Eds note: This is the first in an ongoing series called “Going to Kansas City” in which we share the personal stories of how people came to Kansas City — and why they stayed.
"I don't think it really hit me until the day we left," says Natalie Skadra of her move from Durham, N.C., to Kansas City in 2006. "I cried. Like tears that I don't normally cry. It was a very difficult, painful move."
But things have changed since that day more than seven years ago.
"We started thinking about committing to living in Kansas City and not always wait for, 'when are we going to leave Kansas City?'" Skadra says. "It has the best of the big city ... without the congestion and the expense."
Here is more about Natalie and her "Going to Kansas City" story:
Name: Natalie Skadra
Age: Early 40s
Neighborhood/city: Fairway, Kan.
Came to Kansas City from: Durham, N.C. and Chicago, Ill.
Arrived in: 2006
Why I came: Husband's job relocation.
First impressions: My first impressions of KC was that it was not very green (having just come from a state with tall pines) and that it was 'stuck in the middle of nowhere.'
View today: I always describe KC as a hidden gem with all the best things of a big city without the cost and hassle.
The biggest surprise: What surprised me most was how hard it was to meet people from here because so many people are from here, went to school near here, came back and have family and friends here — they aren't looking for new friends. Just about all of our friends here relocated to KC.
What I miss: I miss being near a big body of water and I miss the diversity found in other places I've lived. But it's growing more diverse.
Why I stayed: We decided to stay because we have great friends here and we enjoy what the city has to offer. We like the quality of life. And, we don't have a reason to leave, yet.
Favorite thing to do in Kansas City: I enjoy trying different restaurants and taking advantage of the theater choices KC offers.
Next Kansas City adventure: Seeing something at the Kauffman Center.