Taylor grew up a Hoosier on the eastside of Indianapolis. After she graduated from Indiana University, she moved out to Kansas City for work. Now, six years later, she’s back in Indianapolis, ready to explore the city and grow her community!
Work From Home: 5 Reasons I Work Remote in Indianapolis
As a kid, I couldn’t wait to move away from Indiana. I spent my entire childhood growing up on the eastside of Indianapolis, and I attended college just an hour away at Indiana University. (Go Hoosiers!)
But even though life was great, I just kept imagining something more. I was 21 years old, itching to move out, and ready to explore the world. So, after graduation, I started applying to jobs out of state. Once I finally had a job offer, my boyfriend Nick and I packed our bags and headed west.
That was in 2016. Fast forward to 2020—and the world as we knew it turned upside down.
Offices across the country pivoted to remote work, and Nick and I both started working from home. It was supposed to be temporary, but as time passed, that temporary solution became a permanent structure. Like many others, we could suddenly work wherever we wanted, and that meant the world was our oyster.
At the end of 2020, Nick and I made our first major decision as a married couple and got ready to relocate. But how do you find a home when you can literally go anywhere? We discussed our ideal city and debated where to move for ages—until Nick finally asked: “Why don’t we move back to Indy?”
We thought long and hard about our decision. But Indianapolis was the obvious answer for us, and here’s why:
1. Indiana’s Low Cost of Living
When you’re moving to a new city, one of the biggest deciding factors is cost of living. We considered many different cities across the country, including Denver, Seattle, Nashville, and a few others. However, we knew that this move was going to be long-term. We didn’t want to move again in another five years, so we needed to buy a home with room to grow.
With that in mind, we planned ahead and only looked at homes with enough space for our future children. A house like that might have been possible in other cities, but we did the math. Most of our budget would’ve been sunk into our living expenses, giving us little to no opportunity to enjoy life in our new home.
We needed a city where we could afford a larger home—without breaking the bank. And Indianapolis fit the bill.
It’s not a secret that the cost of living in the Midwest tends to be lower than other regions in the U.S. But it’s shocking how much lower costs are in Indiana. According to Payscale, the cost of living in Indianapolis is 9% lower than the national average. That’s literally half the cost of living in coastal cities like San Francisco!
Best of all, housing expenses in Indianapolis are 19% lower than the national average. So, we could afford the perfect home for our future family, while still living the life we love.
2. Hoosier Hospitality
If you’re American, you’ve probably heard of “Southern Hospitality” or its lesser known cousin “Midwest Nice.” However, neither of those compare to good old-fashioned Hoosier Hospitality! Here in Indiana, there’s a sincere culture of caring, generosity, and compassion that Hoosiers exude on the daily.
Of course, there are always outliers and exceptions. But for the most part, the kindness of Hoosiers is on another level—a genuine community you can’t find anywhere else. Hoosiers are the kind of people who care about their neighbors. They’re the kind of people who remember your name and greet you with a smile, and they’re always willing to lend a hand when you’re in need.
When Nick and I moved to Indiana, we already had friends and family who lived there. But if you’re new to Indiana, don’t let that deter you. Hoosiers make it easy to make new friends! Wherever you go, people are open and friendly, ready to connect you with new people and opportunities. And as you explore the city, those friends will begin to feel like family in no time.
3. The Delicious Food Scene
As the old Indiana Beach jingle used to say, “There’s more than corn in Indiana!” Believe it or not, Indianapolis is actually an amazing food destination—named one of “America’s Next Great Food Cities” by Food & Wine magazine.
When I first moved back to Indy, I was just thrilled that we could order Yats whenever we wanted (which was often). So, imagine my surprise when I got here and realized the food landscape had completely changed while we were away! Seemingly overnight, Indianapolis had become one of the trendiest and tastiest dining experiences around.
Most of that good food can be attributed to the diversity in the Indy region. When diverse cultures come together, great things happen in the community—and our local food scene! Each Indy neighborhood has its own unique vibe and one-of-a-kind restaurants that perfectly fit the atmosphere.
Because we live in Fountain Square, most of our exploration tends to be in the area, including Downtown, Irvington, and Broad Ripple. But you don’t have to limit yourself to Indianapolis! There are delicious restaurants in Fishers, Carmel, and everywhere in between. If you’re ever in the Indy area, I recommend checking out some of my favorites in the list below!
- Futuro and Grump’s Slice Stop—two restaurants, same owner, both with AMAZING pizza!
- Mornings Breakfast & Brunch is my favorite place for a morning mimosa.
- World Famous Hotboyz brings the California hot chicken heat to the heartland.
- Maialina is a rustic Italian restaurant in the heart of Indianapolis.
- And General Tso’s Inn is a local Chinese shop with the best crab rangoons ever!
4. SPORTS (and Other World-Class Events)
As I mentioned earlier, I’m an Indiana University alumnus, so Hoosier Hysteria runs deep in my veins. It’s true what they say: “In 49 states, it’s just basketball, but this is Indiana!” Whether it’s the Pacers or the Fever, just thinking about Indy basketball sends a wave of excitement through me. But Indianapolis has way more than just basketball!
Soccer fans will feel right at home at an Indy Eleven match, while baseball fans can catch a game down at Victory Field. Thousands of football fans cheer on the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. And I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the Greatest Spectacle in Racing—The Indianapolis 500! Even if you aren’t a racing fan, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a place of legend, and everyone deserves to experience the 500 at least once in their lifetime.
But did you know that Indy’s also the Amateur Sports Capital of the World? Indianapolis is home to the NCAA headquarters, USA Gymnastics, USA Track & Field, USA Diving, and dozens more governing bodies.
Because of this—and the city’s centralized location—Indianapolis has hosted more than 450 collegiate, national, and international championships! In fact, Indy recently hosted the entire March Madness tournament in 2021, as well as the College Football Playoff National Championship in 2022.
Not a sports fan? No problem! All of the sporting venues in Indianapolis double as state-of-the-art concert halls and event centers. Every year, Indiana hosts a variety of world-class performers and musicians, national conventions like Gen Con and Indy PopCon, and festivals for all occasions. Whether you’re attending the Indiana Black Expo or the Eiteljorg Indian Market, our venues let you experience top-tier events, as well as tremendous local talent.
5. Ease of Travel
As someone who travels semi-regularly for work AND loves a good vacation, traveling is an important part of my life. Whether I’m flying or driving, I need to get where I’m going quickly and affordably, and that’s one of the many reasons I love Indianapolis.
I’ve flown through many airports across the country, and the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) is one of the best—without a doubt. In fact, over the past decade, our airport has consistently ranked as the Best Airport in North America! It’s also nice to see reasonably priced international flights available right at our local airport.
If flying isn’t your thing, there are countless destinations you can easily reach from Indianapolis by car (or train, or bus!) After all, Indiana’s called the Crossroads of America for good reason. The majority of the U.S. population is within just a day’s drive, which makes it easy to plan a weekend trip out of town.
Just to name a few drivable destinations, it takes less than five hours to get to Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Nashville. And thanks to Indy’s low cost of living, you can take the money you saved and increase your travel budget! (See how I brought that full circle?)
Indianapolis is the perfect city for remote work.
When we started working from home, I never expected it would become my “new normal.” But now, the world has realized that remote work is not only possible, but better for many employees. Instead of moving where the jobs are, remote work gives us the freedom to live where we want—in a place that feels like home.
For Nick and I, we’ve been back in Indianapolis for about a year now, and I can confidently say that moving here was the best decision we could have made. We’ve had so much fun exploring the city and rediscovering all the amazing things that Indy has to offer. From our new neighbors to our local restaurants, we’re growing our network and finding a place in our community.
As we continue to get reacquainted with our hometown, we are constantly reminded why moving here was the right choice. Because Indiana truly does feel like home.