If you run into Christine Searle this winter (at, say, Peet’s Coffee) she may be a bit windswept. That’s because she walks almost everywhere—to get groceries, to Chamber meetings, even the dentist and doctor. She’ll tousle her short hair, laugh, and tell you she never needs a hat because her locks keep her plenty warm.
“I hardly use my car. Arlington’s walkability helps me have a healthier lifestyle,” she said.
Christine moved to Northern Virginia 45 years ago, just before her freshman year at McLean High School, when the military transferred her father. As an adult she lived in Fairfax and Falls Church for years, commuting to work in DC as an auditor at American National Red Cross.
“My best friend owned a condo in Arlington. She knew I wanted to shorten my commute and buy,” Christine said. Her friend went to an open house to scope out a place in Ballston, and it turned out to be just right for Christine.
“It’s absolutely Nirvana. I have it all,” Christine said. She’s now lived there seventeen years and plans to age in place for as long as she can.
“Once I quit my job and started my own business, I realized how I was even more in the right place than I ever realized,” Christine said.
Her work includes tax preparation and other financial services for businesses, nonprofits, and individuals. Being part of Arlington Chamber of Commerce has helped her build her business, Searle Business Solutions LLC,—and connect with others who care about giving back to the community.
Christine volunteers for OAR, ASPAN, and other Arlington nonprofits. “I feel lucky to be in a place where the community really cares,” she said.
That caring extends to affordable housing. Christine points out that being able to afford to live where you work means less money needs to be spent on transportation.
“You can’t solve a problem until you recognize it,” she said. “We’re a step ahead of some other locations, and I like being a small sliver of that.”
Show your support for making Arlington a place where people from all walks of life are welcome and can afford to live by joining the Arlington For Everyone campaign.