On this Valentine’s Day, I want to tell you an Arizona love story. A love story of how two people fell in love and settled down in Arizona.
Okay. Not really. I’m just going to tell you how my husband and I ended up in Arizona and why we decided to make Arizona our home long-term wise. I will then proceed to tell you some pros and cons about Arizona living. Let’s start with my husband, since technically he is the one who brought me here.
Arizona was the first state he arrived in when he moved from The Motherland (D.R. Congo) to the U.S. with his family. His sister had already lived in AZ with her husband for some time. They first lived in Tucson, but later on moved to the Phoenix area. He went to college and grad school right here in the valley, and now he is a young professional with a striving career.OK. My turn. I first came to Phoenix with my family on vacation in 2001. I was living in Dallas, TX at the time. We came and visited a friend of the family who lived in (what I thought was paradise) Scottsdale, Arizona.You know that quote that says:
I say this because for some, when they see Arizona, all they see is brown, brown, and more brown. (a common comment on my Youtube videos). But for me, when we first arrived in Phoenix, I was in awe. All I saw was beauty.It was paradise. It was just so beautiful and peaceful, so since that day, it was on my “to live in one day” list. I was impressed by the mountains, the desert life, the palm trees, the great outdoors, and the clean streets. It was just appealing to me. I even applied to Arizona State University, but decided to go elsewhere for college.”One day,” I thought to myself. And sure enough, that day came.I met my husband in Dallas when he came in town to visit a friend (now brother-in-law). He told me he lived in Phoenix and I was impressed. Fast forward years later, we started dating–long distance. I know. What were we thinking, right?Well, love and God brought us together because we made it through four years of long distance and Okay…I’m getting carried away here with the love story, aren’t I? I apologize, I suppose Valentine’s Day got to me, huh?
Back to the topic.
So clearly love brought me here, but why did we decide to live here and call it home when we could have chosen to start our lives together anywhere else?
#1: DESIRE & COMFORT
The main reason would be simply because my husband was pretty much already settled here and I was willing (more like READY) to leave Dallas. I had the desire to leave Dallas and he was comfortable here in PHX. He already had a nice job after graduating, while I was still in grad school without a stable job. It made more sense for me to move to Phoenix and I was glad to do so!
#2: COST OF LIVING HERE IS VERY AFFORDABLE.
This leads me to home prices. Here in AZ, you are able to purchase the home of your dreams for less than 300k for example. Whether you like McMansions, ranch with thousands of acres, or small cozy homes, you can have that here. Now, I am mostly speaking to those coming from Cali, Washington state, Portland, Bay area, or the East Coast. I would like to believe we bought our dream home–something that would have taken us years elsewhere.
#3: THE GREAT OUTDOORS
At least for me. I have always had quite an adventurous and spontaneous soul. I love the desert life. Some people don’t and could never ever imagine living here, but I love it. One misconception about AZ is that we are dying in heat all year long. Wrong. It is ONLY really hot about 4, 5 months out of the year, the other months are beautiful and feel like spring/fall weather. So, if you can survive the brutal summers, then you will enjoy the rest of the year. Lots of people escape up north (Flagstaff/Sedona) on the weekends during the unbearable months of summer.I love exploring the great outdoors. Now because I am in a special stage of life with very small children, I do not get to explore as much as I would like, but when I can I try to find something new to explore. Our children will grow up to love the great outdoors, which is important to me.
I have so many places on my list here in AZ: Page, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Lake Havasu, etc.
#4: COFFEE CULTURE
Now you know I had to talk about this one here. I did not really become a huge coffee person until I lived in Phoenix, honestly. It is quite surprising to people that Phoenix is such a coffee town because it’s hot here. haha. No matter how you like your coffee, phoenix is the place. We are the Coffee Capital of the Southwest according to Vogue Magazine.I am now a huge coffee lover, connoisseur, enthusiast, or whatever you want to call it! If ever in town, check out all the cool coffee shops downtown near Roosevelt row.
#5: CLOSE TO OTHER MAJOR CITIES
That’s right. Within 4-5hours of driving, you could be in San Diego, LA, Orange Country, Vegas, Colorado, New Mexico, Mexico, or Utah.This is great if you have a big family and love to travel, like us. Instead of flying and purchasing multiple airline tickets, you could rent a big car, and have your family vacation within hours. Or you can simply get away for just the weekend or the day in Sedona or Flagstaff.
ALL THIS GOOD STUFF. WHAT ABOUT THE CONS? A FEW CONS ABOUT LIVING IN ARIZONA FOR ME WOULD BE:
#1: SUMMER HEAT
I will not lie. I will not sugarcoat it. Like I mentioned earlier, summers are brutal and very long. You must have a pool and AC to survive those months. Be ready for a high electricity bill.
#2: INSECTS & BUGS
Everywhere. All kinds. Pest-control is a must.
#3: LACK OF DIVERSITY
It is not uncommon to be the only person of color in certain areas.Well, there you have it. The Arizona Love Story. Haha. We may not live here forever obviously. Things change.