“Dave, what’s wrong?” my wife asked.
I stared ahead in the car, unable to speak. I was flush and sweating and it was November. I was freaked out. I had agreed to move to Arkansas, a state I had to look up in an atlas a few months earlier, and now we had touchdown in a rinky dink airport which, in my fevered imagination, they just cleared the cattle off the runway.
“I’m fine,” I said unconvincingly.
In the backseat was our Nanny, Nina, and her girlfriend, Monica who I had both somehow miraculously convinced to move here as well. That was quite a sales job and I think they were both as freaked out as me. It was the weekend after Thanksgiving in 2014 and we were touring what was to be our new home.
My wife did her best to reassure me, but I grew up in small town America and I knew all about it. After a tour of duty in Toledo, Ohio for a few years, I was not real thrilled to subject myself to small town life again after living 20+ years under the blue skies and cool breezes of Southern California from which we just came.
I kept mentally chanting to myself like Chirrut the monk from Rogue One:
“I can live anywhere for 3 years.
I can live anywhere for 3 years.
I can live anywhere for 3 years”
I remember passing a bunch of fields and woods on our trip to the Doubletree Hotel. I got out of the car and stopped. I froze as I looked in the distance at a mega church with three GIGANTIC crosses.
This didn’t help. Now, no disrespect for those who are religious, but what went through my mind at that exact moment was the more extreme form of southern Christianity that includes parishioners speaking in tongues and handling snakes. Not. Dave’s. Scene.
I didn’t sleep well that night.
Fast forward to three and half years and here we are…and quite happy. Northwest Arkansas is a weird, rugged, friendly, and amazing place. Every time I walk out of the tiny Northwest Arkansas Regional airport I feel the stress melt away as I am greeted by the rich smells, beautiful skies, and sublimely content people of Northwest Arkansas.
I had mixed emotions about creating this blog. On one hand, I wanted to keep this secret to myself so the magic of the area would be preserved and people wouldn’t consider moving here.
On the other hand, many are compelled to move here because of their careers or other circumstances. That can be tough. In the end, I want to help those people out. It can be tough to get adjusted, so I thought I might be able to help some small way.
If you are considering moving here, the bottom line is this; it’s pretty damn nice. Every transplant who has been here more than 3 years has this story:
“We moved here from [location] and didn’t plan to stay more than [<=3 years] but we really liked the area and so have been here for over [> 3 years]”
In this blog I plan on relating my observations about the area as a complete outsider. I grew up in the Northeast and called the Southbay of Calfornia home for more than 20 years. My hope is for me (and hopefully others) is to provide some guidance, information, and solace about the area to get your acquainted with NWA.
So I hope you will read Bville Life and participate. If you would like to write or have questions please give a holler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talk to ‘y’all’ soon.