Blog: Michelle Spranger

Michelle Spranger is a lifelong resident of Oakland County and currently works as a freelance producer and writer for television, video and special events with more than 15 years of experience. She will be writing about what Michigan needs to do to keep people like her from moving away.

Post No 1: The Place For Me

For as long as I can remember, I always thought I’d move away from Michigan. I’ve lived in metro-Detroit all my life and I’ve always wanted to move somewhere warmer. 

When one of my younger sisters, Jennifer, moved to Delaware, then to Sonoma Valley, then to Raleigh-Durham, I was so jealous. I always thought I’d be the one to move first and here she was, crisscrossing the country. And when another sister, Stephanie, moved to L.A., I was happy for her, but I was pissed. I wanted it to be me. 

Usually the urge to bail hits me in late fall when everything turns brown and the air gets a bit cooler. I don’t understand why anyone likes the fall; everything is dying! And don’t get me started on the Michigan winters. I remember one winter where we had 30 days in a row of no sun. Just gray skies for a month!

So why do I stay? Well, most of my family still lives here. I have built a successful career. My husband and I own a nice home on a quiet street with decent neighbors in Southfield. We hang with a nice circle of friends. Michigan summers are awesome. Fear.

I’ve visited almost every state in the U.S., either for vacation or work, yet I haven’t found a place that feels quite right. I’ve also traveled to the Caribbean, Europe, Canada, Mexico, Central America, but none of those felt right either. At least not enough to pack up and go permanently.

My ideal city would have to meet the following criteria…

  1. Warm climate with a lot of sunny days. 70s-80s all year round.
  2. Dog friendly. I’d like to live in a city with dog parks and safe areas to walk, along with shops and restaurants that allow (and encourage) you to bring your dogs.
  3. Affordable neighborhoods where the houses aren’t jammed next to each other. I grew up in Oak Park where only the driveway separated our house from the neighbors. If I can hear my neighbor start his car in the morning, that’s too close.
  4. Plenty of work. Although much of my work is done out of state, most of the production companies and marketing agencies that hire me are located in Michigan. If I were to move, I would probably lose about 75% of my business.
  5. With all the traveling I do, I’d prefer to be within an hour’s drive from a major airport. Some of my coworkers live in the northern suburbs and rave about flying out of Flint. They usually have to connect through DTW before arriving at their destination, but I hate connections.
  6. Wide variety of concert venues. I enjoy watching live music, from Kid Rock to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Hmm…I wonder if this place exists.