5 Things to Think Hard About Before You Leave Missouri for Good
I don't like to give advice for something I haven't experienced. In this case, I can. Should you leave Missouri for good? I've done it before and I have some things I learned that you should seriously think about before you pack the moving truck.
Quick backstory. I was born and raised in Hannibal, Missouri but decided to leave when I was 19 years old. I had a desire to live in the mountain states and figured there would be better opportunities out west. Nearly 3 years ago, I had the chance to return home and jumped at the chance. Here are lessons I learned that might help somebody who thinks the grass is greener on the non-Missouri side of the fence.
I learned the hard way how expensive other states are compared to Missouri. Think you'll find a decent home to rent for $1,000 or less? Guess again. Plan on paying 150% to 200% more depending on what destination you choose. Earnest ranks Missouri as one of the least expensive places to rent a home and they're not wrong. It's expensive out there.
I expected the housing cost rise when I originally left Missouri, but I didn't understand food prices would also skyrocket. After paying just a couple bucks for a gallon of milk at a Missouri grocery store, my jaw dropped when one in Wyoming cost $6. Yikes.
I love mountains which is why I was excited to live in Colorado, Idaho and eventually Wyoming. They are all beautiful and hey, guess what? Many only really have winter and a couple of warm months. That's it. Enjoy the gradual warmup in spring and the color of leaves during Fall? You seriously won't get much of that in some places not named Missouri. It's shocking.
I went to many St. Louis Cardinals games as a kid and I took it for granted frankly. After I left Missouri, I became very homesick when watching baseball games on TV. Many western states don't have any professional sports teams and that's fine, but trust me when I tell you that you'll miss the smell of Busch Stadium when you don't live anywhere close to it. Same for St. Louis Blues games and don't get me started about feeling your lungs shake at Arrowhead Stadium when the Chiefs fans get loud.
One of the first moments when I realized I missed home happened in a Walmart parking lot. I was raised in a way that taught me to say hello to a stranger when I made eye contact. I did that my first few days in Colorado and got strange stares in return. They immediately put their head down and quickly walked away. It happened so many times in Idaho, California, Wyoming and even Tennessee which is supposed to be polite. Call me crazy, but I appreciate a quick wave and/or hello when I pass people living their lives. It's a small thing to some, but not to me.
I realize that my experiences aren't the same as others who either live in Missouri or used to. I have those especially who have lived in Missouri cities that cant' wait to leave and I get it. But, I would advise really making sure the grass you're trying to reach on the other side of the fence is better than what you already have here. For me, it wasn't and that's why I brought my family home.
Missouri's Most Hospitable Place to Stay Full of Mules & Catfish
Gallery Credit: Entire guesthouse hosted by Donna, Airbnb