Yesterday Ron and I celebrated our first month in Memphis and although there were a bunch of bumps during our transition, we’ve thoroughly been enjoying getting to know our new place. I had originally planned on talking about our strategies for cheaper utility bills and setting up all the boring essentials as Canadians in the U.S. but I’m going to wait until it’s all done so I can pass on as much info as possible. There’s still a ton to do.
One of the biggest challenges to settling down here for me personally is the loneliness. Ron heads downtown while I work from home during the week. I had anticipated a certain amount of isolation and counted on a substantial period of time to pass before we start to make friends, but the contrast between Toronto and our new home has still been a bit of a shock. For the last eight years I lived and worked exclusively in Greektown on the Danforth. It didn’t matter where I was off to, any time I left our apartment I would run into at least one person I knew. Even taking out the recycling would result in a chat (gossip sesh) with one of our neighbours. We loved our friendly little corner so much and that’s one of the reasons why we chose to leave – it had become too comfortable, easy, and familiar for our liking.
When we were considering areas to live around Memphis, we ultimately chose the suburbs and not downtown because it is undeniably safe here, close to a farmer’s market and hiking trails, and the amenities are off the charts amazing. We have a wood fireplace! We’re on a little private lake and you can take out charming paddle boats! There’s a hot tub and infinity pool that don’t set my germ fears on high alert! Did I mention the fireplace?
Our new apartment is fantastic but of course there are drawbacks – the biggest being the near impossibility of getting around on foot. We live off of a sizable parkway, the sidewalks are few and sporadic, and public transit is pretty much non-existent. I tried to go for a little walk during our first week here and a dude pulled his pickup truck over, trying to get me to hop in for a lift. I’m unsure if he had good intentions or not, but I was obviously shaken – and deeply motivated to invest in pepper spray.
I have been able to walk to a neighbouring Starbucks to work and be around people but man, living in the burbs without a car stinks.
That being said, Ron and I have been taking advantage of the early summer vibes here and our free time together is a blast, as always. We’ve browsed some of the best antique markets I’ve ever been to and hiked through beautiful forest, surrounded by seriously stunning flora and fauna. We can already swim outside and the nights still have enough of a chill that we can use our little fireplace. Once we get a car we’ll be booting off on mini-adventures and getting to know the South while we’re living here.
As for meeting people, I’m going to try to insert my awkward self into my community through some new creative projects and hope for the best. Ron has already been accepted as a vendor at the Memphis Comic Expo this year (!!!) and we’re really looking forward to participating in more creative events in the area.
Anytime Ron and I travel somewhere new, I check out the Design Sponge City Guide to see if they’ve featured my destination. Often a like-minded local pro has prepared a list of interesting local businesses, restaurants, and landmarks to check out. I’ve always found it a great way to get started with plans and the Memphis Guide was the perfect introduction to the city. It’s going to take some time but we’re so looking forward to becoming Memphis pros too.
P.S. Give us a follow on our Facebook page if you want to check out more from our adventures!