It’s been about 9 months since we relocated to the Orlando area from Birmingham. Here’s a few thoughts on the good, the bad and the ugly on our time here so far:
—Much more to Orlando. Orlando has a vibrant food, arts and music culture completely separate from the tourism industry. Every weekend, there are events aimed at locals. I’ve begun to discover some great local restaurants, and I’m becoming more tuned in to what the locals are up to in their downtime.
—Our community. We lucked out in finding Hunter’s Creek, a planned community south of Orlando. One reason we chose it is because there are two dog parks just for residents. We make frequent use of them. We hope to be able to find a rental house here. It’s a clean, safe community with good schools, and one I would recommend for anyone moving in from out of state.
—My job. OK, so sure, I’ve already switched jobs since we landed here — I left local news in my first job here in Orlando after 8 months, and began a new digital content manager position in March. But it’s a good fit for me at a good company, where I think I can learn and grow as a leader. And I have an office! And a budget! And maybe even a company AMEX!
—The traffic sucks. It’s not as bad as say, Atlanta, but I-4 is a mysterious and unpredictable thoroughfare. And unfortunately I can’t avoid it on my commute to work. While we live close to Disney World — great for hubs’ job — I work in Winter Park north of downtown Orlando, so the commute is I-4-dependent, to say the least.
—“The magic is gone.” My husband said this to me after a recent trip to the Magic Kingdom. What he means is that as locals, we go to Disney World so much that it starts to feel commonplace. So if you’re the type who loves Disney World, planning your trips, and the anticipation of a trip, then being a local might not be the best choice! I hope to be able to check into a deluxe resort for a weekend at some point later this year to rekindle the magic for us, because we truly are Disney nuts.
—Apartment living sucks. We had to move here quickly last summer, and I didn’t know enough about the area to find a rental company or Realtor to help us find a rental home. So while our apartment complex is fine as far as apartment living goes, the hubs, the dog and I are all a little stir-crazy and eagerly awaiting the end of our lease in August and move to a rental home.
—The night shift sucks. My husband and have barely spent a full night in bed together or a full day together since he started his night shift chef job in October. We have opposite off days, too. But we’re being patient, because there’s a very good chance he’ll have a new job with the Mouse in June. Wish us luck, because this is the absolute worst part of our adjustment to Orlando.
Despite the ups and downs, the hubs and I remain resolute in pursuing our dreams here in Orlando for the foreseeable future. A lot of the bad and the ugly for us now will be remedied within the year — hooray!