Travels

What I forgot I love about the Midwest

Moving to Maryland has placed us on the East Coast, but its similarities to the Midwest have me reminiscing on characteristics of this region that don’t get praised enough. Surely I’m biased, since these are the surroundings that mark my childhood. 

I have taken these characteristics for granted after living in paradise for the past few years, but who wouldn’t? There is so much to love about Hawaii. Still, I refuse to be among those who leave the islands and claim that they are “ruined for life,” not able to find beauty in other places. Here are 5 unmistakable Midwestern aspects that I whole-heartedly adore:

 

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  1. How much the seasons sway your mood: The Midwest gets some of the most dramatic seasons compared to our coastal neighbors. A year is broken into four distinct quarters, each with their own personalities and abrupt weather changes that inspire different traditions. I feel more cheerful when my winter is white, fall is crisp, spring is abloom, and summer is hot.
  2. No shortage of land, and less stress over cost of living: Open fields and booming suburbs stretch your hard-earned dollars much farther than some of the big cities and popular outskirts found elsewhere. Beauty is surely in the eye of the beholder, but it’s hard to argue the beauty in getting more for your money.
  3. How hot food and drinks are ten times better when you’re actually cold: I know that my beloved hot soy chai latte is the same in Hawaii as it is in Ohio, but for some reason, it hits the soul much deeper when it literally warms me up in 30-degree weather.
  4. Family-centric communities: I don’t think the Midwest gets enough credit for its family-friendly values and charm. This is a compliment considering I was blessed to live in Hawaii for some time, where the Aloha Spirit spreads values of love, generosity, community and family more so than other places around the world. But, you’ll absolutely find communities that prioritize similar values in the good old Midwest – they just don’t have the added backdrop of paradise behind them.
  5. Fields for days: We may not have sandy stretches of shoreline or majestic mountain ranges, but we do have lots of fields and forests. And, they’re actually quite peaceful, especially when you see the sun setting over miles of swaying crops. Perk? They, uh, certainly don’t draw tourists or anything, so you can enjoy such views in all of its lonesome simplicity and maybe toast some smores over a bonfire, too.
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