Iowa’s Short Commute Creates Family Time

For Dr. Magan Lewis, an agriculture scientist, relocating her family to Des Moines was much more than a career move, it was a long-term decision.

“We wanted to start growing roots. When we decided to come to Des Moines especially, it wasn’t just a quick decision,” said Lewis. “I’m not looking at today, I’m looking at what Iowa is going to be in five years, ten years, twenty years, thirty years, fifty years.”

Lewis and her family lived in five different locations within nine years before deciding to make Iowa their permanent home.  

Here are factors that contributed to their decision:

“We’re ready to really level up the STEM education for our children,” Lewis said.  With her background as a global technology adoption lead, Lewis admired how local teachers would take the students beyond the classroom to really understand science. With trips to learn about trees, animals and conservation within five minutes of the school, her children are able to learn about science in an applicable setting. 

Lewis shared that she loves the easy access to nature that Iowa provides for outdoor adventures. Within five minutes of her front door, Lewis can go hiking and experience the serenity of the woods. She loves that at any moment she can look at rock formations, visit a lake or go on a bike ride. 

The streets of down town Des Moines, Iowa

Along with the access to nature, Lewis shared that there is no shortage of entertainment to keep her family busy, “There are zoos, there are science centers, there are parks, there’s hiking, there’s so much.” 

Lewis and her husband also appreciate the wide variety of food options. From Thai to barbecue to sushi, she and her husband go out once a week to try a different local restaurant.

“There are so many food options that our family approves of. There’s so many local avenues here that we just been able to explore,” Lewis said. 

When Dr. Lewis lived in Minneapolis, she would spend two or three hours in traffic every day. Now, she loves that she can spend less time in her car and more time with her family. 

“We can get anywhere in 20 minutes. And that is something that I really value because it allows us to then spend time where time is needed. And time is needed with the family. Family’s first for us.” Lewis said. 

Dr. Lewis compares Iowa to the state’s rock, a geode. Although looking ordinary from the outside, when a geode is cracked, it reveals a crystallized interior. For Lewis and her family, Iowa has proved itself to be a geode, “a beautiful, sparkling journey just waiting for us to tackle.”

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Last updated January 17, 2024

Published May 5, 2022

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