Illinois Sisters Discover Hidden Gems and Vibrant Lifestyle in Wichita
By Emily Barnwell (Younger)
When Kari Slagel first announced her decision to move to Wichita, Kansas in May 2022, her friends and family were taken aback. “Kansas? What’s in Kansas?” they asked, confused by her choice. Little did they know Kari had stumbled upon a hidden gem.
Fresh out of Purdue University and armed with a job as a global communications specialist at Cargill, Kari, 22, packed her bags and embarked on an exciting personal and professional journey in the Air Capital.
“I was surprised when I moved here. The city is bigger than I expected, but still more of a smaller-town feel. I really like the relaxed and easygoing vibe mixed with the personality of Old Town,” Kari said.
The Illinois native was immediately immersed in the “vibe” of downtown having secured an apartment in the core of the city, nestled amongst performing arts centers, dining and nightlife.
“I wanted to be close to all the action and be able to easily walk to go do things,” Kari explained.
Kari’s commute to Cargill is a mere six minutes by foot, an unthinkable luxury in most metropolitan areas. She quickly learned that so-called “traffic” is a breeze throughout the Wichita region.
“I really like the small-town feel that comes with the city perks in Wichita. I don’t have to drive 45 minutes to get to a mall or Walmart, and I don’t have to sit in backed-up traffic either,” she said.
However, it wasn’t just the city’s amenities and convenient lifestyle that captured Kari’s heart – it was the people. A trip to the local tag office provided an eye-opening experience.
“The team there was so friendly,” she recalled. “You wouldn’t get that kind of treatment back in Illinois, and I think that little story is a good illustration of Wichita and the people you’ll find here.”