Meet Jen Cox of Nowhere I Would Rather Be
I recently quit my job in Minneapolis and moved to Dallas. I started my new Instagram page and Pinterest to collect content from my adventures in order to build captions, ideas, and content into a blog. My first goal was to go everywhere, be everywhere. Networking in a new city was my first challenge! I’m a pretty outgoing person and have always been successful making friends in new cities. I studied abroad three times (twice in undergrad, once in grad school) and worked in London as a Program Director for a study abroad program. I’ve always been excited by looking up events, things to do, places to eat, or anything that I needed in life, in different places I’ve lived. My background is in liberal arts, and I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Government and my Master’s Certificate in Organizational Leadership . No one could really understand why I would leave my successful analyst job at a big bank to follow things that excited me.
My idea for my brand came from my recent move to Dallas. The move came at a time in my life where I had to make very relatable decisions about breaking off relationships, quitting my job in finance, moving across the country from Minneapolis. Every has been faced with big choices like this, but maybe not all at once! Between comments from friends/amazement from coworkers and seeing articles all over the internet/book topics about stuff like “How I changed careers in my 30’s” to “How I quit my job to travel” etc, I realized there was genuine interest in my story. My boyfriend had to move to Dallas several months before I could, and a song we loved had the phrase “nowhere I would rather be” in it.
It is a phrase that resonates with me because that is literally how I feel any time I’m doing something I love and living in the moment. Also, everywhere I travel feels like home pretty fast and I never want to leave. The phrase kind of took on a dual meaning as a reminder to put myself first and choose to be happy in a way that I appreciate everything and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, and as a promise to my boyfriend that I would genuinely give Texas a chance. More than anything, I needed a change of perspective and to give myself a chance.
I’ve had my fair share of struggles. Traveling around the world alone, I gathered a few stories of missed trains, getting lost, and being deported. I’m on my second full passport, so I have stories of crazy times all over the world. I deal with ADHD and anxiety, so combining that with my nomadic sensibilities, I find I am happiest when moving from project to project or traveling from place to place. After living in Minneapolis for several years, I broke up with my boyfriend at the time and lost a lot of friends in the process. I was undervalued and stressed at my job, felt very alone in the city, and was craving a warmer climate after the coldest winter of my life. I have a lot of student loans, so the choice to quit my job and move across the country was a little financially daunting. But no one should ever feel like they cannot make a huge life change in their 30’s! It’s taboo to talk about but more people need to know it’s ok to take a risk for a new life!
Now my challenges are exploring a new city and using my past marketing, photography, blogging, writing, and traveling experience to capture the fulfilling moments I’m having in a way that will build a blog and a brand. Sharing my experiences and working with brands online has been amazing. With incredible engagement on a local level, it’s a challenge to make my way in a marketing world that remains obsessed with follower count and is still catching up to influencer marketing on social media being solely about genuine engagement and creative content. One struggle with showcasing my life online came with being confident enough to take photos with myself featured. After being thinner when unhappy and ultimately gaining weight when getting out of that situation, it took a lot of self love to become a representation of a body positive community where women have role models of all sizes. i hope to bring inspiration for women to love themselves at any size, and at any stage of their life!
Nowhere I Would Rather Be is a mood, a thought, a promise, a mantra, a movement, all highlighting living your best life wherever you are. Nowhere but here in this moment, nowhere but here in this place. It means something different to everyone. It is a brand (with media on Instagram, Pinterest, and Tik Tok) that will give you inspiration to take big or little steps to enjoying your life more through self care, food, shopping, exploring, traveling, drinking, and motivation! I think my authenticity, personality, and voice sets me apart from others!
My natural tendency has always been to want to explore new places, and I rarely compromise when I set my mind to something. When I started to share my story of getting fed up with living an unfulfilled life, choosing to quit my job and move somewhere warm, and follow my passion of being on a permanent adventure, I was surprised by how many people were interested. I think a lot of people wish they could just walk away from everything, quit their job, and vacation for a living. I try to share my experience to inspire people to strive for that life they might think they can’t have. I hope that working as an Influencer helps people follow my experience to find their own way. I think that my social media and influencer marketing strategy has always been to show the things I experience through my eyes and appreciate where I am. That’s why I started Nowhere I Would Rather Be, to inspire my audience to live in the moment, take mini breaks, and do things they love. As someone new to Dallas, I’ve been really lucky to partner with businesses that share this vision. I think a lot of Texans have pride in their community and love seeing a page that highlights the best experiences you can have if you relocate to Texas (which is working—millennials moving to Texas influences more Millennials to move to Texas!) Also, I am legitimately excited to try everything and made a promise to myself to appreciate every little thing I can about my new city and without planning on becoming an expert, people were asking for my advice! I’ve done this in cities all over the globe, but right now there’s nowhere I would rather be than Dallas-Fort Worth!
When I started my idea for a page that focused on Dallas and Fort Worth I initially defined being successful at that as having something that would be useful to people. I wanted to have a resource for people like me who crave that feeling of luxury or vacation on a budget while having to deal with normal life obligations. I started by simply sharing highlights of things that I had experienced as a newbie to Dallas that I thought other people would want to spend their time and money on, or that I thought would be a great way to take a mental break. Since starting my new Instagram, I have seen great social media growth and engagement around Dallas businesses and I hope to increase my brand portfolio. Curating and engaging with my followers has helped me succeed in building an audience in DFW of people looking for this type of content, where they could get ideas for a quick escape or make a list of things that they would want to do if they had time off of work. As a micro-influencer and Marketing and Content Director of startup agency Dallas Social Influencers, I’ve been able to partner with some amazing newly discovered businesses and get people as excited as I about great people in our community! I hope to continue to use my past travel experience to find great restaurants, hotels, and activities for people to indulge in right in their backyard! Having experienced things from all over the world, I’m passionate about showcasing the incredible home grown finds while highlighting how you can travel the world right here in Texas! I will feel my purpose is being fulfilled in DFW if I can grow my following and make new connections with people who are craving a little bit of vacation in their lives every day. I hope to make time to expand my consulting work with social media coaching in the future as well!