Catie Cooks is Moving!

I have exciting news to share with you all. Catie Cooks is moving to Boston! I have spent a ton of time considering this big decision, and I could not be more thrilled about my choice.

Photo Credit: Anthony Hiller Photography

Thanks to my dear friend, Anthony, for the gorgeous photo of my future city. You can follow him on Instagram @theamericanskyline for daily photos or check out his website. He is an amazing photographer.

To give some background, I was accepted into graduate programs in Boston, New York, and Pittsburgh for food studies/gastronomy. Making this decision was more challenging than I anticipated. I thought I knew what I wanted, but I had to make sure that it was what would be best for me. It’s all how I process decisions. I need to the rational and the free-spirited parts of my brain to meet somewhere in the middle. I felt it was important for this to feel right on every level.

From the moment I found the gastronomy program at Boston University, I knew I wanted to go there. Besides Boston being a city in which I could see myself thriving, I found BU’s program to have unique features that fit my future plans the best. This includes the option to get a certificate in culinary arts. No other program I applied to offers hands on culinary training.

From the beginning, I had my heart set on Boston, but I had a hard time admitting this. I felt so much anxiety about making this decision. I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision.  I realized though that all this anxiety was coming from not wanting to disappoint anyone important in my life with the decision I make. That mentality was what led me down the wrong path for so long. Once I decided to make this decision based solely on what is best for me and what I want, the decision was obvious. It was Boston all along.

I cannot express how delighted I am that I will be moving to Boston. I have only been to the city once, when I was 10 or 11 years old to visit my aunt and uncle. I don’t remember much about the city, but Boston has always seemed like a place I’d love.

I have always considered myself a New Englander at heart, even though I did not grow up there.  I was born in Connecticut, and my family moved back to my dad’s hometown in Western PA when I was a baby. While growing up in PA, I felt out of place from such a young age. I don’t regret where I came from, but I do sometimes think about how my life may have been different if we had never left Connecticut.

The idea of living in Boston just feels right to me. I really didn’t want to go to grad school in New York due to the cost of living, and ultimately going back home to Western PA didn’t feel right. I wanted a place I could grow and thrive, and Boston feels like place where that can happen.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to grow professionally, academically, and personally in Boston. This is a time for my passions (the very foundation of this blog) and my professional life to meet. I know I am going to have so many great food adventures to blog about in Boston. You can expect the same blog, just new location.

I do feel bittersweet about this move. As excited as I am, it is going to be hard to leave my life in DC. Since I was 10 years old, I wanted to live in DC. I have so many dear friends here that I will be so sad to leave. I don’t know much of anyone in Boston. I will truly have to start over in Boston. I did that when I moved here four years ago, so I am confident I can do it again. I know I will miss my life here.

That doesn’t mean I will regret leaving. It is hard to imagine leaving this life behind, but I will have so many memories to take with me in my next journey. I got to fulfill a childhood dream of living in DC. I have had some difficult times here, but I have also had unbelievable experiences. DC is such a cool place to live where food, recreation, culture, and politics all merge into a fascinating life. I have developed such a sense of self while living here. I cannot wait to see how I further develop this in Boston.

I will still be in the area for the next few months, and I plan to get the most out of DC food before I leave. Look out for my for some more DC food fun before I leave!