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Guest Post! Seeing Atlanta Through the Eyes of a Newcomer

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Good Morning Darlings!

Today we have a guest blogger – Brooke Thompson – who reached out to see if she could share her Atlanta with us. Of course! It’s always fun to see what new residents to the best city in the world have to say. Brooke Thompson is a health nut and adventurer, who loves trying new things. She recently moved to Atlanta (along with Mac, her four-legged sidekick!) from the Midwest for a new job, and is thrilled to be living in the active, vibrant city. She’s writing about all of her ATL adventures on her blog. How cute is she? Adorbs.

Take it away, Brooke and welcome to Atlanta!

Getting to Know Atlanta: How to Make a New City Feel Like Home

Welcome To Atlanta, Brooke!

When I decided to move to Atlanta for a job opportunity, I knew I was in for some big changes. Not only would it be the biggest city I had ever lived in, but it would be the first time I had ever lived outside of my home state of Missouri.

As I prepared for and then made the big move, I didn’t have a lot of time to think about what it would be like navigating a new city out on my own. In fact, it wasn’t until all my boxes were unpacked and my parents were making their drive back to Missouri that I really started to think about how I was going to tackle figuring out my new life in Atlanta.

So, I put together a plan that would help me get to know ATL while doing some of my favorite things—eating, drinking, and spending time outdoors:

Eat like the locals. In my opinion, few things are more satisfying than a delicious meal, so I’ve been asking anyone who will listen where I should eat in Atlanta. I’ve tried local restaurants based on recommendations from coworkers, neighbors, and cashiers at Trader Joe’s. I’ve discovered that my neighborhood, Westside/Home Park, has lots of great eats to offer. And I already have a couple of favorites, like Star Provisions and The Optimist. Currently, I’m on a mission to try out all the local farmers’ markets. This great farmers’ market directory is serving as my guide, and so far, I’ve really enjoyed taking advantage of what all the local vendors have to offer.

Drink and be merry. So, I have a confession to make—before I moved to Atlanta, I had never had sweet tea. Even when I visited Atlanta to interview for my job, I didn’t give it a try. I finally tried it at a coworker’s dinner party, and of course, I immediately realized I had really been missing out!

In addition to trying sweet tea for the first time, I’ve been trying to take advantage of as many networking opportunities as possible. One of my coworkers and I have committed to trying a post-work happy hour once a week. We’re using’s rundown of happy hour specials as our guide and although, we’re only two weeks in we’re really having a great time socializing with other professionals in the city!

Learn your way around. Of course, one of the first things I had to do when I got to Atlanta is find my way around. And as this article on the signs you live in Atlanta notes, with the abundance of “Peachtree”-named streets, Spaghetti junction, and having to distinguish between Midtown and Downtown, it isn’t always easy. I’ve been using the maps app on my iPhone to get me from place to place and I always check WSB-TV’s traffic app for any problems before I hit the road.

Hit the trails. I love spending time outdoors, and one of the reasons I decided Atlanta would be a good fit for me is its many opportunities for doing so. I also have a boxer named Mac, who hates being cooped up in my apartment. So, he and I have been visiting local trails each Sunday to get some fresh air and take advantage of the landscape that helps make Atlanta such a great place to live. And we couldn’t have started our trail adventures at a better time of year—each week we’ve been greeted with more vibrant fall colors!

Every time I try a new restaurant or see a new sight I fall in love with Atlanta a little more. Although I never envisioned myself leaving Missouri, I’m certainly glad I took the chance.

Atlanta is already starting to feel like home.