Grits and Tamales

Life in the Deep South, by Gabriel Aguilera

Moving to the ATL

I have been in Montgomery since early July.  There is no doubt that work at the Air War College suits me so I am certain that I will be here at least three years, which is the length of my initial contract.  If they renew it they will do so for 5 additional years, which will be enough time for me to (a) exit for the right opportunity or (b) settle in for the long haul.

The problem, beyond the short run, is lifestyle.  Montgomery is a pleasant city but is not well suited for a single middle-aged man.  I’m stuck with the same lifestyle challenges I’ve had since I left Los Angeles.  There is, however, a solution that I believe I can afford: Atlanta.  When I was living in Chico, CA my medium-run solution was to move to Davis and drive in for a few nights per week to do my work.  The problem in Chico was that I had established relationships and the move-cum-commute was not economically feasible.

Atlanta is different.  It is about a 2-hour drive and housing in nice parts of town is affordable.  A decent condo can be had for 80-100k or so.  Throw in association fees & taxes, the monthly payment is still not bad.  The idea would be to spend M-Th nights in Montgomery.  Ideally, I would work long days and get most of my work done so I can chill and enjoy myself in a nice neighborhood where I would not need to drive so much.

The tentative plan is to begin shopping seriously in March.  Before then, I plan to take short trips whenever I have time to check out different neighborhoods.


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