It’s not that I have a Southern accent or even that I know my way around, but my heart and soul is everything the South is.
I align with the values and lifestyle down here. I just fit in better. Many people dream of visiting this holy city, and some, like myself, get to call this beautiful place home.
From the very first time I heard about Charleston, I knew I wanted to live here, and luckily enough, that dream became a reality.
I grew up in sunny San Diego, CA. Many move there because the weather is perfect year-round and there is amazing Mexican food, and don’t even forget about In-N-Out Burger! But I didn’t have the magical experience everyone always dreams of. I thought that maybe if I went away to college, that I’d find a place I fit in better.
I spent two years at the University of Oregon in Eugene, and again, it wasn’t for me. I moved a bit north to Washington. Two more years go by, and it’s not home there either.
Somewhere between Oregon and Washington, I heard about this incredible place called Charleston, South Carolina, where everything seemed perfect. It only took me one in-person visit to fall in love with this city and sign a lease.
Not even a two full weeks after my final class, I packed everything up and moved diagonally across the country to start a new life in the south. Charleston is amazing. I feel incredibly blessed to call this place home. And most importantly, I’m so grateful to finally find a home.
What’s it like to live in Charleston? Sure, it’s great. Take my word for it. But let me elaborate...
Activities on Activities
Charleston has no lack of things to do. There is ALWAYS something going on, whether it’s a $5 improv comedy show or a bacon and whiskey festival. One of the main things I missed about San Diego when I moved up north was the amount of stuff to do. Now, I often find myself not having enough time to do it all. I love living a busy lifestyle filled with fun times and friends. Charleston is perfect for that.
While Charleston might not have everyone’s ideal climate, it is pretty nice here. Sure it gets hot in the summers, and sometimes a little chilly in the winters, but overall it’s perfect. One of the main reasons I wanted to move here was the fact that there was sunshine and a lot of it! The Pacific Northwest is beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but I missed and needed my sunshine.
Shop ‘til You Drop
If you enjoy shopping, this is the place for you. On top of all the local goodies, my first walk down King Street made me drool. I was hyperventilating from all of the upscale stores I was passing, that one day I could visit without a care in the world. Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, you name it, they have it.
This isn’t known as a food city for nothing, y’all! When I moved here, I made a goal not to try the same restaurant twice for my first couple months or so, and boy were the options endless. I have repeated a few places that I just have to get more from, but even the places with one or two-star ratings are fabulous! There are so many fantastic options, and the Southern-style cooking is to die for!
History’s No Mystery
I’m going to be blunt. I do not like history. I never have and I probably never will, but when it comes to this city, I’m fascinated. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m incredibly enamored with this town or if it is that interesting, but everything is incredible. From being the first state to succeed, to the small facts about the local family that owned that one department store downtown. I soak it all up and love every little detail.
Charleston is beautiful. Stunning. Even my traffic-ridden, hour-long commute home from work that could frustrate even the calmest person is enjoyable because of the incredible scenery. If you’ve never seen a Carolina sunset, boy are you missing out. They are incredible.
The sunsets are gorgeous, but so is the architecture. Hand-in-hand with the history, Charleston is full of beautiful old buildings and plantations. Spending my weekends strolling downtown or through an old plantation is amazing. From Rainbow Row to Magnolia Plantation down the street, I’m surround by architectural masterpieces.
Once again, I live at the beach. Well not technically at the beach, but I’m close enough to go whenever I want, and that’s perfect for me! Growing up in San Diego I was always close to the beach. I loved the water and missed being able to float on the waves, play in the sand, and smell that salty air. Now, I can go whenever I want!
Everyone in Charleston is extremely kind. This was not something I was used to growing up, but I love it. It seems that a majority of Southern people just have a natural care and empathy toward others. Whether you want to call it Southern hospitality or just being friendly, it is an incredible quality for a town to have.
Part of the historic King Street downtown is the art district. So many people find inspiration here. Whether you want to start painting or even blogging, Charleston has a plethora of opportunities.
Charleston is more diverse than people think. We all know that the South has a stigma, but in Charleston, everyone is family. After that horrific event that happened in 2015, the city of Charleston came together to show that we are all united, and nothing can break us apart.
Finally, Charleston is home. My whole life I have been searching for a place to call home and I finally found it. I feel like I fit in, and no matter where I go, I can’t wait to head back to this magical place.
Have you found your home city yet? Or are you still looking?
Brittany Lockwood blogs over at Southern Soul and is the founder of Collectively Bee. She recently moved and [obviously] fell in love with the city of Charleston, SC. During the day, she works for an inbound marketing agency and enjoys blogging and social media by night. Brittany lives with her boyfriend and two adorable puppies. Connect with her to keep up with her adventures in Charleston!