Peter Mullen was in no doubt that moving from the middle of the United States to California as a teenager was an upgrade. It was not until the COVID-19 pandemic hit that the tech worker began to change his mind.

Confined to his small home and limited by “astronomically” high living costs in Silicon Valley, Mullen decided to return to his childhood hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, drawn by an initiative offering $10,000 cash and other perks to relocate.

“I felt like I’d been let out of a gulag,” Mullen said of arriving in Tulsa, noting it was full of “awesome people who are incredibly friendly and low-key. And there’s no traffic here – none.”

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