Moving from California to the Midwest

Greetings, Council Bluffs! I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Ashley English, and I’m the new content manager at the Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau. Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing an outsider’s perspective of your beautiful town.

Yes, sadly, I’m an outsider. Confession time: I moved here in February from California—and I know from experience that this is not a popular thing to say here in the Midwest! I apologize.

I am, however, very excited to be here. My husband and I moved to the Metro in February from sunny (and smoggy) Southern California. While there are many things I love about my home state, living and working right on the border of Nebraska and Iowa has already given me a lot of perspective on all of the things I’ve missed out on by living on the West Coast.

My husband, Nicholas, and I at Big Lake Park. 

Since the move, the largest change for my husband and I has been our quality of life. There is a very special way of life out here. It’s calm. It’s patient. It’s friendly.

Moving here has allowed us to begin the life we’d have had to wait years for in Southern California. We’ve been able to move from a small apartment to a small home, add a puppy to our family, and my husband finally has space to work on his hobbies—you can’t really use power tools in an apartment.

While Southern California may have a lot of entertainment and recreation options, we’ve been able to do a lot more here than we did while living there. In California, we often skipped going out because it wasn’t worth fighting traffic and the inevitable crowds that awaited us at our destination.

Our dog taking in the view at Lake Manawa.

Here, we’ve spent weekends walking our dog along Council Bluffs’ trails, exploring Lake Manawa, and driving around pretty backroads speckled with farms—all with almost no traffic or crowds (a true miracle to us). And now that summer is ending, we can’t wait to experience fall activities like apple picking and hayrides.

I’ve learned that there is so much more to Council Bluffs, Iowa than people from out of town may originally think. I have only lived in the area for seven months, but the phrase that comes to mind when I think of my time here is this:

This is the way life was intended to be.


This post was originally published on September 18, 2018 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.