Leaving (An Open Letter to Atlanta)
The cat's out of the bag now. My wife and I are leaving Atlanta. And not just Atlanta, the country.
In the last three years, this beautiful city has not only showed me where my passions lie but that you can build a community around any passion. From Atlanta Tech Village to Switchyards, General Assembly to Strongbox West...startups are big here and the community is amazing.
Atlanta also showed me what I really want out of life. Taught me to be more secure in the fact that I desire a different path in my life. That while my friends and family think security is amazing, I akin my dreams to jumping with a partner out of a plane at 30,000 feet and only one of us having a parachute. That's just the way my wife and I like to get down. Flying by the seat of our pants and loving it.
The city showed me how a sports town doesn't become a soccer town, it was already a soccer town and needed someone with the balls to bring a team to us. This city showed me grit. Between the unbelievable Hawks season my first year here (what a winning streak), to the crazy Falcons season last year (how did we lose that Superbowl game?), to the breathtaking atmosphere of an Atlanta United game (breaking attendance records isn't easy). I never realized what I was missing until I moved to Atlanta. Sports, sports, and more sports.
I've lived in Old Fourth Ward, Scottsdale, Brookhaven, and Clarkston and loved pieces of each place. The traffic is worse the farther you move out, however working from home means that we can avoid it for the most part while still remaining only 20-25 min from downtown. We've had so many issues and pains (apartment complexes here don't care about residents at all), but also a lot of fun (annual trip to Cirque Du Soleil shows).
We realized that this city is somewhere we could call home for good. Someday, but not today. The culture mixing pot that is Atlanta is just something you can't forget once you've experienced it. I remember not understanding why people would ever leave this place. It has awesome people, the amazing food, the events (so many events), the parks/green spaces, the Beltline, the arts, startup hubs everywhere, the non-profits and causes that mean a lot to us, diversity, and the perfect weather with four distinguishable seasons.
I never understood why anyone would leave. But here we are...leaving.
Ironically the reason we are leaving is because of you, Atlanta. As a city, you have taught us what we love most about living life together: culture, food, and experiences. We decided that maybe we should explore these loves even more. Maybe we should do something crazy like immersing ourselves in these loves full-time.
And like a couple where only one wears the parachute, we're jumping out of our comfort zone hoping that the parachute opens. We're moving abroad. With no idea of when we're coming back. See...flying by the seat of our pants.
We are aiming to travel stateside by 2019 so that we can join my team in Bozeman, MT, but for now, the world is our oyster and we are playing it by ear. We may hit 20 countries or we may hit five and decide to track down some visas for a long-term stay. Who knows. And that's what we love most. It's as much of a whirling dervish as the city of Atlanta itself...and we couldn't ask for anything else.
So, thank you, Atlanta. You've taught us so much. Given us so much. Most of all, you've shown us what we love. And now we're going to go pursue that love all over the globe.