I have a love/hate relationship with Kansas City. It's where I grew up, and where I've spent most of my life, and where most of my family is. After coming back from my adventures abroad, it was very hard for me to call KC my home again. But, like I've said before, life has a funny way of changing you, putting you in places and situations that make you uncomfortable and ultimately, forcing you to change and grow to become a better, stronger person.
So here's 10 things I have learned after being back in KC this year.
1. Being landlocked with no natural amenities nearby can take its toll on someone who loves the outdoors. On the plus side though, we can travel a (long) while in any direction and find something pretty cool.
2. People come and go, but overall, the people of this city are amazing and super friendly. I had many people I considered close friends fall in and out of my life over the last year, but on the flip side, I have made many new friends along the way. People in the Midwest are known for friendliness and approachability, and through all my travels in the USA, I'd have to wholeheartedly agree. We are pretty awesome. :)
3. KC still has the best barbecue! For reals. And, we have a great food scene in general. Having worked at Char Bar last year really reinforced this idea to me (and for you locals, Char Bar over Q-39 any day of the week). But, I mean, when you're abroad, you go to a restaurant that features a 'KC styled' BBQ dish. That’s got to mean something. We know to handle our meat. What can I say? The truth shall set you free.
4. The cost of living is very low. Let me repeat that. It is so CHEAP to live here! It's not hard for most to make rent, pay bills, and have some extra cheddar lying around for all the fun things they always want to do. You just have to be willing to put the work in.
5. Being a part of the “Bible belt” definitely has its drawbacks. In my opinion, being surrounded and governed by unwavering religious conservatives can take a toll on the average young millennial. Let me get on my soapbox here. I have no problem with your beliefs, as long as you agree with basic human rights and love and equality that extends to all people. Stepping down off my soapbox now.
6. Kansas Citians really adore their beloved sports teams. Chiefs, Royals, and my favorite, Sporting KC, are where the true heart and spirit of the people of KC reside. Loyalty, camaraderie, and a love for the city are rooted in our teams whether they are having a good season or not.
7. I'm still waiting on a functional public transportation system. I am fortunate that I have a fully functional car, but it's almost impossible to live in KC without a vehicle. The city is too spread out and it is not biker or pedestrian friendly. Seriously, Kansas City, we are waiting!
8. Boulevard will always hold a place in my heart. One thing that can't be denied is that KC has great beer and a lot of it. Boulevard for life, yo!
9. The place you once called home, doesn't always stay that way in your heart. I truly love Kansas City and all its offerings, but after my adventures abroad, it can never quite be the same. Despite all the positives that I’ve outlined so far, I can't help but yearn for what else is out there.
10. No matter where you live, friends and or family really make all the other things fall away. As long as you have people who love you and got your back, you can make any place wonderful.
Kansas City, I love you. No matter how long I ultimately stay or don't stay, you will always hold a piece of my heart.