Top 10 Reasons to Call Houston Home

Life in Houston, Texas has become an unexpected discovery of culture and community. After living here for almost 14 years, I have compiled the top ten reasons (from a non-Texan) why I am proud to call Houston home.

1. Diversity

flags of different countries hung between buildingsPeople from a multitude of different cultures and backgrounds have adopted Houston as their home. The oil and gas industry in Houston recruits extraordinary worldwide talent from Venezuela, England, Australia, China, and India, just to name a few. The diversity of the city shines through a variety of culinary offerings at Katy Asian Town, Venezuelen food trucks, Indian grocery stores, food trucks and Houston’s own Chinatown.

2.  (Mostly) Wonderful Weather

hot air baloonYes, it gets hot here in Houston. From June to August, the average high temperature will be well above 90 degrees. But the spring, fall, and winter seasons are amazingly mild. There are a handful of days where you can see your own breath and a hat and gloves come in handy when that Texas wind whips around the soccer practice fields (see #5). Either way, it beats one day of trying to walk on ice covered sidewalks, shovel snow, and scrape icy car windshields.

3.  A Touch of Louisiana

From crawfish boils to Mardi Gras parades in schools, there is more Louisiana influence in Houston than boudin from Baton Rouge! Sweet cinnamon king cake fills the grocery store shelves in the springtime and LSU fans show off their true purple and gold colors. I can always experience a taste of Cajun country here in Houston year-round.

4.  Houston Driving

pickup truckI wasn’t sure what to expect in regards to driving in Houston. Bumper to bumper traffic in Los Angeles. Aggression and anger in New Jersey. Here in Houston, the driving style is unpredictable. Some people will drive extremely slow in the fast lane and fast in the slow lane. The wandering and meaningless lane changing keeps me on my toes and there is no consistency except for the pick-up trucks. Lots and lots of pick-up trucks.

5.  Youth sports

The Houston area is saturated with not only every kind of youth sport, but varying tiers of competitive youth sports. If your child wants to play just for fun or compete until their teeth fall out, there is a league out here for them and plenty of volunteering for the parents!

6.  The Coastline

coastlineEast Coast, West Coast, Gulf Coast? Yes indeed! Sand, waves, fresh seafood, and beautiful gulf shore views are just a short drive away. Galveston provides the beach and shoreline and everything else that comes with it, including a boardwalk!

7.  Community Connection

hands on top of one anotherI was able to weather the storm here in Houston when Hurricane Harvey came to town, left for a day and came back and decided to stay for another few days. Before, during, and after the storm, I have never seen communities come together, quick and strong. The caring vibe that emanated from the entire Houston area was contagious and brought out the best in everyone.

8.  Homecoming 101

I still don’t completely understand this high school tradition. Fortunately, there are so many transplants that now call Houston home, my kids’ high school actually puts out a Homecoming 101 handout with plenty of time to put in the Mum order, the garter order, buy the teddy bear, and decorate the overalls. Texas High School Football rules!

9.  Friday Night Lights

football playerWhat a great Segway! I had no idea that high school football could be such an event. When I first moved here, Katy’s Legacy Stadium wasn’t even built. $72 million dollars later, and a 12,000 capacity high school football stadium is now just down the road. Going to a football game at Legacy Stadium makes for a simple and inexpensive yet exciting Friday night family excursion. Entering into the stadium, you can hear the drums and brass of the marching band fill the air with an energy and electricity that you would not get walking on a dirt path to the bare bones metal bleachers from 1982.

10.  McMansion Communities

suburban communityComing from New Jersey, the picture perfect designs of the houses in the suburbs is striking. While each house isn’t an exact replica of the one next to it, it is pretty darn close. I passed by my own house at least a half a dozen times when I first moved here. The strip malls are no different with a Pho place, carniceria, and peruvian chicken joint on every major street (see #1).

What would make your list of the reasons to call Houston home? 

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Monica Bell
Monica was born and raised in New Jersey. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Penn State University and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Cal State Fullerton. She spent several years working, living, and playing in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Virginia, Philadelphia, and back to New Jersey again before settling down in Katy in 2009. She has been married for over 24 years to her soulmate Atiba and together they have three children and a dog that help her stay young, strong, and active. She has been on both sides of the fence as a full-time working Mama and stay-at-home Mama and everything else in between. When she isn’t carting her kids around all over Katy, she works part-time as an engineering consultant. She is a staunch supporter of chocolate and coffee any time of day and binge-watching trashy reality TV shows. Some of her favorite things include cooking up new recipes, writing, Penn State Football, and anything satirical. Monica believes that motherhood continues to lead her through a challenging journey of personal growth, gratitude, and constant chaos.


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