I wasn't sure how I would like living in the South. My family moved to "the North," (what people call Chicago here, though I always thought I lived in the midwest) when I was seven. I grew accustomed to the hustle and bustle of Chicago and thought the shift in pace would throw me off. Chicago will always hold a piece of my heart, but the transition hasn't been too shocking. We're only one month in, so I'll keep you posted!
Nashville is a bit of a melting pot. I've met very few people who are native Nashvillians. Nashville is attractive for many reasons and pulls people from all over the United States. It's pretty common for someone to just stay once they have graduated from one of the universities in town. That is quite different from Chicago, where a greater percentage of people are multi-generational Chicagoans.
Due to the fact that this town is constantly growing and changing, I don't think I'm experiencing a true "southern" atmosphere. It's still a large city with many cultures, but I have noticed a few differences. I'm sure I'll experience more the longer we live here but these have stuck out to me.
/ / Southern hospitality is a real thing. People are generally more friendly and open for conversation (ie. They aren't standing in line on their phone).
/ / The pace of life is healthier and more relaxed, but important stuff still gets done. There is a grind in Chicago (commuting will do that to you) and thankfully Nashville doesn't quite have it.
/ / Everyone has dogs (okay not everyone).
/ / People are more active: hiking, running, walking their dogs, etc. A benefit of living somewhere that remains warmer longer!
/ / Chicago accents are easily detected and teased. :-) My voice has always been a bit nasally, but now it really stands out!
/ / Less early 20-somethings live with their parents. They are living independently (maybe roommates), actively pursing their future. Cook County is an expensive place to live (the county Chicago is in, as well as my parent's house), so help with rent is often needed, but it's easy to become complacent instead of looking for a way out of your parent's basement.
/ / There is a reliance and importance put on friendship and community. Maybe it's because people don't have family nearby. Or the pace allows for nights out, either way it's a nice change.
There you have it, my observations on Nashville livin'.
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*I've met several people from the suburbs of Chicago!