I tried living in Texas…

Alexei Sorokin
4 min readFeb 2, 2022

This storyline just begs to be followed with a bunch of mean jokes and anecdotes, doesn’t it?

It wasn’t that bad… I mean we, as a family, lasted for eight months, before running away, so it couldn’t have been that bad…

For context, we had come to Texas from … Memphis. A Russian family from California, then Memphis, then Texas — what an interesting life I’m living I’m thinking, writing this story!

It was a memorable and strange stretch of some eighteen months.

At end of 2017, we decided to leave California’s Bay area and moved to Memphis. It had to do with our kids’ tennis. I was working on a start-up so had the flexibility to live anywhere and our kids’ tennis coach and mentor was on a two-year assignment in Memphis at the time. It first started with us sending our kids to him for a couple of weeks in the summer and then somehow we arrived at this out-of-the-box idea of our entire family moving to Memphis. My wife, who plays herself and coaches our kids, could work alongside Steve (that’s the coach’s name) in an internship-like arrangement.

So move we did. Where we lived — Olive Branch, outside of Memphis — was actually a nice, very typical, American subburbian city. But Memphis itself was rough. The tennis facility where my wife worked was in one of the worst parts of the city. Every hour you’d hear police sirens nearby.

In hindsight, Memphis was a great experience. Needless to say, different from California! I am a big believer in embracing new experiences and do not want my kids to grow up in a bubble outside of which they never step out. They still do live in a kind of a bubble anyway but at least when you travel and move you experience new places and step out of your comfort zone.

Memphis was never going to be a permanent arrangement. Once our coach finished his contract, we had several choices. We could follow him to Florida but decided against it — not Florida itself, but “following” him. Even though we’re a committed tennis family, we didn’t want to build our lives around a coach, even though he’s a very trusted mentor.

We were thinking of Southern California or Dallas, Texas. In both places there were specific tennis clubs we were familiar with that could be “the base” for our kids’ tennis.

We decided in favor of Texas — cheaper and it was closer to move there.

Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day. https://runningwritingliving.substack.com/