As you may know, I’ve been quite the drifter since high school. I’ve done the beach/dorm life in California, the no-bedroom life on my cousin’s couch in Portland, mountain-exploring/island life in Washington state, and now the Appalachian/Southern life in North Carolina. I know that right now Minnesotans are low on spirits because its February and it’s been winter for 4-5 months and you still have a few more to go… but I want you to know from trial and error that Minnesota IS a wonderful place to live.
What we need to understand is fnding a place to live is more than the weather. There are so many other things to consider in terms of family values, entertainment, schools, jobs, lifestyles and everything that goes along with them. I completely support moving away from home and experiencing other cultures, because you really don’t know what you like and dislike until you do. BUT, here is why I’m moving back to The Land of 10,000 Lakes:
1. Minnesotans are SMARTER.
If you Google America’s smartest states, Minnesota is usually among the top 10 lists. And that doesn’t surprise me one bit. I once had a Californian ask me which coast California was on… another group of people debated with me for an embarrassing amount of time about whether or not Obama was a democrat. I have encountered vast amounts of naivety and ignorance in my travels, and it sure makes me miss intellectual conversation back home.
2. Better Drivers.
Minnesota is in the top 5 best driving states in America. You can call it “Minnesota Nice,” but I think we just know what we’re doing. There’s no reason to have road rage when people know to turn on their headlights when its dark out and know how to merge correctly. We know what to do when our crappy car is overheating in the summer and during subzero temperatures with unplowed, ice covered streets. I can’t wait to come home so I don’t have to fear other drivers anymore. I won’t miss the melody of honking horns and middle fingers, either.
3. Land of 11,842 Lakes.
You can swim without fear of sharks, undertow, & alligators in our little fresh water versions of heaven. You can float on a tube and get a killer tan or bundle up in an ice house and fish when it’s frozen solid. It’s a wonderfully free and widely available form of entertainment. If you don’t like the one you’re at, drive ten miles and you’ll likely hit another one. The “lake lifestyle” is a privilege. Although most states have a number of lakes, I wouldn’t deem most of them natural or swim-worthy.
4. More blondes.
Due to our scandinavian ancestry, Minnesota and the rest of the Upper Midwest has more blondes than any other part of the country. Which means we have more fun. California is NOT a blonde state – don’t let the movies fool you. Oh yeah, and ours is (or used to be) natural. ;)
Grab whatever you have in the freezer, mix it all together, throw it in the oven and well-ah, you have hotdish. Not casserole.
I’ve seen misty rain, wimpy rain, and “is this rain?” I can’t wait to feel the thrill of the wind trying to rip off my roof again. Being away from Minnesota makes you miss the extremes. Not that I miss the extreme winter temperatures, but other places seem to feel so… boring.
7. One of the healthiest states in America.
According to americashealthrankings.org – Minnesota is #3 Most Healthy state in America. Even though one of our noted “Challenges” is binge drinking, we still made our way to the top of the list with our physical activity and good health practices. In other words, we look AND feel good.
8. Minneapolis is the most Family Friendly Place in the US.
The Wall St. Cheat Sheet named Minneapolis area the #1 best place to raise your kids in reference to school districts, property taxes, attractions and available activities. We’ll take it.
9. You don’t have to shave your legs most of the year.
On top of that, you have more time to prepare for “shorts” weather, in case your New Year’s resolutions fall through.
10. Good beer.
Who needs a lengthy growing season to keep a vineyard alive for wine – we have fields and fields of grain to ferment.
11. Manly men.
Yep, Minnesota has the best men (I should know, I married one). They know how to fix cars, throw a football, work hard, and keep you warm at night. We defined the “meat and potatoes” kind of man. No more of this wearing glasses for a fashion statement thing… chop some wood, go hunting, grow a beard and man up!
12. Less Mercury.
Have you been hearing about recent studies finding dangerous amounts of mercury in seafood? We don’t have to deal with that because no one can afford to go to Red Lobster regularly and you don’t trust seafood anywhere else. The nearest ocean is about 1200 miles away…
13. Everyone has a cabin – or a close friend that does.
Every time I’ve mentioned that my family has a cabin on a lake, non-Minnesotans almost always ask me if we’re rich. The funny thing is, they are imagining huge lake-house cabins that you see on movies with 8 bedrooms and state-of-the-art kitchens. If you’re Minnesotan, you realize how silly that is. But at least we have a place to get away and enjoy the great outdoors.
14. Less superficial.
People aren’t constantly looking down their noses at others with less “things” than them. A lot of Minnesotans simply choose to have less things and that’s okay. Yeah, you betcha, do what makes you happy!
15. We created Target.
Cheaper, more convenient shopping that saves you from going into Walmart.
16. Most Hipster state in America.
Yeah that’s right, we beat out Portland & Seattle with our hipster-goodness in a 2011 study by BuzzFeed.
17. We know how to live off the land.
Even most of our women know how to hunt and fish (& enjoy it). That, my friends, is a beautiful thing.