Why I’m Staying in Louisville

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I said I was freaking out about being back in the US and couldn’t wait to leave Louisville and wanted to move to New York immediately? Well, that all changed.

A few days after I posted that, I realized something I thought would never be true.

I actually like Louisville.

I had been way too quick to judge this little city stuck between the north and the south. I immediately wrote it off as too small and too backward. I figured since it is Kentucky it would be too religious and too conservative. I thought people would close minded and unwelcoming. On the whole, I couldn’t have been further from the truth and I’ve since discovered a few great things about this city that are making me want to stay.


1. There’s a huge craft beer and food scene

There’s only two things I really need in life to be happy- good food and good beer. Luckily, Louisville has an abundance of both! The city was recently named as one of the most underrated food cities in the US by Thrillist and has received countless other accolades over the years. It’s definitely a fun place to eat. On Friday I attended the opening night of Roux, a New Orleans inspired restaurant, and had great gumbo and a fabulous cocktail.

Oh, and the beer? While a lot of the breweries in Kentucky aren’t my favorite, there is a passion for craft beer here. Holy Grale has a rotating theme of craft beers and other craft beer bars regularly host tap takeovers. Last week I attended a craft beer night at the Kentucky Science Center (more about that soon!) and next week there’s a huge craft beer festival. I’m excited to discover more about brewing in this region.

2. I can easily explore more of the US

Okay, the airport here is absolute shit, but driving wise, Louisville is centrally located to a lot of cities- less than 3 hours to Nashville, 4.5 to St. Louis, and 7 or so to Atlanta. I’m already dreaming up road trips around the South, an area of the country I haven’t had to chance to visit much.

Plus, there’s a lot of natural beauty in the area. I’m going to hiking at Red River Gorge in a couple of weeks in hopes of catching some fall colors (unlike my fall color Seoraksan hike a couple of years ago) and I hope to make it out to Cumberland Falls sometime soon.

3. It’s a nice size…and cheap

As much as I love London, since leaving I’ve realized that being there made me feel anxious and exhausted a lot of the time. Louisville is much, much smaller. I used to think of this as a negative, but it turns out there’s still a lot of things to do. Yes, there’s a serious lack of public transportation and I’ve had to learn to drive again, but it turns out even that’s not as bad as I thought.

Louisville is also cheap. Like, really, really cheap. I was taking a look at apartment ads on Craigslist and you can rent a one bedroom place for well under $1,000 a month. Like $600 a month in some places. For a one bedroom apartment in a good location. $600. I still can’t believe it. Not having to pay half my wage toward rent means I could spend it on things I like more. Like food, beer, and travel.

4. I’m close to family and friends

I think I underestimated how much I missed my family and friends in the US. Even just the simple things. It’s nice to be able to complain about Brady Hoke with my dad or make fun of people on House Hunters with my mom or go to Target with my sister. This weekend I’m driving up to Ann Arbor for a birthday celebration and an epic day of tailgating.

My lovely parents!

My lovely parents!

My sister will probably hate me for posting this.

My sister will probably hate me for posting this.


I’m within driving distance of friends in Chicago and family in North Carolina, and am already trying to plan long weekends in Minneapolis, San Francisco, and New York to see others. Oh, and next month I get to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family for the first time since 2008! These were things that were impossible abroad, and would be nearly impossible in American cities that are further away or more expensive.

(Yes, there are two sides to this coin. I do miss my UK friends a whole bunch!)

5. There’s a plethora of writing and work opportunities

Since I’ve been back I’ve gotten a huge amount of new freelance work. People want people who can write about Louisville. There are a million other people trying to write about cities like London and New York. The competition in Louisville is a lot less stiff. Maybe that seems like settling for some, but if I can do what I love without having to have tons of connections (which I don’t) then I am happy.

I was also offered an internship doing social media for what seems like a totally awesome local digital marketing agency and I’m so excited for this opportunity to learn more about something I love in a professional environment. This is worth sticking around for alone!

I’ve second guessed a lot of decisions I’ve made in my life, but deciding to stay in Louisville? I’ve never felt more sure of anything.

Has a place ever surprised you? Are you coming to Louisville in the future (you should)? Let’s grab a beer!

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