I moved to Corpus Christi in 2017 with lots of dreams. When my husband and I rented our U-Haul to move across the country from Nebraska to Texas, the salesman told us “Everyone is moving to Texas lately!”. We took that as a great sign and headed off on a long eighteen-hour one-way road trip. I was only 23 at the time and had no idea how the world worked. All I really knew was the midwestern way of life was not for me.
While there was nothing wrong with life in Nebraska, there were so many things that drove me crazy. First and foremost, I knew the weather was not right for me. In the Midwest it’s bitter cold from September until April, my body was sick of freezing most of the time. Another huge issue was snow – I can’t tell you how many times I was forced to drive in a blizzard because my work did not see dangerous snowstorms as a reason to call out. The straw that broke the camel’s back was a lack of opportunities. My husband who works construction had his hours severely cut or had to plow snow all winter. It was bad for our wallets and plowing snow is a dangerous job he didn’t want to keep doing.
My husband and I moved down here shortly after his dad made the choice to move down here full time as well. All the things we disliked about Midwest living were no longer obstacles on the coast. The weather, while sometimes a little hot is gorgeous year-round. I was able to start gardening which is now one of my favorite things to do. My husband’s work hours were not cut short two to four months out of the year which allowed us to save enough money to become homeowners – we were shocked and so elated, to say the least.
Texas has been so good to us in so many ways. I personally would not even consider a move back to the Midwest a feasible option. My Aunt Linda who lives in Dallas always told me “Welcome to the Greatest State” when I would visit her as a child. Those wonderful visits made me long for a life in Texas and making that dream a reality has been amazing.
While I love Texas and am thankful for everything I’ve accomplished here, I am more homesick than I ever thought possible.
When I first moved here, I couldn’t even imagine a world where I would miss the long, perilous winters but I started to miss being snowed in with my family. When I was young and on my way out of Nebraska, all I could think about was everything Nebraska wasn’t offering me opportunity-wise…and I forgot all the things I loved. I loved being with my family and having huge birthday celebrations and holiday parties. The thing I miss the most is being able to drive 10 minutes to Panera Bread to meet my sister-in-law for bagels and deep discussion.
As a young woman who grew up sheltered and isolated, I did not comprehend that I was taking those parties and bagel dates for granted. I also had no way of knowing that travel back home would be almost impossible after I started having kids. My husband works a lot, even though we prayed for a good job for him – it’s still hard sometimes. Now with Covid, it’s been two years since I’ve been able to travel back to Nebraska. I’ve missed the birth of my Niece, and too many birthdays to count. My heart aches to gather with my family and celebrate all the good times. I’ve also had to watch family members suffer through hard times while being unable to help- that is the worst part of transplant life.
All that said – I do have some strategies that I use to help ease my homesickness. First, I use FaceTime all of the time. I FaceTime my family regularly so we can all be together. Sometimes we don’t talk much we just cook dinner or switch laundry but were together for a moment and that is nice. Another strategy I use is sharing lots of pictures of my kids on social media for them to enjoy and keeping them updated on our day to life. My worst fear is our family becoming strangers to our midwestern family. I use social media to keep them up to date on the cute and funny highlights of our day-to-day life. Sharing lots of pictures is one way to make the distance just a little bit easier. One of the more creative ways my family and I communicate is through Amazon packages! We are always sending little presents from Amazon to one another with cute notes in the package, from birthdays, pregnancy announcements, big life changes – there is a gift on Amazon with Prime shipping for the occasion. I owe Amazon a huge thank you for keeping my family and me connected.
When my kids are a little older, and the general public is healthy once again I know I will go back to traveling. I won’t lament my status as a Midwest transplant forever. I came to Texas to chase my dreams and live a full, happy, healthy life. I have a feeling deep in my soul that my family is supposed to live next to the water and I’m thankful every day for the beautiful ocean that surrounds this City. Texas is the “Great State” and for my family, it truly has been the land of opportunity. If you are thinking of moving to South Texas – don’t hesitate! Pack your bags and hit the road, just be prepared for the intermittent heartbreak that accompanies transplant life.