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Simple isn’t stupid

August 1, 2012

Many people assume that my home state of Nebraska is nothing but cows and cornfields. They are surprised to learn that its biggest city, Omaha, boasts events like the Olympic Swim Trials, the NCAA College World Series, and one of the nation’s most popular zoos.

I’ve never lived on a farm. I’ve never gone to the state fair (but I will attend for the first time later this month…can’t wait to blog about THAT). I’ve never wrestled a pig. I don’t travel on horseback. I don’t consider steak a food staple. What other Nebraskan myths can I debunk?

The point of this post is not to sell you on Cornhusker football. Please don’t falsely assume we all have season tickets because college football is the only thing happening around here. I’m also not trying to convince you we are as fast-paced and exciting as major metropolises across the country.

The point is that we don’t have oceans or mountains or great public transportation, and I’m ok with it.

After college, I chose to remain close to family because, frankly, I couldn’t survive without their support. Plus, my husband never wanted to move either so once we had kids, our desire to relocate diminished even more.

However, I like to travel and see how other people live their lives.

I recently backpacked across Europe, fished in Iceland, danced in Spain, drove to western Nebraska. Yep, I was THAT adventurous. It was a work trip and I got to ride along as a coworker navigated. I learned to appreciate the vastness, the emptiness, and solitude of what I saw out my passenger side window.

What intrigued me the most was how every community we visited was gracious with their time and attention. It’s not that they’re not busy. I’d bet that the vast majority of people I met put in more hours than city slickers half their age. They are simply too polite to not shake your hand and hear you out.

They don’t spend hours a day on the latest social media outlets updating people on their interests and whereabouts. They prefer to sit down to dinner together and share how their day went. They don’t waste away hours at the water cooler gossiping with coworkers about reality television. They’d rather live in reality…from sunrise to sunset.

Yes, we Nebraskans may be slower. And you could learn a few things from us.