Throw a boomerang in one direction and look out here it comes flying back to you. Tucson is a lot like a boomerang. It’s easy to get here and pretty hard to leave. Lots try, often more than once, and then they find themselves back where they started. The alternative title could be “You’ll never know for sure unless you try.” Try I did and know I do.
Over the past month that I’ve been back I’ve wondered why Tucson? What is the allure of Tucson that other cities I’ve spent extensive time in lack? While this answer still eludes me to some degree, I’ve been able to put my finger on some of the ways that Tucson can draw you in then keep you here.
Tucson is easy to get around…by bike. Tucson has The Loop and bike lanes everywhere which makes commuting by bike a breeze. You can actually be more bike dependent than car dependent if you choose. It’s hard to do that in many east coast mid major cities.
Tucson has a great year round outdoor lifestyle. Sure it’s a lot easier to hike in the fall, winter and spring than the summer when the temperatures hit 105F or higher. You just have to adjust the alarm clock forward. It’s pretty easy to get a 4 hour bike ride in and be back in bed by 10am here in the summer. It’s also not too shabby to be having lunch in shorts and a t-shirt on the outdoor patio in February getting some Vitamin D.
The cost of living is pretty low. Your dollar stretches a lot further in Tucson then it will in many other cities. Even with a pretty significant increase in the price of health insurance this year, Tucson is still a lot less expensive than NC. On the other side of this coin salaries are lower compared to Raleigh and the service industry is huge here.
Will I miss the awesome breweries in Asheville and the Raleigh area? Yes, I will. I’d love to have a Greenman beer or a Fortnight cask porter or a saison from Neuse River brewery. On the other hand there are just under 10 new breweries in Tucson from when I left. I’ll probably be ok, probably. Sound like a bit of investigation is called for.
Tortillas. Not the crappy stuff you get in the grocery stores back in NC. I’m talking about walking into a tortilla factory and getting warm tortillas, taking them home and making burritos.
My house. I’ve had a house for about six years now. I bought it, went on a trip, moved in, left 4mo later for a bit when my Mom passed away then became a snowbird a year later. I’ve never bothered to make my house a home. It’s about time I make the house a home.
There are several things I’ll miss about NC. I’ll miss NC BBQ both eastern and western styles, some of the people I know, have known for decades or met and hanging out with my Dad. Leaving NC with him there was extremely tough. It was great to be able to see him so often in the nearly 8 months I was in NC. I’ll still take some trips back to NC to see Dad, to do AeroCamps, sample some local NC brews and hang out with friends. But for now, Tucson is home.