My wife and I moved to Tallahassee from Atlanta in 2004, and making the move was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever made. We both loved our jobs, had a great circle of friends, lived in a nice condo in Buckhead and took advantage of a lot of the great restaurants & culture Atlanta provided. We even had a Friday night tradition of going out for Thai food, and there were so many good options we almost never ate at the same place twice.
But we never read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution because we didn’t follow local politics or care about Atlanta news. When we went to the grocery store we never recognized anyone. And looking ahead to our future in Atlanta we knew we could live there and do well but would never break out from being just another commuter stuck in traffic. And what about schools for our kids or an affordable house to buy?
When my wife’s parents encouraged us to consider moving to Tallahassee my initial thought was “#$@! no!” But the more we thought about it the more we were drawn in by the promise of being part of the fabric of a real community. We loved the idea of no traffic, affordable homes in good neighborhoods, and great public schools for our kids. And we wanted our children to grow up near their grandparents, which neither of us had the opportunity to do.
So we took the plunge. And it wasn’t an easy transition. I can still remember one of my first lunches after moving to Tallahassee at one of the two Thai places in town. The food was really awful. I mean, it was terrible. Had we made a mistake?
But we powered through. We got involved, met new friends, and we built the perfect starter home for us. After our first daughter was born my mom moved to Tallahassee from Memphis, where she had a similar relationship with that town as we had with Atlanta.
Now our two daughters have two sets of grandparents living within a few miles of our home. We see them multiple times per week, and they are truly a part of our lives. We are very happy with the public schools our daughters attend. We pick up the paper and know what’s going on, and we have to build in extra time for our grocery trips because we’re guaranteed to be slowed down by conversations with friends. And 14 years after moving here Tallahassee has no fewer than 9 Thai restaurants, many of which are every bit as good as anything we ate in Atlanta.
We are part of this community now, and we are better for it.
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