Wanderlust at Heart
By Debbie Lagestee • Photos by Valerie & Ed Photography
Most people would agree 2020 was a crazy year for everyone. For Anna Marie Imbordino and Edward David, the craziness stretched beyond the pandemic and lockdowns. Early in 2020, they devised a plan to move from the Chicago suburbs to Charleston in the spring. Of course, the pandemic hit and they were faced with a decision. Put the move on hold or follow through with the plan. As a couple with an adventurous spirit, they chose the latter. In April, they packed up their home, said goodbye to family and friends, and headed south, all while Anna Marie was 7 months pregnant. Upon arrival, they lived in a hotel for the first two weeks and then moved into their home in Carolina Bay. It has been a year since their move, and they are happy living in the community with their 10-month-old baby girl Luciana aka Lulu. They also have 3 dogs. They are papillons and actual siblings Sygmund, Frederick, and Cortana. Although moving during a quarantine was not an ideal way to meet their new neighbors, they look forward to getting to know those in the community better this year. Feeling like they escaped the Midwest, they love being surrounded by nature and the beauty of the Lowcountry.
Edward and Anna Marie met when they were in 7th grade. Their first date was at the Halloween Dance when they were in 7th grade. However, they officially started dating in 8th grade, and they continued dating through high school. They both had lofty goals and ambitions and found support in each other. Edward explains, “We pushed each other in a good way.” As they grew up, their relationship flourished. Edward proposed while they were high school seniors. They were married in Oakbrook, IL in September 2006. They have been together for 21 years and married for 15 years. Their friends and family labeled them the couple who hops in the car to drive to an adventure.
Anna Marie has a BA in Music Performance and has certifications in Ballroom Dance, and has been a competitive American Rhythm and American Smooth dancer. She spent time traveling and touring as a musician and performer, singing in landmarks, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland, and St. Peter’s Basilica, The Vatican City, Rome, Italy, with classical choirs. Anna Marie also has a BA in Arts and Entertainment Communication (Marketing/PR). As an entertainment publicist, Anna Marie worked on projects with The House of Blues Chicago, Live Nation, The Chicago Windy City Bulls, The Chicago Blackhawks Convention, the 60th Annual Golden Trumpet Awards, and more. Anna Marie is a multi-award-winning publicist and entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Chicago Buzz Marketing, an advertising agency supporting clients in the Arts, Entertainment, and Hospitality sectors. With the many challenges the past year has brought to the entertainment industry, she looks forward to pivoting and moving in exciting new directions.
Edward obtained his training in Computer Science from DeVry University in Chicago, IL. He developed his career as a data scientist through hard work and training. Always passionate about science, math, and technology. Ed started off as an administrative temporary employee until landing his first role with First Health Coventry in Downers Grove, IL. His first position was as an Assistant in Statistical Analytics. He grew into process improvement and process management, receiving training and certifications in Six Sigma. Edward held the position of Senior Operations Analyst for Aetna (now Walgreens Corp.) until 2016. Ed transitioned to Evolent Healthcare, based in Arlington, VA. He works remotely as a Senior Data Scientist and Statistical Engineer. Edward loves all Chicago sports, and he is a die-hard Chicago Bears and Chicago White Sox fan.
Anna Marie and Edward are intentional with their adventures. They make an effort to take a trip every quarter. Their motto is, “Sailboats are safe in the harbor, but that’s not what sails are for.”
They love open road-type adventures because they discover unexpected things and places along the way. Anna Marie elaborates, “It’s about challenging your comfort zone and not being afraid to sail off.” They have driven coast to coast on road trips. They love the outdoors and are always on the lookout for amazing hikes and waterfalls. Baby Lulu is already in on the action as well. They take her hiking and are introducing her to nature. She loves the ocean, splashing in pools, and she loves animals, especially dogs. This past fall, they took her on her first road trip to Cumberland Falls, Kentucky, where she saw her first waterfall. On weekends, they enjoy their family time exploring locally.
When they are not on an adventure, Edward and Anna Marie work together on antique restoration. They are love restoring the beauty to old pieces. While living in Illinois, they shared the hobby of flipping houses. They are passionate about rejuvenating old homes’ charm and bringing value to the property, adding their creative flair. They view each home as a custom artwork. Someday they hope to resume their hobby here in Charleston.
Anna Marie and Edward took a chance and moved away from everything they have ever known during the most unprecedented time. They held tight to their dream and made it happen. “There is beautiful magic in trusting your instincts,” reflects Anna Marie. Having wanderlust in their hearts, they have seen many beautiful places. That same wanderlust has led them to a beautiful new place to call home, raise their family and seek their next adventure.