Michigan State University
College of Human Medicine
When my husband said, "What do you think about living in Grand Rapids, Michigan?" I said, "Michigan? Why would I want to go to Michigan? It's really, really cold up there."
My husband is a cancer researcher who was recruited by the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. We could have gone to California or Texas, but we chose Grand Rapids because of the unique lifestyle options, like not having to spend two-and-a-half hours a day commuting.
We were living in Savannah, Georgia at the time. Before that, we'd lived in Washington, D.C. and in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. We were open to talking about the job offer in Grand Rapids, but we were both kind of like 'this isn't going to go anywhere.' We had heard that Michigan had one of the worst economies in the country, but some people said that's not really the way it is. I remember driving into downtown and seeing all these construction cranes and new development and I said, wow, they really weren't lying.
We researched Grand Rapids because with a school-aged child I didn't want to move again, so we checked it out with the intention of being here 15 to 20 years. We checked out the schools, crime, commute times, the housing market. I'm really into local foods and farmers markets and there's a growing local food movement here. We've been here two years now and we love it!
We bought a 75-acre property with a creek on it just 15 minutes from our jobs. We love the outdoors, so hunting, fishing, horseback riding and hiking are important to us. My husband fishes in our creek, we hike on our property and we just got a big-dog puppy. We hope to get horses, as well.
For me, so much of the rest of the country looks the same. But Grand Rapids has its own look and charm because of its architecture. People should come and see it for themselves; they'll be surprised.