We had some friends (husband and wife) over Saturday night and at one point the conversation turned to the Midwest. Seems he feels obligated to go to Oklahoma to visit his mother, with whom he isn’t particularly close, and to bring his wife since they’ve never met. But he doesn’t want to go to Oklahoma and thinks they’ll have a rotten time because it’s Oklahoma.
I suspect his reluctance stems more from the less than stellar relationship with his mother. But he’s chosen to focus his distaste on Oklahoma. Among other issues, he complained about all the narrow-minded and bigoted viewpoints he thinks they’ll run into when/if they go. I think he thinks people just start out casual, social conversations with huge political stink bombs and let things devolve from there. I found it so strange. I think reluctance to visit—not move to, but just visit—a particular location is really weird and pretty narrow-minded.
One of the best things about my last job was the traveling I did to parts of the U.S. that I would normally never think about visiting. I went to Sheffield, Texas*, Tomah, Wisconsin, and Guernsey, Wyoming along with other places you might have actually heard of. And while I wouldn’t want to move to any of those three towns, I saw some incredible scenery and met some really nice people. I know myself well enough to know that I enjoy living in a more urban environment than those towns offer. I’m still glad I got to see them, and if I had a chance to visit other, similar places, you’d better believe I’d go.
*Sheffield is so small, it doesn't even have a Chamber of Commerce web site!