We were on a journey to meet up with someone. The trip was hurriedly thrown together and wouldn’t last long. Columbia, South Carolina to see our son graduate from basic training. It’s a place I hadn’t been to before and if it weren’t for our son, wouldn’t have bothered picking out on a map.
Along the way though, we passed a sign for Aiken South Carolina. It was one of those distinct life moments that you can’t forget. The sign was just like any other highway sign with its green background and white lettering, but it drew me in. I wanted to go there. I couldn’t put my finger on why I wanted to go there, but I did.
It wasn’t until we were traveling back home and experienced the mishap of a hotel not worth spending our money on that we found ourselves in the city of Aiken (population: 29,524 as of 2010). I tried to contain my joy because my fellow travelers don’t always understand the tug I feel for certain places.
Aiken was named after William Aiken, the man who was once the president of the railroad that runs from Charleston to the Savannah River. Aiken is home to the University of South Carolina, is known for its annual Lobster Race, and the Aiken’s Makin’ festival.
It’s a combination of historic elegance with a history dating back generations and cutting edge technology. Modern homes interspersed with historical structures dot the area and in the mix are equestrian activities.
For those of you who want to relocate, check out Aiken’s Chamber of Commerce site. They have a handy relocation calculator that will tell you the difference in cost of living, gas prices, and the cost of a T-bone steak. You know, in case you were wondering about those things. And if you just want to take a trip there, you can do that too. Trip Advisor offers a plethora of information about Aiken for the travelers who are just passing through.
They say you’re always welcome in Aiken; that if “you’re lucky enough to live in Aiken…you’re lucky enough.”