What makes Greater Phoenix so great: Brita Nelson
June 2018 marked my four-year anniversary of living in Greater Phoenix. Every year around this time I reflect on my reasons for making the move across the country and how much my life has changed for the better, thanks to the people I’ve met and the place I now call home.
I grew up in Minnesota and had always dreamed about living somewhere without snow. I knew that if I didn’t move soon after graduation, I would settle into a life in my home state and it would get harder and harder to leave. So, without a job lined up and without a place to stay, I packed my car with all of my belongings and drove across the country to Phoenix saying, “If not now, when?”
“Many of my new friends were surprised to hear I’d move to the area in the middle of the summer. But I quickly found that I didn’t mind the heat, especially compared to Midwestern winters.”
Moving across the country by yourself can be scary and I feel lucky that I chose such a great place to live. The people of Greater Phoenix have been so welcoming and I’ve met amazing people from around the country and the world. They’ve moved here for jobs in many of the growing industries in the region or to attend school, while others, like me, just come to get out of the cold. With everyone coming from somewhere else, people tend to understand what it’s like to move to a new place because they’ve done it too, and they are welcoming and helpful to newcomers.
Many of my new friends were surprised to hear I’d move to the area in the middle of the summer. But I quickly found that I didn’t mind the heat, especially compared to Midwestern winters. I learned that summertime is perfect for hanging out in the pool (there are over 28 public pools in Greater Phoenix, and many homes and apartment complexes offer their own) or enjoying a late outdoor dinner under the stars, and the misting systems at most restaurants with patios.
What I began to like the most about living in Greater Phoenix was the quality of life. We have more sunshine than other metro areas in the country, a low cost of living and so many ways to enjoy our amazing region.
The over 200 miles of hiking trails mean there’s always something new to explore. Hiking to the top of Camelback Mountain or watching the sunset from Hole-in-the-Rock at Papago Park, have become some of my favorite outdoor activities. When I’m not outdoors, I love attending the home games of one of our seven professional sports teams, or exploring the growing nightlife in our region.
There are new businesses and restaurants popping up all over Greater Phoenix and I love trying the new foods and activities that they bring in the area. Whether it’s heading to taco festivals in the fall, ice skating downtown at CitySkate in the winter or swimming in the pool at day clubs during the summer, there’s always a cool experience that makes Greater Phoenix a fun and vibrant place to live.
After four years, I am known to say that moving to Greater Phoenix was the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s the place where I’ve found a career I love, lifelong friends and a place to call home.
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