I went from rain and snow and a temperature of around 5 Celsius to sunny days at 27 degrees Celsius!
I already like Austin for this reason.
I haven’t had much time to get around or see much because of the move but I can introduce you to my new home nevertheless.
Austin is the capital of Texas and it is a city that surprises with its quirks because the motto of this Texan city is “Keep Austin Weird” which can translate to “Keep Austin unique.”
Unique is the adjective that immediately comes to mind when I think of this place.
On the one hand, it is the State Capitol of one of the most conservative States in the U.S.A but, on the other hand, its colourful buildings and murals and its digital “friendliness” point to an open-minded future.
Austin is tempting, it is a very liveable reality that focuses on small entrepreneurs and which gives space to small businesses while hosting some of the biggest digital and technology companies out there.
It offers many opportunities, especially for engineers like myself.
The first mandatory stop is the Texas Capitol which is the largest State Capitol in the United States of America after perhaps the one in Washington DC.
This pink granite giant captivates from the first glance, embraced as it is by the greenery of the surrounding park.
Inside it, the history of Texas is retraced through paintings and statues that blend perfectly with the dome that dominates the building.
Outside, however, the statues cover the entire perimeter celebrating all the governors of Texas but also leaving a lot of space for nature and there are many people who “take advantage” of the green of the park simply to relax and read a book in complete tranquillity.
Entrance and visit to the Capitol are free and all you have to do is pass the security checks via metal detectors and you can decide to follow one of the guided tours or to explore it independently.
In addition to being known for its famous Capitol and for its University, Austin is known for being very eclectic when it comes to music. A first glimpse of this connection with music takes place as soon as you arrive at the airport, in fact, at the baggage claim displays a series of unique and colourful guitars which alternate with conveyor belts. Even wandering around the centre of Austin it is possible to find various guitars that are always different and particular to decorate corners or streets, parks and squares.
And when the sun goes down the clubs begin to light up with groups of local and non-local singers and musicians who play live. One of the most authentic experiences to live in Austin is related to music whether it's blues, rock, or country and I can’t wait to attend one of these shows.
What I have seen is that Austin has many parks and lakes and people here seem to very outdoorsy.
The great weather conditions surely encourage spending time outdoors and all around the city you can find plenty of playgrounds and picnic areas for families and friends.
Many people play in Austin’s green meadows: they fly kites, play frisbee or play with their dogs.
It seems there are dog owners everywhere in town or, perhaps, there were dogs back in Ottawa too but they wouldn’t take them much outside due to the freezing temperatures.
Austin so far seems like a gourmet place too. There are many ethnic restaurants and diners with authentic international dishes on offer. There are many organic food supermarkets and some local Farmers’ markets as well so it seems the offer is huge.
Overall, nature + music + good food translates to a very healthy environment to me and I hope to learn more about it and share it with you soon.
My exploration has just started!