I’ll never forget the morning I pulled out of my former home in California…

It was June, so it was very warm. The heat in Cali is more like a very warm oven. I was off to start a new life and adventure in Central Illinois. As I drove past the beautiful mountains and considered the oceanside just an hour or so away, I wondered if I’d miss it. As I hit traffic in L.A. and long stops going through Barstow, I still considered all the things I loved about the state I was born and raised in. It had been very good to me, but now it was time to start fresh and continue to seek out what I was called to do in my life. And that life would be where I still reside today, in Champaign Illinois.

You are probably thinking I was crazy to leave behind the glamor and glory of the West Coast…

But the reality is, the competitive pace and open choices are not what they appear to be from the outside. Sure, there was a lot of stuff to do, when you had time to do it. It entailed a lot of planning and time to get there, and you would find yourself out of luck if you snoozed on making plans. So in effect, I had come to realize that California was one of those places that truly was a nice place to plan to visit. However, living there had become more burdensome and restrictive that I ever imagined. When I visited Central Illinois, I always found myself relaxed and at ease. Far from the heated hustle that California treated me to.

This is just one of the many reasons why you might want to consider moving to Central Illinois…

Yes, it’s very flat and uncomplicated, but that is one of the things about this place that is so nice. You can cast your gaze on most days as far as your eyes can see. Its uncluttered and manicured landscape can be spectacular at sunrise or sunset. Oh, and the thunderstorms are amazingly beautiful and never a surprise because you can see them coming. You’ll never be bored by the weather, even in the dead of winter, because it NEVER stays the same for any length of time. You’ll hear people complain, but they really wouldn’t have it any other way. We really have seasons here.

The people are phenomenal here. 

Unpretentious and friendly with a Midwest sensibility that goes deep. They will offer help when you look confused and give you a tip when you ask for the best place for a beer. You will know your neighbors because they will introduce themselves. They love their local University teams. They bleed orange and blue for the Illini, and tailgating or game day is an adventure you won’t want to miss. The University of Illinois attracts some of the top performers from around the world to be hosted at the State Farm Center (which looks like a giant spaceship in the middle of Champaign). In Springfield, you will revel in Illinois history, with the Lincoln Museum and other amazing attractions. 

Have I mentioned the food?

There are some serious varieties of restaurants here and some of the best craft beer you’ll ever have. Many of the smaller towns as well as the larger ones have thriving quaint downtown districts. You can spend a lovely Friday night or Sunday afternoon going from eatery to bar to dessert.  It’s really pretty special.

So I guess my point is, if you haven’t considered CI, maybe you should…

This California Girl sure has found her heart and her home here. My paycheck sure does go a lot further than it did out west, and I have double the house for half the price. If you are feeling stuck and out of breath, consider coming down to the wide-open spaces of Central Illinois. Hit me up if you want a tour. I’m always open to a nice glass of wine at Sunsinger. Cheers.