A millennial moved to Charleston from Nashville to get away from the bachelorette party scene. She’s never been happier working her new dream job and paddleboarding in her new city.

A millennial moved to Charleston from Nashville to get away from the bachelorette party scene. She’s never been happier working her new dream job and paddleboarding in her new city.
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Kaelyn Dannenfelser
Kaelyn Dannenfelser shared with Business Insider what she likes about Charleston, South Carolina.

  • Kaelyn Dannenfelser said she’s happier than ever after a job change and a move to Charleston from Nashville.
  • She likes being close to the water, the weather, and feeling safe living in Charleston.
  • Charleston has seen a ton of population growth in recent years.

Kaelyn Dannenfelser, 28, said while she misses her friends in Nashville, Tennessee, and loved being able to live there, she’s definitely not moving back.

Dannenfelser said Nashville, where she had lived after graduating from college in 2018, can be a good city to live in during your early 20s given it has a lot of young adults, is lively, and can be a fun place.

But she said she was looking forward to finding somewhere to live that didn’t have as much party tourism as Nashville, noting that there are a lot of bachelorette or bachelor parties there.

Charleston, which she described as “if a hug was a place,” held the answer.

Dannenfelser, who creates content on TikTok and elsewhere as Kaelyn Page, has never been happier. That’s because of a new job as a product marketing manager that she called a dream in a TikTok video and her move to Charleston, South Carolina, during 2023.

“I was down in the dumps, and now I’m thriving,” she told Business Insider.

Dannenfelser said she loves “to be near the water and near the beach.” She currently lives close to Wando River.

“I knew that after I visited Charleston, this was the blend of everything that I wanted: A lot of things to do, young professionals, people in their 20s, but more of the outdoorsy activities and people looking forward to doing things other than partying,” Dannenfelser said.

She has found while there are a comparable number of activities to Nashville, they are different.

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Her favorite activities in Charleston involve paddleboarding, such as on Shem Creek or at Sullivan’s Island Beach, and enjoying time outside when the weather is nice.

“I love that I can walk out my front door and go to the waterfront and just go on walking trails and see all of the different nature,” she said.

Kaelyn Dannenfelser paddleboarding
Paddleboarding is one of Dannenfelser’s favorite activities to do in Charleston.

She’s not the only one who has moved to Charleston. According to metro-level data from the Census Bureau, Charleston-North Charleston in South Carolina saw net migration — or more people moving in than out — of 16,127 between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023, a surge from the 13,016 a year prior or the 9,473 in 2021. Looking more broadly, the population of the South has been booming, as Business Insider recently reported.

She moved to a short-term rental in August to see how she felt about being in Charleston. She then signed for a long-term apartment rental in September.

Staying in Florida for a few months during the pandemic also had an impact on her move. She said, she “got the taste of living by the coast and what really influenced my move to Charleston.”

Dannenfelser has found some of the pros in Charleston are the weather, being in a walkable location, in a place with a lot of history, and the southern hospitality.

“I think the culinary scene here is just amazing, and it was very similar in Nashville, but there’s just a community of people in Charleston too that I think are all eager to make friendships,” she said. “There’s a bunch of different Charleston girls groups, and I’ve had a great success at making new friends here.”

Given she doesn’t really enjoy snow or cold temperatures, Dannenfelser has also found the mild winter a positive. Safety is another pro.

“I feel safe here even at night by myself, which I don’t think I could have said that before,” Dannenfelser said.

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Additionally, her and her boyfriend’s rent in the apartment they share with their cats is comparable to her previous rent in Nashville. Based on documentation shared with BI, rent and fees add up to nearly $2,500 a month. Dannenfelser found it was somewhat hard to find a place to live when she was searching given the demand during that time, noting there were some colleges nearby.

“I noticed that the rates in Charleston were actually more expensive then than they are now, and I think it was just from the seasonality of everyone moving here during that time,” she said.

For those looking to move to Charleston like her, she suggested spending time researching as there are several islands.

“It can take you a while to get from one place to another just because everything is spread out,” she said. “Definitely do your research on the areas and what you want to have the closest access to, whether that’s the beach or downtown. That way, you find a place that works best for you.”

The main con she has found so far is just that there can be large beach traffic at times given it’s a touristy location.

A new job involving work she’s passionate about also contributed to feeling happier

Dannenfelser also found a new job, after months of looking for new work based on a TikTok video, receiving an offer in August.

She works as a product marketing manager at LTK, which she said is a creator-guided shopping platform. She said the platform “connects Creators, brands, and shoppers.” Dannenfelser said before working the job, she was already a content creator who used LTK. Given that and her passion for influencer marketing, she said “it was the perfect blend of my purpose.”

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In her previous job in a different industry she didn’t have a passion for, she felt she “didn’t really have the opportunity to grow,” especially given layoff concerns. Dannenfelser said the layoffs “caused frequent stress of job security and also impacted my thoughts of career growth there.”

Dannenfelser shared a few tips if you are looking for a job. She said “don’t be shy to be yourself,” meaning to show how you can stand out.

“In my prior corporate positions, I was afraid to say, ‘Hey, I’m a blogger and I do this, and hey, I like posting TikToks’ and embracing the unique qualities that I had that actually helped me pursue my dream and get me to the current place, which is where I felt I belong,” she said.

She said the “job hunt can be very grueling.”

“Work as hard as you would for a company on yourself,” she said. “You’re going to have to work your 9-to-5 job and then spend your evenings constantly applying and reaching out to hiring managers.”

Joining groups could also be helpful. She said she joined product marketing communities. This not only helped with mentorship but interview preparations from people in the field, she said.

While Dannenfelser hasn’t been living in Charleston or in her new role too long, she’s feeling much happier so far.

“I look forward to waking up in Charleston and waking up for my job,” she said. “My overall happiness has completely skyrocketed.”

Have you made a move or a career pivot? Reach out to this reporter to share at [email protected].

Read the original article on Business Insider

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