After more than a year on the road, this couple found the perfect place to call “home” in the Hudson Valley.
When Kate Worthey and her husband, David Lurie, first got engaged, they sat down and created a five-year plan. First, they picked a wedding date — but prior to settling down, they dreamed of taking a big adventure.
“We mapped everything out…then COVID happened,” Kate says. “And, of course, every single thing on that map went right out the window.”
Like countless others, Kate and her then-fiance hunkered down in Brooklyn during the pandemic. When it first started, they began to work remotely and had spent more than a decade in the city. Even if they couldn’t go on the adventure they’d originally imagined, they needed a change — so they dove in.
“We put all of our stuff in a storage unit, bought a car, and drove cross country,” she says.
Seeing the sites, from coast to coast
In October 2020, they set out and, for the next 18 months, traveled from coast to coast. During their trip they made lengthier stops in 19 locations, including New Hampshire, Colorado, North Carolina, California, Washington, and Tennessee.
“We wanted to see the country — but we also wanted to see what it would be like to live somewhere else…to find a place we’d actually want to stay in,” Kate says. To get a feel for different communities, the pair rented Airbnbs along the way, staying for at least a month at a time in each. They wound up falling in love with Asheville, North Carolina where they — along with Finan, the mini Australian Shepherd they adopted early in their journey — got married mid-trip.
“Finan did the entire road trip with us,” Kate says. “But it was so sad — at the end of each longer stay, he hated leaving the house. It became a running joke. We weren’t just looking for a house. We were looking for a house for our dog.”
Beyond just what Finan liked, Kate started noticing patterns in what felt right and what didn’t — specifically that the places they liked most had amazing access to nature and a solid food scene.
Charting their next steps
With a better understanding of what they wanted in a hometown, the couple put together a spreadsheet and rated each place based on their must-haves — great nature and great food, in a dog-friendly community close to an airport and a short drive to at least one side of the family.
“We loved so many places we stopped over at,” Kate says. “But we kept comparing them to New York — even though we knew we didn’t want to wind up back in the city. One day, we started talking about the Hudson Valley. It wasn’t part of our road trip, but we’d been taking annual birthday trips there for awhile — and we loved it.”
As they started thinking about it more, they realized how many of their boxes the Hudson Valley checked.
“We’d be close enough to the city,” she says. “There’s amazing food. There’s amazing access to nature and the outdoors.”
Having grown up in a small town, Kate also loved the vibe of the Hudson Valley villages and the sense of community they felt every time they visited.
Exploring the Hudson Valley — like locals
Now set on the Hudson Valley, Kate reached out to Suburban Jungle and connected with Strategist Alli Levine. Their goal? Dig into the area like locals and find the exact spot to call “home.”
“For the next six months, we explored,” says Alli. “Kate booked different Airbnbs throughout the Hudson Valley and they quickly narrowed in on exactly where they wanted to be. Then they began their house hunt — and despite it being such a competitive market when they were searching, they found an amazing home.”
In October 2022, Kate and her husband closed on their new home in Hyde Park, and quickly started settling in.
“We went on a journey we thought would go in one direction,” she says. “It definitely wasn’t linear — or what we expected! — but it took us exactly where we needed to be. We’re so happy. We even have a fenced in backyard that’s perfect for Finan. He’s having a blast.”
Want to start your adventure in the suburbs? Get in touch today and we’ll match you with a Suburban Jungle Strategist to help you every step of the way.