One of the things I love about Spring Hill, Tennessee is the fact that it’s a melting pot. Like, who knew?! This is not typical of a small, southern town.

 

Having grown up in Toronto (Canada), I moved by myself at the age of 19 to small city in North Alabama and I quickly found out that just about every person had been born and raised in that same town for generations. When you’re an outsider, moving to a town like that is especially hard when trying to develop deep friendships.

I craved a larger city with diversity. Having grown up around different cultures, beliefs, religions, races and backgrounds, I knew small town life wasn’t for me. I culture shocked my husband when we moved to Phoenix in 2011. I felt right at home and he … well, he didn’t. He missed the South. He missed the sweet tea. He missed SEC College Football.

A couple of years later we settled in Nashville where we resided for the past six years. He got back to his southern roots, and I found a thriving city full of transplants. So when he threw out the idea of moving to Spring Hill last year (while I was house hunting in the Gulch), my first thought was NAH THANKS. But I caved. We found a house we both loved and I reluctantly agreed to move.

For a smaller city, I guess I just expected something different. And to my surprise, I found neighbors from every state (and tons of Californians!). I found churches full of people from different walks of life. I found restaurant booths filled with different races, different backgrounds – all with welcoming smiles.

In my first couple of months living in Spring Hill, I found it hard to even find someone who had been born and raised here. We were all transplants looking for a slower paced, family-friendly city with affordable housing and 5-10 minute commutes to just about anywhere. And the ones that were already here, the ones who had found this gem way before we did, were welcoming. They were excited to add to their city’s growth.

Anyone else active on the NextDoor app like me? Just about every week someone from another state moves to Spring Hill and introduces themselves and they’re flooded with messages from strangers welcoming them to the city and sharing their favorite places to eat and shop.

I can truly say in a year and a half I have fallen in love with Spring Hill, Tennessee. I feel as though I’ve found a hidden treasure that people around the world don’t know about (yet). With every new construction site and building development, I get excited when I think about what this city will look like five or 10 years from now.

Every city in the nation with a population of 10,000 – 75,000 was recently scored by a livability factor (based on amenities, cost of living, employment, housing, schools, crime and weather) by AreaVibes to showcase smaller cities compared to larger metropolises. It’s no surprise to me that Spring Hill ranked number one in the state of Tennessee.

If you’re not from around these parts, just know you’re appreciated for seeing the beauty of Spring Hill. Smaller, southern cities need transplants. We need different perspectives. We need people who don’t act, think or talk alike. And we need appreciation for that diversity, which I feel like Spring Hill has.

I wanted to share some personal pictures from my neighbors and friends celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving with us. It’s a newer annual tradition my husband and I started—a way to have Friendsgiving on a holiday that is celebrated the second Monday of October every year in Canada.

I hope you’ll bring some of your family’s traditions from wherever you’re from to Spring Hill and share in the differences that can still unite us.

BY JENN LYLES

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