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This article, as part of our Why NEPA? series, was contributed by The Scranton Plan as part of their Rediscover Scranton initiative.
"We no longer need to take time off and pay for travel to visit a State Park because it feels like we moved inside of one! That is Northeastern Pennsylvania!"
Paulo Silva made his way to the United States from Southeast Brazil in 1991. His wife, Maire came from Donegal, Ireland. Initially, they found each other in Queens, NY. And the rest, as they say, is history. Well… there’s a bit more to the story.
Paulo and Maire spent a better part of their careers commuting into Manhattan from Connecticut. Sadly, they owned a property in Lakeville, PA, but just couldn’t find the time to visit. With their two daughters nearing college graduation, and a global pandemic offering a new perspective on work/life balance, Paulo and his family made the decision to permanently relocate to their Wayne County home.
At the time, the move seemed like quite a drastic change of scenery and pace. For Paulo and his family, however, everything they thought they had given up during the move was repaid with something much more valuable – quality time together.
We caught up with Paulo to get his unique perspective on relocating to Northeastern Pennsylvania. And, while we were at it, we just had to ask, Why NEPA?
How long have you lived in NEPA?
Well, COVID- 19 helped us put a lot of things in perspective as a family. We decided to move permanently to Northeastern Pennsylvania last October. We moved out of Stamford, CT and relocated to our home in Lakeville. My daughters resisted the change at first, but now they’re in complete love with the region and our new, more laid-back lifestyle. We have a constant connection with nature.
Did anything surprise you about NEPA?
The COVID-19 Pandemic created an opportunity for us to make an impactful change that significantly reduced our cost-of-living. It also allowed us to spend more time together. Here, in NEPA, we’re now doing things that we wouldn’t normally do because it always either cost too much money or demanded too much time traveling or commuting. We think of it this way: We no longer need to take time off and pay for travel to visit a State Park because it feels like we moved inside of one! That is Northeastern Pennsylvania.
What do you love about NEPA?
We made the permanent move to Wayne County because it shares so many similarities to where we both grew up abroad. The beautiful landscape, the strong family values, the people – these things specifically prompted a natural reconnection to precious childhood memories for us.
In addition to that, I decided to move my company from New York City and establish a new start-up subsidiary company in Jessup. It’s close to home. There are tremendous tax incentives and a long-term pro-business framework that has already established the foundation for a localized sustainable economy.
What is your favorite thing to do in NEPA?
North Eastern Pennsylvania boasts an array of fine dining options, incredible shopping, amazing luxury hotels and resorts and many events throughout the year. And we try to take advantage of all of them. Whether it is seeing the community come together for Oktoberfest at Alpine Wurst & Meat House, or support the Salvation Army, or motorcycle tours to support local causes, we love getting out to see how this community works hard to take care of each other.
Where do you see NEPA heading in the future?
I believe NEPA will have completed its facelift within the next decade and will no doubt become once again a prominent metropolitan region in the Northeast. In fact, recently Amazon was looking to establish its second headquarters in Scranton, PA. And companies like Chewy have now a strong presence in the area. For business owners, corporate workers, or entrepreneurs looking for an overhaul in lifestyle, NEPA is a great choice. It provides a robust infrastructure for a smooth transition, whether for your business or for personal aspirations. I have discovered firsthand that blending your personal life in such a way that makes your professional life more pleasant and even more productive is an attainable reality in NEPA. The community now provides a sustainable workforce with tremendous yield in value. There are many moving back into the area because of the Pandemic and the new trend in telecommuting flexibility. More importantly, this is then perfect place to find that all-too-important work-life balance.
NEPA is a place where people wave as they drive by, children play outside until dark, families gather for bonfires on the front lawn or by Lake Wallenpaupack. It’s a place where neighbors look out for one another, and you cannot go a weekend without driving past a lemonade stand in the Summer. For many, this community brings peace from a long life lived in large cities. For others it helps them connect with their childhood memories. It allows them to watch their children grow up with the freedoms they once knew. And that’s priceless.