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The Miles We Travel to Arrive Back in DSM

Returning to DSM

August 9, 2019

Growing up on my family farm in rural Madison County, I knew from a very early age that hard work was an integral part to living in Iowa, especially when it came to farm life.

As the oldest of four boys, I was always the first to be out feeding cattle, fixing fence, baling hay and a multitude of other duties that were required every day to ensure that the farm continued to prosper. Each of us knew we played an essential part in its long-term success with these day-to-day duties. Most days were exhausting, to say the least, often requiring us to be up before the sun, as well as long after the sun went down. There was always work to be done.

As I grew a bit older, like many of my friends who lived on farms, I looked forward to the day when we could go out on our own and see what the world had to offer outside our farms, and more particularly, outside Iowa.

I was fortunate to be able to attend Dowling High school in West Des Moines. Although I did not want to leave my friends behind in our rural community, my dad insisted that an education in Greater Des Moines (DSM) was important. That opportunity helped me to grow, make new friends and see that leaving Iowa might be in my future. My desire to “see the world” became stronger and following graduation, I did not see any reason to stay.

From City to City

nullI left the farm and DSM, living in cities like Omaha, Minneapolis and Kansas City. Each of those cities were great adventures and taught me a lot about myself, and perhaps more importantly, where I had come from.

While living in Kansas City, I met my wife. Once married, we talked about whether we wanted to stay in Kansas City. It seemed at the time as though our careers were not as fulfilling as we had hoped, and we needed new opportunities as we started our lives together.

One weekend we traveled back to DSM to see my family and unexpectedly found it had developed in new and interesting ways. You could tell that changes were taking place to make DSM an exciting place to live and work thanks to new opportunities that were starting to emerge.

Packing Up and Heading to DSM

nullAfter our weekend trip to DSM, we decided that moving was something we truly wanted to do. At one time, moving back to Iowa was something I swore I would never happen, but I couldn’t deny feeling drawn back to the place I left so many years before. We purchased a house and started our family. Today, we cannot imagine living anywhere else but DSM. We have been successful in finding careers we enjoy, a great school where our children continue to thrive and a neighborhood where we feel the warmth of neighbors and friends.

As we have continued to watch DSM grow we feel that not only did we make the right choice to move and raise our family here, but it is a place where our children will have great opportunities, build their careers and enjoy a high quality of life.

Are you interested in moving to Greater Des Moines (DSM)? Relocation Packets offer information on everything from neighborhoods and shopping to parks and local attractions. Or, kick start your career by checking out the DSM USA Career Center. It has over 10,000 jobs listed!

Named as the #13 Best Place to Live in the U.S. and #7 Best City for Living the American Dream, Greater Des Moines (DSM) is the fastest growing metro in the Midwest. Learn more about what it’s like to live here

[Read another recent Local Story post about returning to DSM: I Left to Chase Big Ideas. I Came Back to Find Des Moines Full of Them.]

Matt Kiernan

Matt Kiernan was born in Des Moines in 1967, the oldest of four sons, all of whom now reside in DSM. Matt and his wife, Bethany, and daughters, Olivia and Ella, reside in West Des Moines. Matt is director of strategic development for CLE Productions, Iowa's premier event production company.