I fell in love with Reno about 13 years ago. At the time, I was living in Detroit, Michigan, and I would come to Reno a few times a year to visit my brothers, who were living in this area. Every time I had to get back on the plane to return to Michigan, I would wistfully wish that I lived here instead of in the Midwest.
I grew up in New Mexico, and I never really appreciated the beauty of the mountains and the endless sunny days. When I graduated from college, I decided to just go where I found the best job, which happened to be Detroit. When I arrived in Michigan, it was in a blizzard during January. I stepped off the plane and immediately thought what have I done?!
After spending four years (and four miserable winters) in Michigan, where it was bitter cold and the best options for ski resorts doubled as golf courses in the summer with 700 foot elevation gains, I decided that I must live in a place that I love. Living in Michigan taught me that I was a Westerner at heart, and I needed to live near the mountains and in a place where sun prevailed. Detroit taught me that even the best job won’t make you happy if you don’t love where you live.
When I turned in my resignation and announced I was moving to Reno, my friends in Michigan would say, “Reno?! Why, do you like to gamble?” or “but there are wild fires and earthquakes out West!”
I just smiled a knowing smile, and confidently decided to choose Reno and set down my roots here. It was my firm belief that you shouldn’t have to live in all the snow of winter to enjoy winter sports. Reno is a place where the snow will melt quickly in the valley, but you have an immense winter playground a short drive away. I also had to escape the Michigan humidity, which kept me indoors most of the summers.
I remember the day I arrived in Reno to establish my residency in 2001, when I literally turned around in a circle, thinking I am surrounded by mountains! It thrilled me to be able to enjoy the skiing in the winter and the hiking and alpine lakes in the summer. Lake Tahoe continues to entrance me, no matter the season.
I love the friendliness of the people in Reno, the culture of outdoor adventure, and the fact that my commute is 10 minutes (in Detroit it took me an hour to go 15 miles, then I’d have to park in a parking garage, take a shuttle, and then an escalator and an elevator to get to my desk). I also love that I can work for Microsoft without having to move to Seattle. I often remind my children how lucky they are to live here, and thank my lucky stars I took a gamble on the Biggest Little City in the World.