Kevin Smith is a Work and Travel participant from Jamaica, working in Harrisburg, PA. In his first blog post, he shares what he has learned about the state capital.

For the last two summers I have called Harrisburg, Pennsylvania my adopted home as I have lived, worked and traveled in Pennsylvania. Harrisburg has always struck me as a city that is in constant transition, making it not what you would typically expect of a capital city of a major state like Pennsylvania. This is because Harrisburg is really a city trying to find an ideal mix of its British and Dutch roots and a modern style that takes influences from all over the world and from different groups and classes within American society.

An example of the constant evolution of Harrisburg can be seen in its architecture, as Harrisburg is littered with traditional stone European buildings that sit along side minimalistic modern buildings. One of the most striking contrasts that I have seen while living in this city is how the majestic Capital Building, which I have been told is priceless, overlooks several communities that are in major disrepair. This transition has been very interesting to watch from the perspective of someone like me who has only lived on a small developing island where changes tend to take place at a lot slower pace.

Also, I have noticed that unlike Chicago or New York City, Harrisburg has a relatively small population in the actual city. This is because most people tend to live on the outskirts or in small towns near the city to avoid the higher rent that city life brings. This results in shops and stores closing by 6:00 p.m., which on my first year traveling to Harrisburg struck me as extremely strange, because in Jamaica, most stores don’t close until after 8:00 p.m. However, at night it does give the city a peaceful quality about it that is not found in many major cities in other parts of the world.

Finally, I would describe living in Harrisburg as a treat that I would recommend everyone get the chance to see and explore. From what I have seen and experienced, it is a city filled with kind-hearted and energetic people and scenery that beacons to be explored.

Interested in learning more? Be sure to watch Kevin’s video below!