Reporting Live from Hurricane Harvey: One Month in Austin

Greetings from Hurricane Harvey!

Today marks one month since I flew down to Austin, where I had never been before, to start a new job. It has been a challenging month to say the least. It won’t surprise anyone to hear that my culture shock from moving to Texas has been greater than when I moved to London.

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Running by the Texas State Capital building.

The intense heat, having to driving everywhere, and just the general pace of life have taken some adjusting to, and I’m still not there yet. But I have met some wonderful people in the past month and my job is as wonderful as I was hoping it would be, so I’m trying to remain optimistic, even in those moments when I miss Europe so much it hurts and I wonder how I ended up landlocked in America!

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Running on the path along the Colorado River with Nicole, a running buddy who moved from NYC to Austin last year.

Speaking of landlocked, I’m very lucky to be inland this weekend during Hurricane Harvey. Austin isn’t experiencing any of the widespread damage that low-lying Houston and coastal cities like Rockport and Corpus Christi are. Everyone panicked about losing power (myself included), but so far so good – there are still flash flood warnings for our area because the rain is supposed to continue through Thursday or Friday, and many roads do flood around here. Again, I’m not used to living in a place where I have to think about avoiding flooded roads in a car, but I promise I’ll be safe! When I first arrived and saw road signs that said “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” I thought they were hilarious…and now I see that they’re serious!

(Not my photo, but tell me this isn’t funny.)

My parents took a road trip down to visit me in Austin (and bring me my car!) and then spent a week in Austin helping me move into my new apartment. I found a furnished apartment downtown which made moving in very easy and pain-free.

My parents bonding with Baxter and Lucy, the dogs at the house where I stayed for a few weeks when I first arrived.

My parents bonding with Baxter and Lucy, the dogs at the house where I stayed for a few weeks when I first arrived.

I’ve started to explore my new neighborhood – it’s a 10-minute walk to the giant Whole Foods (the very first Whole Foods store!) and about 1 mile to the running path along the river.

ATX sign - short for Austin, Texas - outside Whole Foods

ATX sign – short for Austin, Texas – outside Whole Foods

My friend from Chicago, Carla, was in town for her sister’s bachelorette party last weekend, and she spent Sunday exploring Austin with me and my parents, who were still in town. She and I went to Barton Springs on Sunday afternoon, and then we all went to see the Congress Avenue Bridge bats in the evening.

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The next morning, Carla wanted to go for a run, and since I have to be at work at 7:30, we left at 5:50am. Sunrise isn’t until 7am, so our entire run was dark. There was also 84% humidity. I didn’t realize that most of the roads and the running paths were unlit, so it was good to know that those aren’t routes I would be willing to venture to on my own!

Running at 5:50am is not my favorite.

Running at 5:50am is not my favorite.

We also got to enjoy the solar eclipse on Monday! It was about a 70% eclipse in Austin, about the same as in NYC. It was cool but it made me really eager to see a total solar eclipse…Austin is in the path of totality in 2024, as are a few cities in Upstate New York!

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Hundreds of little eclipse shadows beneath the trees

I haven’t been running much because of the heat, but I joined Classpass down here so I’m looking forward to trying out some new studios and maybe doing some treadmill runs to try to build back my mileage inside until the cool weather arrives.

Only one more week until we have a three-day weekend!

(Or in Texas in August, live easy run easy!)

(Or in Texas in August, live easy run easy!)

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Where are you spending Labor Day Weekend?

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