Dear Greeley, Colorado:

Thank you.

At this time last year, I was a 22-year-old girl from New Jersey preparing to move 1600+ miles away from home to begin the next chapter of her life.

In the midst of a million emotions, to say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement.

I packed myself up and out of my childhood home last October knowing I would never return again (the apartment I grew up in was sold shortly after I moved out) to move to a place I'd never been to before and knew nothing about.

No family. No friends. Just me.

A 3-day road trip filled with curiosity, anxiousness, and excitement eventually brought me to my new home in Greeley, Colorado.

I moved here without an ounce of knowledge about the city; as a result, I had no idea what would be in store for me and my year ahead.

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I might've moved to Greeley knowing nothing, but I was very quick to pick up on the fact that people looooove to give the city crap (pun intended)

While my experience living in Greeley was no love affair, it was one I'll forever be thankful for and one I'll never forget. Here are a few reasons why:

City Girl Living The Country Life

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I was born in New York City and grew up living an urban lifestyle in the shadows of the Big Apple - it was nothing like living in Northern Colorado.

As I got older, my desire to experience and live a lifestyle different than the one I was raised on only continued to grow; after graduating high school, I ultimately decided to move to Alabama for college, which is where I first got to experience - and fall in love with - the country lifestyle.

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Greeley reminds me a lot of what I fell in love with, in Alabama; the wide-open space, winding country roads, incredible sunrises/sunsets, farmland + farm animals, the list goes on.

Living in Greeley gave this city girl an opportunity to continue living out her wildest country girl dreams. For that, I couldn't be more grateful.

Centerplace.

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To be honest, I didn't spend all that much time in Greeley aside from living there.

I will say, though, that if you did ever see me out in Greeley, it was more than likely at a store or restaurant in Centerplace.

I mean, that shopping center has everything. 

Need groceries? Go to Centerplace. Looking for a dentist? Go to Centerplace. Is your laptop broken? Go to Centerplace. Have some downtime and need a few hours to kill? Go to Centerplace. 

I could go on about this gloriously convenient shopping center, but my favorite part about Centerplace? The food.

I've genuinely never come across a shopping center that boasts the same, or even a similar variety of food options that this one does. For starters, Centerplace is home to pretty much every existing fast-food chain imaginable - Wendy's, Taco Bell, Starbucks, Dairy Queen, Popeyes, Chik-Fil-A, Arby's, Good Times - just to name a few.

It's great for a girl like me who can never decide what she wants to eat.

If fast food isn't your thing, there are several other restaurants to choose from and that'll be sure to curb your appetite (believe me, I would know).

Whether you live in the Greeley area or are just passing through, Centerplace quite literally has everything you could ever want or need. Truth be told, I'm a little sad that I will no longer be living 5 minutes from this place.

My Very First Home

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I've experienced a lot of "firsts" in the last year, but my favorite "first" of them all was moving into my own place for the very first time.

I thrive around other people and have always enjoyed living with others (this holds especially true while I was living with friends in college).

Initially, I was thrilled to be living alone for the first time... but I was nervous too. More than anything, I was nervous that I'd fall into a spiral of feeling lonely and homesick.

I'd be lying if I said those feelings never surfaced, especially at the beginning, but I am proud to say that I've overcome those feelings, and have grown more in the last year as a result of this move than I ever thought I would.

Say what you want about Greeley - the city will always hold a special place in my heart.

This last year has been far from perfect, but I wouldn't trade the memories I've made, the lessons I've learned - and the daily 45-minute rides from Greeley to Fort Collins - for anything.

This isn't a goodbye, this is a "see you on the other side of I-25".

Here's to you, Greeley, Colorado: thank you for everything.  

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