Well, I *am* going to relocate in the next few years, up to the Hudson Valley, so I've thought about this very question quite a lot.
Hands down, I'll miss the people the most. I have a community and many networks here, full of wonderful people whom I love deeply or at least am extremely fond of. And actually there's even the people I don't *know* per se but who are part of my life here-- the vendors at the farmer's markets and the clerks at stores and waiters at restaurants, where we don't even know each others' names in some cases but there's always a friendly hello.
I'll miss summers here-- the Reston farmers market, the U-pick at Great Country Farms, Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods at WT, all the WT concerts, Screen on the Green, opera dress rehearsals, Capital Fringe...summers in the DC area are really pretty magnificent.
I'll miss museums that are actually free.
I'll miss the quirky stuff. Artomatic (if it ever happens again), the Peeps diorama contest, Fringe, AVAM, BOUND, Obscura, the Crucible, the Drunkhouse, the Red Palace, being in the home of the 48HFP. I love that DC has this veneer of boring that underneath is teeming with freaks and nerds and subversive artists and free spirits. I love catching glimpses of license plates or bumper stickers that are geek/nerd/freak shibboleths and knowing that Hey, Those Are My People.
I'll miss the Rudes. =( And I'll miss the DC theater scene for its incredibly rich nonprofessional theater scene and its very very fuzzy line between professional and nonprofessional theater. It's a wonderful place to build a performing career, in that sense.
I'll miss being so close to the nation's capital. It is, admittedly, pretty cool to be so close to the inner workings of the country and so many famous buildings and locations.
I'll be sad to have so many more miles between me and Virginia Beach, which is one of my favorite places in the world so far.
I'll miss the beauty around here. For all its planned communities and strip malls, northern VA is really extraordinarily lovely and green. I love the changes of the seasons here, and I even have a little teeny fondness for the way everyone goes batshit insane the instant there's even a hint of snow.
It's still very scary to think of leaving and it makes me really sad to think of not having all these things around me every day, but I felt the same way when I moved out of Manhattan and I know that it won't take me long to start putting down roots in the Hudson Valley when I get there. It's a fear of change, and the sadness of knowing that a big chapter of my life will be closing at that point. But NY has always been my ultimate home, and I never planned to be away from it for so long. It's where I want to settle for the rest of my life, the place where I will finally-- eventually-- have the house and land that I plan to stay on for good, where I no longer have this sense of being in transit, unsettled. But ideally, it's also a home base from which I can travel to see the people and places I miss.
OK. Enough wistfulness-- time to get back to packing.