Meet The Local Bells!

Who are the Local Bells? 

M: I’m Meagan, one half of the Local Bells! Born and raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, I grew up riding horses and developed a passion early on for travel. I was very blessed by a family that provided the opportunity for me to experience so many wonderful places and things, even from a young age. Growing up, we used to joke that Disney World was our “vacation home!” In college, I had the opportunity to spend almost three months studying abroad in Europe, which was an incredible experience immersing myself in different cultures, appreciating beautiful art and architecture, and eating some of the most delicious cuisine!

Despite what you may think, life hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows. You miss the moments in between the happy photos of what goes on behind the scenes in life. Through the ups and downs, I’ve always held true to the idea that you make your own happiness. I have many more mottos and mantras that I live by, which I’m sure will surface in future posts!

I met my now husband 10 years ago on a school European studies trip to Greece and Italy. It wasn’t until many years later that we finally started dating, and we officially tied the knot last November! I currently work as a Senior Market Research Analyst, focusing on understanding consumer habits and motivations. While I enjoy what I do, my dream career would be more travel-focused – there just aren’t enough holidays and vacation days to see and experience all that is outside of these corporate walls!

A few fun facts about me:

  • In high school, I worked as an assistant photographer court-side at several tennis events that included the Bryan brothers, James Blake, the Jensen brothers, and Andy Roddick.
  • I have had some good luck with contests, and once won a radio contest to go to the 50th ACM Awards in Dallas, Texas.
  • I’m a ramblin’ wreck from Georgia Tech {not a helluva engineer}, and graduated with a 4.0.

G: I’m Grant, the other half of the Local Bells! Like Meagan, I grew up in Atlanta. Sports, music, and movies have always been some of my favorite things. Growing up, I played hockey and then later football. I also taught myself how to play bass and guitar and was in our school’s chapel band.

I’ve also had the opportunity to do some traveling over the years, some for mission work and some for fun. I’ve been to Namibia, Africa twice for mission work and Europe twice for school European studies trips.

Fun facts about me:

  • I can solve a Rubik’s cube in under 2 minutes.
  • I was in a classic rock/grunge cover band in high school.
  • I have rushed the field at two different college football stadiums (Auburn ’13, and Georgia Tech ’14)

Why are we writing a blog?

M: For me, I’ve always had a creative side, whether it’s writing or art, but it’s been a part of me that got pushed to the side once I went to college and started focusing on other things. Up until about age 16, I kept journals that I wrote in religiously every day. I have a whole stack of them (currently collecting dust), but loved being able to document my day and express my feelings. Similarly to writing, I also have always been an avid reader. Ask my mom and the number one reason I got in trouble back in the day was for staying up too late reading! Art was another passion of mine growing up, especially photography. I love being able to capture the memory of a moment in time.

My hope with this blog is to combine all of those creative elements to share our story, whatever that may be. Between Grant and I, I’m also more of the planner who likes routine. I want to push myself outside of my comfort zone to be more spontaneous and try new things – even if all that entails is ordering something different at our favorite restaurant!

I’ve been so inspired by the people that dive head-first into pursuing their passions. I’m not a big fan of change, so I admire the people that fearlessly go after their dreams. The Bucket List Family in particular truly inspired me in how they took their life a completely different direction with full-time travel as a family. While that isn’t the current case for Grant and I (I wish!), I’m embracing change and excited to see what’s ahead when I bring my hopes and dreams back to the forefront of my priorities and goals.

G: Unlike Meagan, I am not creative. I have never been a writer, I was never a reader until recently, and the last time I painted something was in 2nd grade art class. So when Meagan asked me if I wanted to be a part of this blog thing, I was pretty hesitant. I knew she would thrive with it, but what do I have to offer? So the reason why I am doing this is to get out of my comfort zone and try something new. The things that I am passionate about, I have found that I can write about and tell you about, and I am excited about sharing those things with you in the future.

Why should you care? 

M: To me, the original intention of keeping a blog was to create an activity that Grant and I can do together. Especially in our first year of marriage, I want keep track of these memories and encourage us to try something different, be more spontaneous, and enjoy all that life has to offer. We both bring a unique perspective and different life experiences to the table that we hope others can learn from. Whether it’s sharing tips on how we save money at the grocery store or restaurants, reviewing our favorite new recipe or local hole in the wall, explaining how we stay motivated with our financial goals of paying down loans and saving for a house, or filling you in on how we plan our trips to get the best deals, we hope that our story and adventures can motivate, inspire, or at least give you a new fact that you hadn’t known before! It’s a learning process for us too, so I want to learn from YOU to create relevant and exciting content that will help you.

G: We are normal, everyday people. Most of the lifestyle blogs you may read are all about these people that travel the world and visit crazy places, or live in huge city working for a big well known company. Meagan and I are a couple that are going through everything normal people do during their first year of marriage. We live in the suburbs working “9-5” jobs, saving money for experiences, and enjoying what is around us. So I think you should follow us and read this blog because we are just like you. We want to share experiences, places, recipes, and everything else in between because these are thing that you can do also and experience.

What’s next for the Local Bells?

M: We have finally started to settle into our routine as a married couple after the past few months of craziness with the holidays. We’re excited to explore the awesome area we live in and try some new restaurants. Though not particularly exciting, we have some goals to pay down loans, prepare for eventual home-ownership, and plans for our “fun-fund” for whatever travel and activities we decide on for 2018.

For me, I’m most excited about the travel (hopefully!) we’ll be doing in this first year of marriage. We have a trip to Park City planned in early March, plan to look into a few weekend trips within driving distance from Atlanta (Asheville, Nashville, Hilton Head, any suggestions??), and an anniversary trip in November. My two happy places are Disney World and the beach, so I hope those make the cut this year! Be sure to follow along to see what’s next!

G: Meagan has already covered the trips we are taking, and I am very excited for Park City and other adventures. What I always look forward to are the concerts that are coming up (Then Dirty Guv’nahs to name one). I am just excited to see what marriage has in store for us and excited about sharing with everyone not just the big trips we take but the random experiences throughout.

Be sure to follow along on Instagram too – instagram.com/thelocalbells

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