Why I Moved Back to Lafayette After Nearly a Decade

I grew up in Crowley and my husband in Church Point. We both graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2011 and got married about a year later. After getting married, we moved out of state and pretty much kept moving for the next 10 years.

My husband went to law school and then joined the Air Force. We lived in Virginia, Wyoming, Japan, and New Mexico and one daughter joined our family at each location. When we were visiting my husband’s family in south Louisiana in March of 2022, we attended Festivals Acadiens et Creoles. Our youngest daughter was four months old at the time and this was her first festival. She slept in the baby carrier while we ate beignets and listened to zydeco music with friends and family.

On our way home to New Mexico, I told my husband, “I wish we could move back home to Lafayette and raise our girls.” Fast forward two months later, my husband was offered the option to work remotely. So we packed up our house and four daughters and moved back to Cajun country.

Living closer to our family and friends was the number one reason we moved back. The people of Lafayette have been so friendly and welcoming. People we pass by in the store stop to look at our baby and say, “cher be’be’.” The food is also a huge part of what we love about being back home. One of our favorite pastimes is driving around Acadiana to sample different links of boudin.

We wanted our girls to know their Cajun heritage. We had so much fun learning about our Cajun and Creole heritage at Festivals Acadiens at Creoles in October, which is a free festival held at Girard park with food, music, art, and dancing. One of our daughters is even in the magnet academy lottery for French immersion preschool.

Lafayette is a college town and that my girls could one day attend college close to home is a big draw for me. We enjoyed taking them to the UL campus swamp and looking for alligators. Plus, showing them our graduation bricks with our names on them.

We love that Lafayette has that small-town feel but also has lots of amenities and events. We live in the middle of the city so we can drive 5 minutes to the grocery store or Moncus Park. One of our favorite weekend outings is playing at Moncus Park playground and splash pad. Then stopping to eat a treat at the Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market, while listening to a Cajun jam band playing in French.

Downtown Lafayette has the Lafayette Science Museum and Children’s Museum of Acadiana. Along with so many free family-friendly events like Downtown Alive, Festival International, and the Boudin Cook-Off, just to name a few. Not to mention, all of the amazing local-owned businesses and restaurants.

Some fun things we have planned this month around Lafayette are trying as many king cakes as possible. Taking our girls to their first Mardi Gras parade, the Krewe de Canailles parade in downtown Lafayette. Participating in the rural-style Courir de Mardi Gras at Vermillionville. Our girls are excited to try eating boiled crawfish for the very first time. What do you and your family love most about living in Lafayette?

About the Author

South Louisiana native, Sicily Smith graduated from UL in 2011 with a degree in fashion merchandising and design. After spending almost a decade away from her home state, while her husband served in the military, she and her family moved back to Lafayette in 2022. These days she’s traded her fancy clothes for a strong cup of coffee, leggings, and a good book. She is enjoying teaching her four daughters about their Cajun heritage, including finding the best link of boudin. She is also currently writing her first kids book.


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