Finding Balance after Relocating to Southeast Ohio
People find their way to Ohio from all around the globe. In our Live | Work | Play series, we explore Ohio’s unique regions through the eyes of those who relocate here. Let’s meet Tania.
Live: Family-friendly, relaxed, and beautiful place to call home
Why Ohio? What brought you to the region and why did you stay?
My husband’s job initially brought us to Ohio from Florida in 2008. We have chosen to stay in the area for the past 15 years because of its close proximity to family, its scenery (which, in SE Ohio where we reside, is very similar to eastern Tennessee where I grew up), and its environment for raising a family.
Did you have any misconceptions about the region?
Sure. I think there will always be a bit of that each time you move somewhere new. No matter how much research is done on an area ahead of time, there will be new and unexpected discoveries. But overall, we have found that there were far more positives than negatives from our move to Ohio.
What should someone know before moving here?
I believe that this is dependent on which portion of Ohio you choose to call home. The state of Ohio overall is filled with opportunity, beauty, and communities anxious to share their hearts and passions. My advice — never hesitate to look beyond the surface, digging deep into the people and their history. Then strive to discover the ways the region is unique and how you personally can add to its story and narrative.
The state of Ohio overall is filled with opportunity, beauty, and communities anxious to share their hearts and passions.
What do you love about the communities you’re a part of?
In the community where I reside, which is in the southeast portion of the state, there is a more relaxed approach to living – which I love. The lifestyle embraces creativity, time with family and friends, the pursuit of passions, and the appreciation of the outdoors. Life here feels a bit more balanced than other places we’ve called home in the past.
Work: A career of discovery
Can you share how career opportunities here have impacted your life?
Although throughout a good portion of my time here in Ohio I chose to stay at home to raise my children, I have worked outside of the home as well. Specific opportunities can be a bit more difficult to uncover while living, such as I do, in a rural region (especially in my chosen field of interest – travel and tourism) but there are always options to be found. In my opinion, this hurdle has been made easier in post pandemic times, due to greater workforce needs and the ability to work remotely from any location.
What are your favorite local businesses to support?
As a freelance travel writer and a hospitality/travel consultant, I would have to say that I’m partial to locally owned coffee shops, restaurants, short term rentals/inns, wineries, and retail shops. Each community in Ohio is the same, in that most offer one or all of these, but equally they are unique, in that each business has its own flair and story, which I love discovering. A few personal favorites are:
- Pleasant Hill Vineyards (Athens)
- Dutch Creek Winery (Athens);
- Triple Nickel Diner (Chesterhill)
- Eclipse Company Store (Athens)
- Ohio is Home (Athens)
- Gifts that Give Back (Logan)
- The Inns at 8th and Main (McConnelsville)
- The Le Petit Chevalier Vineyard (Creola)
Why should businesses consider investing in the region?
Southeast Ohio is ripe for individuals who recognize the wealth of gifts this region offers and ones who are willing to invest their time, money, and skills to make the community stronger. It is a wonderful (and beautiful) place to call home!
Play: Taking the scenic route
What are your favorite activities/places to unwind?
More often than not you will find me either relaxing at home with my husband and two “almost launched” children or discovering the world around me – which is often just outside of my back door. I adore exploring small towns and unpacking their individual treasures. Consequently, you will often observe me sharing about a day trip in my region and the stories I revealed along the way – sometimes while doing so with my husband as we rumble down the highway on our Harley Davidson Road King Classic or with friends as we chat and laugh our way through local shops, sights, and restaurants.
If someone only had 24 hours to visit the region, what would you tell them to check out?
Whether by car or motorcycle, I recommend taking one of the nine scenic routes that are featured by Ohio’s Windy 9. These roadways carry you throughout the beautiful southeast portion of our state, amid small towns, farmland, state forests and scenic byways. The scenery and the spots along the way will not disappoint.
Do you have a favorite season/time of year? Why?
Although each Ohio season offers beauty to behold, my all-time favorite has to be autumn. There is splendor around every corner and the mild temperatures are perfect for exploring our charming communities and picturesque environment. Each year I marvel that this is the corner of the world I am blessed to savor – no matter the season!
Tania Meek is a freelance travel writer and a hospitality/travel consultant living in Southeast, Ohio. She shares her travel experiences on her Instagram: @taniameek.