One of the toughest adjustments for me was that in Seattle, I could walk almost everywhere — to work, to my favorite coffeeshops, restaurants and record stores — and I’d often bump into familiar faces along the way. In such a dense city space is tight, but it didn’t matter that our one-bedroom apartment was small because the building was just a few blocks away from the Space Needle, multiple rock clubs, an independent movie theater and the best grocery store in the entire city. (I love you forever, Metropolitan Market.)
Our life in Nashville, though, was the opposite. Nashville is vast, and doesn’t have a great public transit system. The city is laid out in a confusing spoke-and-wheel-shaped tangle of highways and freeways that can be tough to navigate for a newcomer. Pockets of dense neighborhoods and small businesses do exist, but they’re scattered around the city in places that are hard to access easily by foot or bike. We had to buy a car to make our life work here.