail Nature Path, ConnecticutGirl modeling in natureGirl modeling in natureBridge at Branford Trolley Trail Nature Path, Connecticut Girl on bridgeBranford Trolley Trail Nature Path, ConnecticutKim and DanBranford Trolley Trail Nature Path, ConnecticutGolden hour at Branford Trolley Trail, ConnecticutBranford Trolley Trail Nature Path, Connecticut

Can I share a confession? When we first moved here, we felt instant buyer’s remorse. Although to be clear, we haven’t bought a house here. We’re simply renting an apartment. But still, our current town hadn’t left a desired first impression.

Perhaps we could blame our upbringing, which had created high expectations. Dan and I were lucky enough to grow up in the same, beautiful suburban town with picturesque colonial homes where every family owned golden retriever puppies and hung an American flag on their front doors. We had been spoiled for our entire lives and are fully grateful for having grown up in such a nice town. Not everyone has that opportunity, after all.

Fast forward to now. Our everyday commute includes driving past multiple liquor stores, car dealerships, chain fences, tacky billboards, a trailer park neighborhood, cemetery, and burnt down/boarded up buildings. Not ideal. Technically, our town is a suburb, yet the main street is so heavily commercialized. Obviously, it could be way way worse, but remember how spoiled we were before?

How can we make the best of our situation? Well you know us, we love to explore and discover the best in new places. We weren’t going to let some sad first impression of our current town define where we live, which is why I bring to you, this beautiful nature walk shown above.

We discovered this walking trail about 10 minutes away from our apartment. Being outside on this trail was refreshing and probably the most beautiful walk we’ve ever taken in all of Connecticut. The path took us over marshes and laid out an intimate view of the tidal wetlands, inhabited by shore birds and crabs. In the distance were views of Long Island Sound and rocky islands.

Finally, we felt at ease and remarkably happier. While we still deal with noise pollution and the unsightly views of the main street from our apartment window, at least we can say that we have found an easy escape to it all.

How do you feel about where you live?

Interested in seeing more of Connecticut?

You’d like the Branford Supply Pond and Chatfield Hollow State Park.

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    • August 8, 2017 / 8:14 am

      Right? We love visiting this place now!

  1. July 24, 2017 / 1:41 pm

    This is great – I love this post! Also, the lighting on those photos is amazing 🙂

    I hated it in NYC when I got here and I found a lot of the same thing – when I could escape and get outside it helped me relax. I can’t do it as often as I want but there are still little places to escape. For example, I’m on the east side and I can walk along the river. I can get to Long Island City by transit where it’s pretty quiet with great skyline views. I have tried to find things that I appreciate about the city and get into more of a community here so I don’t feel so alone.

    I think, a lot of it is about attitude. You can go anywhere you want and hate it and be miserable but it takes an attitude shift and a decision that you will make the best of it.

    • August 8, 2017 / 8:27 am

      Thanks Rachel! NYC life sounds pretty hectic, so I can imagine how hard it would be to adjust if you’re not used to it. You’re totally right in saying that your outlook and attitude towards life will make or break things!

  2. Amy
    July 24, 2017 / 1:41 pm

    Glad you’ve found ways to love your current location. That is so important!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • August 8, 2017 / 8:46 am

      Thanks Amy Ann.

  3. July 24, 2017 / 2:07 pm

    I’m glad you found something beautiful and I hope you find more beautiful spots! I was born in LA, lived there for ten years, moved to Beijing, lived there for eight years, and now I’m in Philadelphia. Of all three cities, I feel most at home in Philly. I love it! Maybe it has something to do with my newfound independence in college, but I think a lot of it does have to do with the city 🙂 I graduate in one year and wouldn’t be made to stay in Philly for a little while longer! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • August 8, 2017 / 8:49 am

      Wow, you have been all over the place! Glad to see that you like where you currently live. I have been wanting to visit Philadelphia, being only like 4-5 hours away. Freedom from college definitely helps and you’ll love your first year out even more (like me)! Thanks for your comment, Audrey!

  4. July 24, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    WHAT?! I’m so jealous that you have such a beautiful spot just 10 minutes from your home! Having lived in Philadelphia and New York, I understand driving by unsightly scenery. That’s the price of living in the cities, unfortunately. I’d love to see more of beautiful spots as you find them in Connecticut !

    • August 8, 2017 / 8:55 am

      Oh boy, I can’t imagine living in Philadelphia and New York, since I’m complaining over this little ugly section in Connecticut!

  5. July 24, 2017 / 2:33 pm

    I love how you took what you had and made it an opportunity to explore and find gems. Love the bridge shot! I’m sure you will continue to find amazing spots around the area to help you fall a little bit more in love with your new home town little by little.

    xx Yasmin

    • August 8, 2017 / 8:59 am

      Thanks for the sweetest message, Yasmin! That is just what I’m hoping for!

  6. July 24, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    Great post, thanks so much for sharing <3
    Alina // alinacorona.de

    • August 8, 2017 / 9:01 am


    • August 8, 2017 / 9:02 am

      Thanks Nina!

  7. July 24, 2017 / 2:52 pm

    Such beautiful photos! What a lovely location! Looks like a dream. Very relaxing and peaceful!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Much love, Len

    • August 8, 2017 / 9:05 am

      Glad you liked the photos, Len!

  8. July 24, 2017 / 3:18 pm

    I got this when I moved to Iowa for college. I thought “there is nothing to do here, what will I do?” but after meeting great friends and focusing in school it all got so much better! I hope it gets even better for you girl!

    My Vogue Style | http://www.myvoguestyle.com

    • August 8, 2017 / 7:51 pm

      Aw that’s a great story. So glad you met friends in college! Thanks Camila!

  9. July 24, 2017 / 3:39 pm

    This place looks like a paradise! Lucky you guys!
    Love, Paola.

    • August 8, 2017 / 7:51 pm

      Thank you!

  10. July 24, 2017 / 3:56 pm

    It’s so beautiful, I love this sunset! How could you not love it?! And yesss I would love to see more of Connecticut 🙂


    • August 8, 2017 / 7:53 pm

      Thanks, Violette! This is probably one of the prettiest places in my town!

    • August 8, 2017 / 7:56 pm

      Thank you, Dominique! We are settling in well now!

    • August 8, 2017 / 11:19 pm


  11. July 24, 2017 / 4:33 pm

    This path looks SO nice. This post makes me miss green (NYC is pretty grey…). I love that you’re headed in with a positive mentality. And hey, lots of liquor stores just means more wine to try!

    🍉 Pia

    • August 8, 2017 / 11:31 pm

      Thank you for your positive note! Sorry, NYC is definitely more grey than where I currently live, there’s no debating about that… and you know what, you are completely right about having more wine to try! I love the way you think.

  12. July 24, 2017 / 4:38 pm

    I totally get where you’re coming from, it can be so hard to adjust to somewhere new – especially when you were so much in love with your old town! It sounds gorgeous, by the way!

    I feel that way sometimes about the town I live in, but since I travel loads for work I usually end up places where I really appreciate my town and I love it for all it’s quirks! Ha!

    I hope you’ve had a lovely Monday,

    • August 11, 2017 / 5:44 pm

      So glad you understand! Love that you can find ways to appreciate your town too.

  13. July 24, 2017 / 5:24 pm

    This post really struck a chord with me, I too struggled to settle in to the area where I live at the moment. Your advice about making the best of the situation by exploring and discovering is a good way to adapt and that nature walk looks so pretty. Great post, thanks for sharing!

    Camille xo

    • August 10, 2017 / 7:01 pm

      Aw Camille, I hope you’ve adapted eventually! You deserve to be happy too 🙂

  14. Adi
    July 24, 2017 / 6:16 pm

    I’m glad you found that trail! The pictures are so stunning!
    Adi xx

    • August 10, 2017 / 7:06 pm

      Thanks Adi!

    • August 10, 2017 / 7:10 pm

      We love walking here because of the gorgeous view!

  15. July 24, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    Wow…your pictures are beautiful! I totally understand the adjustment it takes to a new place, glad your adjusting well.


    • August 10, 2017 / 7:22 pm

      Thanks Monica!

  16. July 24, 2017 / 7:33 pm

    the happiest I’ve ever been in terms of living location was when I lived right off a major running trail – it was so easy to walk around, meet people, and get exercise. since living in atlanta, I’ve lived in very traffic-heavy areas where walking isn’t as pleasant but I do love our home and being close to city amenities. I’m so glad you’ve found a nature trail and hopefully it will continue to make you guys happy! the pictures are gorgeous.

    • August 10, 2017 / 7:28 pm

      We would love to live right off a major running trail, rather than having to drive to one. Although, I can see the convenience of living in the city as well. Hope you enjoy wherever you’re living now! Thanks for the comment 🙂

  17. July 24, 2017 / 9:04 pm

    I bet adjustment is hard but I love that you made the most of it! There’s always charm no matter where you go! And Kim, I LOVE your cardigan!!


    • August 10, 2017 / 7:32 pm

      Thanks Rachel, you are so right. Charm can be found anywhere! And thanks! I have another post written for this cardigan too.

  18. Keri Elaine
    July 24, 2017 / 9:07 pm

    I completely understand what you mean! It’s funny how once you find a little corner similar to your previous home, whether its a familiar smoothie place, park or mountain to hike it make everything better.

    Keri Elaine

    • August 10, 2017 / 7:33 pm

      So true! We all gravitate towards what’s familiar!

    • August 10, 2017 / 7:36 pm

      Yes, isn’t it the best time to photograph?!

  19. July 25, 2017 / 2:07 am

    So worth exploring your area! Looks so serene here!

    Vivian | LIVE . IN . LOVE

    • August 10, 2017 / 7:36 pm

      Yes! Glad we found this hidden gem.

  20. July 25, 2017 / 6:34 am

    Really nices pics ! Great you found that spot so close from your house, enjoy it !
    The light is really beautifull on that pics !
    I bet you will discover a lot more on that area

    • August 10, 2017 / 7:44 pm

      Thank you, Carolina! We are hoping to discover even more places this summer 🙂

  21. July 25, 2017 / 6:38 am

    I have had the opposite experience – I grew up in a bit more of an urban, gritty environment, so I can tell you that there is still beauty in rundown places! I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying your time at your new location more. The new trail definitely helps. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is always challenging, but you’re doing a great job xx


    • August 10, 2017 / 7:50 pm

      I bet there is! I would love to hear more about your story someday, Quinn. Thank you for all your support! You’re really kind!

  22. July 25, 2017 / 7:58 am

    Love that walking trail, it’s beautiful to be outside surrounded by nature. It’s always hard in the beginning to settle down in a new place at least you found something to escape. Have a lovely day

    xx Simone
    Little Glittery Box

    • August 10, 2017 / 8:47 pm

      Yes, we love nature! It makes everything better 🙂

  23. July 25, 2017 / 12:59 pm

    I love that you guys found this little haven so close to your place- definitely important as you’re adjusting to a new city (and one with so many changes from what you’re used to)!

    Le Stylo Rouge

    • August 10, 2017 / 8:31 pm

      Thanks Ashley! This new trail has definitely given us more positive feelings towards our current town.

  24. July 25, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    It looks absolutely beautiful, you’re so lucky to live here! And your photography is great!


    • August 10, 2017 / 11:28 pm

      Thank you! We love coastal Connecticut!

  25. July 25, 2017 / 5:09 pm

    It looks an amazing place! So romantic 🙂 I’m happy that you finally got to love where you live… I love my home but not my little town and definitely not the people of this town.. but I don’t think I’ll live there forever 🙂
    Have a nice day,

    • August 10, 2017 / 11:36 pm

      This place was perfect during the sunset! I think loving your actual home is more important than loving your town, but loving both would be ideal.

  26. July 25, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    You both are as gorgeous as the place is.

    • August 10, 2017 / 11:43 pm

      Thank you! What a sweet message.

    • August 11, 2017 / 5:45 pm

      Right? Nature at its finest.

  27. July 25, 2017 / 9:06 pm

    I love your positive outlook and how you went to find the good in where you live! And you’re so lucky to have this beautiful place so close to you. These photos are absolutely beautiful, and it looks like a dream!

    Kara x | http://karascloset.net/

    • August 11, 2017 / 6:11 pm

      Thanks Kara! We are so happy to have found this place!

    • August 11, 2017 / 6:11 pm

      Yes, we went right after work to catch the sunset!

  28. July 25, 2017 / 11:44 pm

    I am LOVING the shots taken of you! The lighting, background, your outfit, and everything looks on point! I feel like I would feel the same if I moved to a non-city area. Glad to hear that you both are making the best out of your situation and discovering the good things you have around your community! I feel like I need to move to a better neighborhood because I’m tired of most of my neighbor’s XD.


    • August 11, 2017 / 6:43 pm

      Thanks Nancy! I hope the neighbors don’t bother you too much!

    • August 11, 2017 / 6:58 pm

      Thanks Monica!

  29. July 26, 2017 / 9:14 am

    I’m so glad you found a lovely little walk where you live to make it more enjoyable! There are loads of small parks and ponds in my area which I love to escape to whenever I feel like it. Beautiful photos as always!

    Heather xx

    • August 11, 2017 / 6:59 pm

      Thanks Heather. Happy to hear that you have parks and ponds near you!

  30. July 26, 2017 / 10:25 am

    good for you! i like where i live but it’s not somewhere i see myself living forever. this makes me want to go out and see what else it has to offer!


    • August 12, 2017 / 8:09 pm

      Yes! Definitely venture out of your neighborhood and maybe even out of your comfort zone! I was hoping this post would encourage other people to find new spots around their own towns and make their own memories.

  31. July 26, 2017 / 11:32 am

    I grew up in (and still live) in a rural area. There may be a beautiful farm in one spot and a trailer park in the next. The picturesque neighborhood with the American flags hanging form the front porches is a dream for me and one I hope I can create that for us! Although our area is mixed, we love living out in the “country” and having our own space! Just like you, I just find the beauty wherever I can!

    Pumps and Push-Ups

    • August 12, 2017 / 8:12 pm

      Rural areas sound so nice to me, because the homes are spread apart and there’s so much nature around. Knowing you, Brooke, you’ll definitely achieve the dream of a picturesque American home! Thank you for your comment!

  32. July 26, 2017 / 2:59 pm

    Definitely agreed with this post! We just have to make the best of what we have sometimes! And you look amazing btw! 🙂

    xo Tina

    • August 15, 2017 / 7:46 am

      Thanks Tina!

  33. July 26, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    I’m glad that you’re finding a reason to love your place and discover new beauties in it. Hope you find more and more to love!

    Characters & Carry-ons

    • August 15, 2017 / 7:48 am

      Thank you for your sweet message, Joyce!

  34. July 26, 2017 / 4:15 pm

    This is a great read. I find every town has their perks and down falls. It is nice to try to make the most of the situation. And if it still isn’t the right fit, the option of moving isn’t too far out of the picture! That’ the nice thing about renting! I have moved several times. Each one was an experience I am grateful I had, and each one taught a lesson. Then to find the one place that feels so homey… It is the best feeling of all. Thanks for sharing! Xo, Ellese


    • August 15, 2017 / 7:50 am

      Thanks Ellese! You are so right. Renting gives you opportunity to test and try out new places!

  35. Kate
    July 26, 2017 / 4:28 pm

    I think this is quite a common feeling when you move to a new town – I’ve definitely experienced something similar. It’s so great that you’re seeking out new places that make you feel better about where you live – this one really is beautiful! x

    Kate Louise Blogs

    • August 15, 2017 / 7:53 am

      It must be! I think everything takes some getting used to. We’ve finally settled in now. Thank you for your comment, Kate!

  36. July 26, 2017 / 5:17 pm

    WAIT WHERE DO YOU LIVE?!?! I grew up in Utah and recently moved to Connecticut and have been STRUGGLING! I could definitely use some tips on how to appreciate it more! I feel like the area we live in is kind of ghetto too haha. You’ll have to guide me on how to appreciate it haha


    • August 15, 2017 / 7:56 am

      We live by the shore in the New Haven county. Maybe we live by each other!! And thanks for the idea. I have been wanting to write up a Connecticut guide soon! I have only ever lived in Connecticut so I don’t know any other way of living 😉

  37. Gabrielle
    July 26, 2017 / 5:53 pm

    I can understand why it would have taken some adjusting to – but I’m so happy to hear you’re now feeling more at home in your new location! Adoring the symmetrical shot of the bridge by the way, wow!


    • August 15, 2017 / 8:17 am

      Thanks Gabrielle!

  38. July 26, 2017 / 6:24 pm

    These photos are amazing, and I’m so happy to hear that you found such a beautiful place close to where you live!


    • August 15, 2017 / 8:18 am

      Thank you, Valerie!

  39. July 26, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    I’ve literally grew up and lived in the same neighborhood my entire life (besides moving away for uni) so I’m very familiar with it and probably thus love it. Also pretty spoiled since it’s a nice neighborhood. Ahh, that sounds amazing that the both of you have decided to explore and find nice views and the positives about your new neighborhood! It’s definitely a super cute trail and it’s beautiful for photos ! I hope the both of you take the time to adjust and soon you’ll enjoy your new place. xx

    Simplee Nikkie

    • August 15, 2017 / 8:19 am

      Thank you for your comment, Nikkie! Hope you can adjust to wherever you move next! We miss our hometown a lot (but visit our parents every month!)

  40. July 27, 2017 / 6:09 am

    Totally with you there – sometimes it can be hard to love a new place that isn’t all that great. Learning to enjoy where you live can be so important to your happiness though! It’s worth the effort to do some exploring.


    • August 15, 2017 / 8:23 am

      I’m with you. Thanks for your comment, Kendall!

  41. July 27, 2017 / 1:09 pm

    what a gorgeous spot! It is always nice to find a place close to home you love 😉


    • August 15, 2017 / 8:29 am

      Yes, we go back to this place every few months!

  42. July 27, 2017 / 1:26 pm

    I have buyer’s remorse now and then. Where I’d really like to be living is in a city but we’re in a suburban town in MA’s north shore. I feel a bit spoiled because this is someone’s dream town. Easy access to the beach, all the seaside charm, and it’s walkable with a vibrant arts scene. But it’s just not my dream town. I try to make the best of it because the rest of my family loves it.

    • August 15, 2017 / 8:32 am

      Whaaaaaat! Christa, that town sounds like a dream for us! Seaside charm, swoon! Of course, I hope you find someplace that’s more YOU because that’s what matters for you in the end!

  43. July 27, 2017 / 2:58 pm

    Nice to hear you’re finding little gems in your new neighborhood. I’m loving the photos, Kim! The lighting is perfect – Dan is a great photographer!

    cabin twenty-four

    • August 15, 2017 / 8:44 am

      Thanks, Eena! Dan has really improved! And I’ve improved at posing and giving art direction too!

  44. July 28, 2017 / 12:53 am

    Aww.. I loved reading this post. Finding the perfect location to live can be quite challenging. I feel like at times, I prefer living in an urban area cause it’s where everything is “happening”, but some idealistic part of me likes the idea of living in a suburban location cause it’s just so much more cozy and calming for the soul.


    • August 15, 2017 / 8:47 am

      There are certainly advantages to living in either city or suburb! It really depends on what you want in life! Thank you for your comment, Atsuna!

  45. July 28, 2017 / 3:43 am

    That nature walk is so beautiful – how nice that you have something so peaceful close to your apartment and that you are looking at the positives rather than the negatives. It took me a while to settle where I live but now I could not imagine living anywhere else 🙂 Have a nice weekend!

    Miriam xx

    • August 15, 2017 / 8:48 am

      Thank you, Miriam! So glad that you love where you live now. We have been settling in and finding our favorite places to relax. Doing so really improves our wellbeing and happiness.

  46. July 28, 2017 / 6:19 am

    I loved reading this post and yes I would love to know more about Connecticut! 🙂 The pictures are beautifully captured as usual! <3 And I am glad that you are adjusting well! 🙂

    • August 31, 2017 / 6:43 pm

      Thank you Shivangi! And you are rare, as I don’t think many people care to know about Connecticut, haha.

  47. July 29, 2017 / 6:17 pm

    This sounds a lot like where I live. Of course I grew up here, so I’m used to it. It’s not the most visually pleasing place, but there are some scenic gems if you know where to go.

    • August 31, 2017 / 6:44 pm

      I bet every place has a scenic gem nearby, we just need to be curious enough to find them!

  48. July 30, 2017 / 10:35 pm

    I mostly grew up in Texas, and for most of my life I dreamed of the day when I could get the hell out of Dodge. After I graduated, I moved to San Francisco, and then after I got married, we moved to DC. And now, we’re living abroad. So many people have asked me where I think I’ll end up settling down, and my answer is always, “Texas.”

    Outside of Austin, Texas is pretty off the radar in terms of places to live, but that’s why I love it. It has a quiet beauty (and the best ever food) that not many people outside of Texas know. In all my travels, West Texas is still in my top 5 most favorite places I have ever visited. Of course, I didn’t truly appreciate this until I moved far, far, away.

    I’m a firm believer that it’s less about the place, and more about the people, the memories, and the simple moments. Even when I travel to some exotic destination, my favorite memories are actually rather mundane: petting a kitty, eating a good meal, a laugh shared with the hubby, a room with air conditioning (!!), a sunset. All things that can be experienced anywhere in the world, exotic backdrop optional.


    • August 31, 2017 / 7:04 pm

      Thank you for your beautiful comment, Veronika! I was the same way where I didn’t fully appreciate my hometown until I left for college. Now, it’s one of my favorite places, because I love the feeling of comfort and being at home with family. So I love that your heart still takes you back to Texas where you grew up. That is the sweetest thing. Even from my small state of Connecticut, I’ve heard that Texas has great food! Austin is definitely on our bucket list. Hope you get back to your roots in Texas someday!

  49. August 1, 2017 / 9:43 am

    I think it’s always hard to find something to love wherever we live, especially post the ‘honeymoon phase’ of living there. Glad you guys found something to like about the area that’s not too commercialized. Beautiful photos, as always! 🙂

    • August 31, 2017 / 7:05 pm

      Thanks Teesh! Luckily we didn’t have to look too long or hard for a beautiful, relaxing place in our new town.

    • August 31, 2017 / 7:06 pm

      Thank you, Kyle! Sunset is such a pretty time to shoot.

  50. August 9, 2017 / 12:59 pm

    I understand your feeling, because for me, my living location is quite important and does affect my mood. I am very lucky to be living in one of the most beautiful cities in England (not biased at all!), but as you well show here, we can all discover the nice areas of our neighborhood, a cute café, a peaceful walk in the forest, and even some of the places you describe as ugly would make for a cool photoshoot backdrop for my blog, hahahaha. I hope this place grows on you, guys, and that you feel happy there for as long as you have to be there 😉 Sending much love from rainy England

    Saida | She talks Glam

    • September 6, 2017 / 8:43 am

      Thanks for your sweet message, Saida! Just like you, Dan and I are homebodies, so our living location affects our mood greatly too. I am so happy to hear that you live in such a beautiful city! We will have to search for some cute cafés soon and be more open towards the “ugly” things, since you are right, they could make great backdrops! 😉 Thank again for sharing your perspective. It was so lovely to read.

  51. August 12, 2017 / 3:18 am

    What gorgeous photos! such a beautiful trail! Ive only driven thru Connecticut, lived in MA for most of my life and now live in CA. Will be moving back to MA soon, but want to explore some of Connecticut!

    • August 31, 2017 / 7:41 pm

      That’s awesome for you to be able to explore both coasts! Good luck on the move!