My partner and I have never really been big Valentine’s Day celebrators. So I thought that this year, in honor of the holiday, I’d share about some of the things that I’m loving about my new life in Kansas.

We’ve been here over a month now, so there’s been plenty of time to settle in and explore the local area. Here are some of my favorite things so far:

Our house. Our new house definitely wins the prize for being one of my favorite things about moving to this area. It’s bigger than our previous house, comes with tons of storage, and is beautiful inside. I’ve loved getting my office put together, setting up a home gym, and cooking lots of meals in our kitchen. We just installed blinds throughout the house last weekend and the light blocking ones in our bedroom are giving us the best sleep of our lives! This feels like a house that we’ll be happy in for a long while.

The weather. This might be kind of a surprising one since it’s been cold, icy, and snowy since we got here, but there’s also been a couple of random 65 degree days thrown in there as well. Everyone here knows what to expect in terms of lots of ups and downs with the temperature, so the local stores have all the supplies we need to be prepared for anything. So far, there’s been nothing we can’t handle and I’ve enjoying being able to watch the snow fall. I’m also looking forward to seeing what the spring and summer seasons are like.

My local library. I’m already putting all the books on hold at my local library and I’m really pleased with the selection that they have available. I’ve been mostly exploring the books in the local collection, but I also know there are a ton available online. I appreciate the hold self and the ability to self check-out if I’m in a bit of a rush. The bonus is that the library is a quick 5-minute drive from my work so I can pop over to browse or pick up books on my lunch hour.

My commute. You just can’t beat a 15 minute commute and a total lack of traffic. I like that my commute time is just long enough to let me transition into or out of work mode and to listen to a few minutes of a podcast that I have queued up. The last place I lived had double this commute to get “into town” so having grocery stores and other amenities just 10–15 minutes away has been really nice.

My coworkers. People who live in Kansas might just be the nicest people in the world. Or maybe it’s just the people who work at K-State. I have had the most wonderful onboarding experience to my new job with tons of support from everyone in getting my office set up, learning new technologies and tools, being introduced to different people on campus, and finding the resources I need to be successful in my job. I couldn’t ask for more supportive coworkers as I transition into this new role.

My new morning routine. Moving to a new place is a great opportunity to build in new routines and I’ve definitely taken advantage of that during this move. I’m about four weeks in to a set of morning workouts where I’m alternating strength training and run/walk sessions six days a week. Having a treadmill at home is making this so much easier, and I’m happy to report that I’ve kept up these morning workouts even after transitioning into the new job.

Being in a college town. College towns can be really great when it comes to cultural opportunities and food options. For example, I’m thrilled to have a Chipotle within walking distance of my office. Earlier this week, we also went to see Bobby McFerrin perform when he came through town. The campus performing space is right across the street from my office, so we just parked where I work and walked on over. I love how easy it will be build in those cultural experiences.

The regional airport. One of the challenges of living in our old city was that I had to drive at least 45 minutes and often 90 minutes to get to an airport. Thankfully, Manhattan has a regional airport with connections to Dallas and Chicago that will make my traveling so much more convenient. I love the idea of driving down the road to catch a flight rather than planning for a 90 minute trip to and from the airport each way.

Proximity to a bigger city. Similar to where we lived in Oregon, we’re about 90 minutes away from a bigger city. With Kansas City so close, it’s easy to make a day trip there if we need anything that we can’t find locally. Last weekend, we found ourselves visiting the Nebraska Furniture Mart, a slightly overwhelming furniture store where we were able to pick out a new couch, a coffee table, a couple of chairs, and a bed for our guest room that will be delivered in a couple of weeks. 

What are some of your favorite things about where you are living right now?