JERAN MCCONNEL • BE ADVENTUROUS
Find out why this Canadian native and her Alaskan husband chose to make Bakersfield their home and the adventures she loves to find surrounding the city.
Jeran McConnel • Founder of Oleander + Palm and Co-founder of Brandwell
I’m originally from Canada and my husband is from Alaska. We met in college and moved to Bakersfield right out of school to both get teaching jobs. We initially decided to make Bakersfield our home because we wanted to experience California living--warm summers and easy winters. We weren’t interested in living with long winters and Bakersfield had a lot of great teaching opportunities.
I love how Bakersfield is accessible to so many great parts of California.
My husband and I are big weekend adventurers. There are so many opportunities to have mini outdoor escapades, and we love the year-round access. We’ve been known to climb Mount Whitney and be back in time to attend church the next morning because it’s so close. Living in Bakersfield allows our family these experiences.
We love that we can spend time in the Sierras or the Sequoias, on the coast, or in the Kern River Canyon without taking days off work. We can go any time of the year, regardless of the season. If we want to touch snow, it only takes us an hour and forty-five minutes to head up the mountain, find some, and then come back to our flip-flop weather. Since my husband and I are both from harsh winter climates, we appreciate living in Bakersfield.
My latest adventure is lifestyle blogging. Early on, I felt a little alone and isolated from other experienced bloggers. In larger cities, there are more bloggers to work alongside and collaborate with. I felt like I was on a solo adventure in the beginning. But I’m creating that community now. It just took some time. I have found like-minded people that I can collaborate with, and I didn’t have to go outside of my town to find them.
I’m naturally a passionate person, so I want to be excited about where I live. I want good things to happen in my community, and I want to be a part of the movement. I’m eager to find other ways to collaborate with creatives and make Bakersfield a place where others want to live.