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two young women standing in front of laugh wall art at Amercian Greetings in Westlake Ohio

Living a Full and Affordable Life in Ohio

Lauren Oliver shares what it means to move (back) to Ohio.

Lauren Oliver at American Greetings in Westlake

Living a Full and Affordable Life in Ohio

By Lauren Oliver

Posted On: Jul 29, 2022

Three-and-a-half years ago I was in a dilemma — do I stay in Chicago or move back to Ohio? I had been living in the Windy City for two years and really enjoying the life I had built there, but something was off. More often than not, I found myself stressed, way too busy, and emotionally and physically exhausted. Big cities breed that lifestyle, and I soon realized it wasn't for me.

Whenever I came home to Cleveland, I felt different. I felt peaceful and I had time to catch my breath. I was craving a slower pace and more laid-back living, and I knew what I needed to do.

I can confidently say that moving back to Ohio was one of the best decisions I've made! I was working at a public relations agency and, although it was a great experience, I knew it wasn't where I belonged long-term. I'm a creative person at heart and wanted to be somewhere that encourages creativity and innovation — and I was lucky enough to land my dream job here in Cleveland!

two young women standing in front of laugh wall art at Amercian Greetings in Westlake Ohio
American Greetings in Westlake

I've now been at American Greetings for the past 3-1/2 years and love the uniqueness of my position. How many people can say they work on greetings cards? I'm constantly inspired by the people I work with, I have launched some of the coolest projects, and I am able to show up to work as my most authentic self. I can truly say it's a place where I thrive and where I'm meant to be. 

What I've learned over time is that no matter what industry you're interested in — Ohio has something for everyone! In addition to my company, I've been super pleased with the expansion of other innovative industries and companies setting up shop such as Planttera, Intel, Crocs, and more! It's amazing to witness the resurgence and vibrancy that's been growing here.

three people standing outside by the patio of Nano Brew in Cleveland Ohio
Nana Brew Cleveland 

Since moving back to Ohio, I've also taken notice of how much more affordable the cost of living is than in bigger cities. Cleveland in particular has the perks of a big city, but with much lower prices. I love checking out local restaurants and bars, and it's nice that I can do so frequently without breaking the bank.

young woman standing on rooftop patio of Limelight at Electric Gardens in Tremont Ohio
Limelight at Electric Gardens in Tremont

My biggest relief, however, has been housing. In downtown Chicago, I lived in a studio apartment with no car. In downtown Cleveland, on the other hand, I have a large one-bedroom apartment with a car — and still pay less than I did before! Several of my friends live throughout Ohio in Columbus and Cincinnati, and they've echoed these sentiments, as well.

It's been really nice being able to save more money with less expenses here, which I'm hoping to use for a down payment on a home in the near future. I couldn't be happier after moving back to Ohio and have so much pride and love for my state!

Learn more about living and working in Ohio at LiveinOhio.org

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