My entire family originates from Southern California where the palm trees grow high and the cost of living grows even higher. 

My more immediate family--the parents, grandparents, and siblings--moved south over ten years ago, shocking the others. Why would we ever want to leave? But it seems that we were pioneers in the Great Southern Expansion as the OCers have begun to ditch Disneyland and concrete for wide open space and killer fall foliage. 

It’s more than my family that’s leaving behind $5 per gallon gas. People are migrating in droves, bringing their LA style to Nashville, Knoxville, and--your favorite-- gorgeous Chattanooga. 

I totally get it, too. California was once the glamorous place where those with big, glittering dreams could make it. Now the average Joes are being priced out. Everything is more expensive with slap-in-the-face high taxes. Even the time cost is astronomical. You can hardly run a “quick” errand. Just trying to make it to the grocery store down the road is enough to give me a debilitating headache. 

Why go through all of that when you can enjoy income tax-free life peppered with southern charm and great football? 

We have legendary national parks, quaint towns, unique festivals, and kick-ass grub. Our neighborhoods feel more homey. We actually have four distinct seasons. Your children have room to run and grow and play. 

Sure, the south may be more conservative than what they’re used to, but didn’t you hear? The south is turning blue! Huzzah for the Westerners. We just ask you to leave your economic plans at home. 

We will welcome you with open arms if you promise to try some sweet tea, test out some hospitality, and cheer on the SEC. You’re going to love it here!

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