It’s important to like where you live.
I have grown up, attended college, started my first job, got married, and bought my first house all within a roughly 50 mile radius of my childhood home. I’m not from a small town – Raleigh-Durham is, according to Forbes, the 15th fastest growing city in America. Three cheers for barbecue, the Heels, and minor league baseball.
But, when you do most of your 24 years of living within 50 miles, no matter how quickly the city is growing, you get caught up in the same old, same old, which is one of my biggest fears. I’ve gone through cycles of loving where I live – my two maids of honor live within 10 minutes of my home, my parents willingly lend me yard tools and cleaning supplies that my JV adult self doesn’t know the first thing about, and my community is all very familiar. But I’ve also gone through cycles of boredom, frustration that I’m still here, and tunnel vision that I will live in one place forever. I panic just typing that.
It may just be a millennial itch that makes me want to pick up my things and go exploring. Live in a van by the river, or a brownstone in Manhattan, or a condo by the sand of Newport Beach (I mean if money grew on trees, but you get my point). But, what I have found as I go through these cycles, is that when someone asks, “Where are you from?”, and I shrug, “Durham,” I often get the response, “I love Durham!” I double take. Skeptically, I say, “Why?” And I get all sorts of responses. The foodie culture. The memories made at a university. The offbeat bar scene. When I hear affirmation that the place I live in isn’t the doom and gloom I often give it, that’s when I begin to get excited about where I live.
Recently, I was inspired by something that drove me to start One Day City.
You are exactly where you are supposed to be.
I was walking around Ponce City Market with one of my college friends who moved to Atlanta to pursue her first job, and I stumbled on a print. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. It gave me a sense of relief. Maybe it’s silly that a pretty canvas I saw in Citizen Supply has stuck with me, but it gave me a peace of mind that I don’t need to constantly be searching for and planning the next thing. Contentment is good.
The premise of One Day City is simple. If I had one day to show you around my city, what would we do? It starts with me in Durham. I’m passing the torch to five of my friends to cover NYC, Savannah, Atlanta, Raleigh, and Austin. My ask of them is that they pass the blog to two of their friends. We’ll see how it grows from there!
By seeing cities through the eyes of the locals, we’ll benefit in two ways. As readers, we’ll explore new places and build our own itineraries for our travels. As writers, we’ll brag about why our homes are so darn cool.
Enjoy and Explore!