Hometown Tourist Project! Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Melissa Berry from Sunburnt Saver. I love Melissa’s tagline on her blog: Getting ahead by leaving behind debt! But, today Melissa is going to share what living in Phoenix Arizona is like. I have to say, after reading about living in Phoenix through Melissa’s eyes, Phoenix looks like a fabulous place to visit!
Living in Phoenix
By Melissa Berry
Hey there, A Book Lover’s Adventures readers! My name is Melissa Berry, and I blog over at Sunburnt Saver. Sunburnt Saver is a personal finance blog geared to Millennials who are living with student loan debt but want to enjoy life to the fullest!
I’m really dedicated to maximizing life on a budget – I also run the official Phoenix Living on the Cheap website, which focuses on deals in Phoenix and the surrounding Valley. So when I say I live a fun life frugally, I really do!
Today, I’m going to be sharing my love for my native hometown: Phoenix, Arizona! I’ve lived here for 30 years, and Phoenix has undergone some dramatic changes, even in the last 30 years! From brand new highways to city expansion, Phoenix is a dynamic city and is constantly changing. I’m going to share some of my favorite parts of Phoenix but just know the city is always changing and getting better!
Reasons to Love Living in Phoenix
Before I go on, when I reference Phoenix, I’m referring to the entire “Valley.” Phoenix is known as “the Valley of the Sun”, but when we here in Phoenix refer to “the Valley”, we mean Phoenix and the surrounding cities and towns, like Scottsdale, Glendale (where the Cardinals football team plays – bet you thought that was Phoenix! It’s not, they play in Glendale!), Mesa, and more.
Phoenix is Affordable
Why do I love Phoenix? As a personal finance writer, my number one reason for loving Phoenix is its affordability! My husband was able to buy a house at age 24 – and he had student loan debt! In what other major city could you buy a house at age 24 while still having debt? You couldn’t easily do that in Millennial-friendly cities like Denver, Seattle, or Portland!
Phoenix is a Major City
That’s the other thing about Phoenix: it is a major city, but flies under the radar. Phoenix is officially the 5th largest city in the nation, yet is regularly looked over by major newspapers and magazines. This is kind of a bummer when it comes to food – Phoenix tends to be one of the last big cities to get into delicious food crazes, and you won’t see major plays or brands come to Phoenix right away, but that’s okay – because it keeps the city cheap!
Phoenix Has Amazing Weather
I’m typing this article in December, and the temperature right now is a balmy 75 degrees. Jealous? You should be! Phoenix gets 360 days of sun a year, and this means our winters are gorgeous.
In fact, we’re famous for our winters. People flock to Phoenix in the winter for all the above reasons (affordability, great events and food) and great weather! In the winter, you can enjoy festivals, outdoor activities, concerts, stargazing and more – all outside with maybe a jacket, if you tend to get cold easily. Only parts of Texas and Florida can compete with this kind of great weather.
No Major Natural Disasters
You may not know this, but Phoenix never gets hurricanes. We also don’t really have to worry about earthquakes, tornados, blizzards, or any other kind of terrifying natural disasters. The worst we have is flash flooding during the monsoon season, but if you follow the rules and don’t drive or walk through running water, these events don’t bother the average Phoenician or Phoenix-visitor.
Famous Authors – Not Born in Arizona
Phoenix is extremely welcoming to people from other states. In fact, running into a native Arizonan like me is pretty rare – most people who live in Phoenix came from other states, like the Midwest or East Coast. If you’ve been looking for a city in which to reinvent yourself, Phoenix is your place.
In fact, the authors mentioned below weren’t born in Arizona, but they’ve spent time in the Valley and surrounding areas.
Famous authors who’ve lived in Arizona or currently live here:
- Barbara Park, author of the Junie B. Jones series
- Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight series
- Terri Fields, author of books like After the Death of Anna Gonzalez and Danger in the Desert
- and of course, the illustrious Zane Grey, author of western books like Riders of the Purple Sage
Fun fact: I helped Terri Fields read through The Death of Anna Gonzalez when she was writing/editing the book! Mrs. Fields was my high school English teacher 🙂
Have I convinced you to visit Phoenix yet? If you want to see more about living in Phoenix (or just visiting), visit my site SunburntSaver.com and sign up for my newsletter! There you’ll find articles about saving money (in a big city!) and see Instagram pics from this beautiful desert city.
More about Melissa
Sunburnt Saver is a personal finance blog geared to Millennials who are living with student loan debt but want to enjoy life to the fullest! So, if you’re looking for tips on paying off debt, saving for retirement, and living a fun, fulfilling life on a budget then you can find her at SunburntSaver.com.
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Catch up on the rest of the Hometown Tourist Series here!
Becki is the author and founder of A Book Lover’s Adventures. She has a degree in elementary education, has worked and volunteered in libraries for years, and spent several years in the travel industry. All of this has led to a love of books and travel. Becki loves to share her love by finding literary escapes to share!