This blog is part of a special series featuring winners of Downtown Dallas Inc’s Live Like a Local contest, which asked for locals to submit mobile friendly, self-guiding local experiences on the Guidrr iPhone app that showcase their #mydtd journeys. Michelle Ochoa is featured today, along with a link to download her free, winning nightlife experience: Sexy Dallas Date Night.
Live Like a Local contest winner Michelle Ochoa is a single mom and project manager by day, and a bonafide downtown explorer in her spare time. She’s had a long-term love affair with Dallas, despite spending many of her formative years outside the DFW metroplex.
Born in California but partially raised in Arlington, Texas, she moved to Indianapolis as an adolescent, then later to Phoenix, Arizona. Her early memories of life in Dallas include going to local industrial and techno music venues with her two older brothers and absorbing the local music scene, something she still loves to do today.
Raised by Mexican/Irish and Puerto Rican/Italian/Spanish parents, Michelle grew up with a unique identity but shares that no matter where life took her, she always felt most at home in Dallas. While living outside Texas, she dreamed of making her way back home to the city.
The feeling she had when she first saw the skyline after years away? “It brought tears to my eyes. I am so in love with this city,” she says.
The feeling she had when she first saw the skyline after years away? “It brought tears to my eyes. I am so in love with this city,” she says. At first, Michelle made Lower Greenville home and still loves that diverse and exciting downtown neighborhood, but now she lives in Lewisville in order to commute to her job as an eLearning project manager.
In her spare time, Michelle’s exploring the districts of downtown. “I’m the go-to planner for my circle of friends,” she says. “I feel it’s important to get out there and explore to avoid getting into a rut. They look to me for advice on what to do and where to go because I’m extroverted and enjoy planning experiences.”
Her advice for those intimidated or simply unmotivated to explore the city they call home? “I really aspire to get people out of the burbs, out of their comfort zone, and into the various neighborhoods of downtown—as well as around the entire DFW metroplex,” she says.
“There’re so many great experiences just waiting to be discovered. So don’t make it feel like a bigger hassle than it actually is. Set a goal, like you’ll go downtown once a month. Or make your way to a neighborhood in the suburbs you haven’t visited before. And make it happen!”
To start exploring the downtown Dallas nightlife scene, perfect for an evening out with a group of friends, or a unique date night, don’t miss Michelle’s winning free experience on the Guidrr app. Download Michelle’s guide here (this link will text you a way to download the free app and will open to the just-released guide).
Follow her on Instagram @moknowsdallas.