Love The Life That You Live

Some of my greatest passions are traveling and connecting with people. Stories about life should be cherished, shared, and learned from. Wanderlust designates a strong desire for or impulse to wander... in modern usage, to travel and to explore the world.

Not all those who wander are lost.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

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Always a great column by Miss Jeneé!

Many reasons to love KC

It has been more than eight years since I first came to Kansas City, and I often hear the same two questions.

From people who live here: Why did you move here?

From people on the coasts: When are you getting out of there?

It’s not my hometown, that’s for sure. Virginia and the Washington, D.C., metro area will always be that. But I’ve come to appreciate Kansas City and love it as my home away from home. A place filled with self-starters, creative minds and great food.

I think when you’re living in this Midwest metro, a place too big to be a small town yet too little to compete with New York City and Los Angeles, it’s easy to take it for granted.

In the time I’ve lived here, I know of at least 50 people who have moved away for the bright lights of big cities. But for reasons that span beyond friends, family and fountains, a lot of them miss our overlooked little big city.

“So many people leave or want to leave Kansas City, but I definitely still love my hometown,” says Amanda Taylor, 31, who moved away six months ago to pursue her MBA at Arizona State University.

“I miss my favorite little gems like Glacé, the Tivoli, Manifesto and Eggtc. I miss hitting the park on a nice day. There are fewer in Kansas City than Arizona; people appreciate them more. And I miss the Chiefs and Royals games and the spirit of a town that loves their teams.”

Ebony Copeland lived in Kansas City as a med student at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She’s a traveler. Originally from Virginia, she likes to take spring breaks in Jamaica and winter cruises and to see the world. But even after she graduated last year and relocated to Chicago for her residency, there’s something unexpected about our city that she says goes unrivaled.

Happy hours.

“There is no other place that has the happy hour ring that KC does,” Ebony, 31, says. “If you work the circuit, you can eat and drink every day of the week for chump change.”

Crystal Ogo agrees with Ebony about the affordable lifestyle. She’d lived here her whole life before she joined the Army four years ago. She says the low cost of the downtown Kansas City loft she lived in is unrealistic in any other city.

Another thing she says we should appreciate in addition to the best barbecue, jazz and arts? No rush hours. In Kansas City, we don’t sit for hours on the highway hoping to make it home by dinner.

These days Crystal, 25, is a wife, mother and domestic engineer in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“No one appreciates the great things Kansas City has to offer because they believe everywhere else is better,” she says. “There are so many things I miss that I took for granted. I always felt like I could go away from Kansas City and find a better life, but I think I will always feel the tugs of the simple life calling me back home to Kansas City.”

Jeneé Osterheldt’s column runs in FYI on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. To reach her, call 816-234-4380 or send e-mail to

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