I love to travel, although I hate to pack.
I love traveling because a person has a chance for reflection. A person also has a chance to compare and contrast, putting all the nuggets in your back pocket; the good, bad, and the bloody other, whatever that may be.
I take note of the infrastructure, what the area has available and has been made available to its communities, areas that could use a nudge and areas that are thriving. And then why or why not?
Detroit, Michigan is a tough place.
First – I believe and have come to the conclusion living in the Midwest is a harder than living on the east coast.
Pros of living on the east coast:
Cost of living
The thing is, even though the cost of living, especially with housing can be quite more expensive, there is a chance to save in other areas. For instance, transportation. There are options in Massachusetts.
You have to have a good car. The Midwest is so far spread out, without a vehicle, it limits possible employment prospects. You can be carless, but you have to be set up just so.
The winters are long and harsh. You can freeze to death without proper preparation. I used to have a gas can, jumper cables, tire jack, extra tire, first aid kit, a blanket, mitts, hat, and maybe boots if I am driving away from the city. You needed AAA or some other service if your car clunks out in the cold, hit a deer, slide into the ditch, etc. And if you get stuck out there, you get stuck out there. Thank goodness for cellphones.
I have also noticed, many of my Midwest friends have one job alone. A couple of people I know have two jobs, but mostly one. It seems as if many jobs are M-F or schedules designed in such a way that it makes it difficult to have a second job if one needed to have one. This puts strain and stress on upward mobility. Not saying you want to have two jobs, but it does provide cushion if needed.
In the Boston area, I know countless individuals that have more than one job, not just in the medical sector. One could say because of the cost of living – yes that is true. However, once one facility offers a schedule, including the opportunity to work at home full or part-time, which then allows for more flexibility; soon it catches wind. Then another facility may then offer the same or better schedule because of competition. And sometimes, it is just good to have that extra job in case of an emergency, vacation money, or stack and save for your home and children. It provides opportunity and competition.
All of this connects to your overall well-being, mental and physical.
So this is what I learned about Detroit – it needs help. It is left up to state representatives and local governments.
Here is a list:
1. They do not recycle. It took me forever to find a plastic recycling receptacle at the airport. I found one, in the corner. One, just one.
2. They have landfills, they just keep mounting them. The trucks are just stacking up on a gigantic hill. Apparently, my friend Rebecca passed along to me that the city was going to create a golf course or the possibility of winter sport activities on the landfill. However, it can explode. The landfill needs to be properly vented in the decomposing process and if not, it can explode. So, umm . . . no.
3. During the recession, they cut back in the schools. However, we are no longer in a recession as the Big 3 in the area: Ford, GMC, and Chrysler are doing quite well these days. They create jobs and opportunity in the area, but still schools run short on staff. The school district near my friend only have one school nurse for four schools. I repeat: 1 school nurse for 4 schools. So, in order to dispense medication to the students, many parents have to come to school to give their child or children their medication(s). Secretaries have been trained to administrate Epi-Pens in case of an allergic reaction, as they are also allowed to dispense OTC medications. I am sure there are tons rules and regulations to tightly fit their new drawn guidelines for their economic restraints/choices.
4. There is a severe lack of industry in the area. Employment prospects are limited to food service, auto, education, some banking, retail, some construction, public service, tradesmen, and that’s about it. Now, in downtown Detroit, there are probably more opportunities; however, the communities that surround Detroit, it is suburban sprawl with fast food chains and retail for miles upon miles. In Lincoln Park, the public library shares the same building as the police.
5. I will say – the Ford Museum was so fun. I loved it. It was timeless. It is worth the trip to Michigan alone. Michigan is the world headquarters for Ford and they have invested in the community. Check out America’s Innovation: https://www.thehenryford.org/visit/henry-ford-museum/
6. We also visited a tranquil park on the river.
I feel as if the community could be so much more and so much better, but it takes planning and investments in the government and private sectors. My friend told me that the previous governor create tax incentives for the film industry and soon the film industry started to invest in the area. However, the next governor, rolled-back that tax incentives and the film industry left.
It is hard to see when people lose thousands upon thousands of dollars in their homes’ worth. It is hard when you see people struggle and if there was a solid infrastructure, people wouldn’t have to struggle so much. Every state and community has it tough points in history but they reinvent. They invest and bring in industries that continue the growth in the community.
Where are these leaders in the Detroit, Michigan area? Moreover, where are the leaders in other cities and communities in the United States? There are many communities that need help. It is not just a Detroit problem.
You may think – am I running for office? Well, not today.
It is hard to see people struggle and it is hard to see that lovely pollution haze across the Detroit area sky.
But, MN is really not that different during the summer months. The landscape traps in the pollution and the humidity saturates the air, literally making the air heavy and hard to breathe. It is one main reason I left the Midwest. That last year in MN I developed an infection December/January, April, June/July, and September. Every time one cleared, another grew. It was terrible. Then – when I visited a coast – I could take a deep breath and not cough. Iceland is still the best to breathe.
Compare and contrast.
Reflection and motivation.
Create and recreate.
Never give up and never give in.
Note: Rebecca, please feel free to fact check me. 🙂