Goodbye, Downtown Orlando

Downtown Orlando, with its energy, character, and frustrating design, is an interesting place in which to work. The dining options are nearly endless, there’s plenty of paths to take for a refreshing lunch time walk, there’s perhaps even a certain prestige that comes from saying “I work in downtown Orlando.” But it is not without its challenges.

The commute, especially when the workday is done, is hellacious. Alternate options, like the SunRail, aren’t as convenient as they should be. Parking is scarce. Safety is shaky at times.

No destination is without its faults. There are many positive attributes about downtown Orlando. But, now that I am a mother, a change in work environment is needed to match my new lifestyle. Downtown Orlando presents some challenges for many working parents.

As I prepare for my transition I have tried to spend some time saying farewell to the things I enjoy about working in downtown Orlando. I’ll miss the SunRail, though with its spread out service times it’s been difficult to utilize it ever since baby was born. I’ll miss driving through Winter Park and Ivanhoe Village on the way to work from time to time. I’ll miss the plethora of places to have a great meal for lunch – though my budget made it difficult to do so on a regular basis.

As I have entered my final days of working in downtown Orlando I have been mindful of my environment and enjoy the views. On Instagram I’ve begun a series of posts highlighting my favorite lunch spots (#farewelllunch) as I bid farewell. There is an energy that downtown Orlando offers that no other part of Central Florida replicates.

Orlando’s own Statue of Liberty near Ivanhoe Village

I won’t miss the painful drives on I-4. I won’t miss the challenges with parking, especially the time it takes to enter the parking garage, find a spot, walk to office building, and then get up to the office. Exiting the garage is additionally painful, especially if you arrive a little late and have to park on the rooftop. I won’t miss the safety concerns I have with the downtown environment – which is not all that bad compared to other big cities, but enough for me to crave a calmer locale.

Life is all about experiences and growth. I am thankful for this chapter in my life. I am grateful for what I’ve learned and for being able to experience this kind of work location. I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to make a good career in an industry I enjoy, and one that is so strong here in Orlando. It all adds up to enjoying this Florida life!

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