Midwest Travel: 5 Reasons Why You’ll Want to Visit the Midwest

July 16, 2015

People still ask me how in the world I ended up living in Madison, Wisconsin. Common perceptions – including my own – construct the United States with New York on the east, California on the west, the south and a general assumption that the likes of Miami and Chicago fill the rest of the shape.

In truth, the Midwest is not the bustling tourist destination atop of every bucket list. The fact is not lost on Midwesterners themselves – even for those with tattoos of their states questioned our decision to swap the sunny shores of Australia for the icy cold winter of the Midwest.

After spending six months in Wisconsin, these are three key things to know before traipsing to the Midwest:

Midwest Travel: 5 Reasons Why You’ll Want to Visit the Midwest

1. It is cold.

The Midwest is on par with Canada, both in its geography and its climate. -20 Celsius is standard winter weather and snow falls well into April during some years.

2. This is the region that invented Twinkies and beer cheese soup.

So don’t be surprised when you find that much of their food is deep fried, dunked in chocolate or wrapped in bacon.

3. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world, filled with the greatest people you will meet in the US and arguably, the world.

Midwest Travel: 5 Reasons Why You’ll Want to Visit the Midwest

4. The metropolitan centre of the Midwest, and the third most populous city in the US, Chicago is a city with which you can fall in love instantly.

It is a rare but beautiful thing to hop off a plane and immediately feel at home. Chicago is vibrant with contradictions and culture. Amidst monotonous building offices emerge great works of art, hubs for every level of hipster complete with boozy brunches, and underground clubs dotting this bustling city. It was a thrill each time I saw yet another friend fall in love with Chicago.  The city is a wonder, and it alone should warrant a trip to the Midwest.

5. The Midwest is an unexplored gem by the rest of the world.

Either stay for a couple of days, see the Mall of America and make a few other stops to see the lesser known tourist highlights. Or, stay for six months to soak in the real essence of the region. Though we’re constantly saturated with American popular culture–we know what it’s like to be a socialite in New York, a Guido in Jersey, a cowboy in Dallas, struggling actor in LA or a crime scene investigator seemingly everywhere–we find little about the Midwest in the media.

I never thought I’d fit into the Midwest. I’m not suited to the cold, I don’t drink beer and, to be blunt, I’m not white. But it’s strange how this place captivated me – the people, the beauty, and the simplicity. I still miss Madison every day and can’t wait to go back and have some beers down by the Memorial Terrace. Even from far away, I’ll continue to follow the Badgers’ sporting successes, even though I still don’t understand football entirely.

Midwest Travel: 5 Reasons Why You'll Want to Visit the Midwest

About Tiff Ng

Tiff is a social storyteller, originally from Australia. She’s working remotely, currently in Europe so she can pursue her passions for travel, storytelling and social media.

One thought on “Midwest Travel: 5 Reasons Why You’ll Want to Visit the Midwest

  1. July 16, 2015

    I love this piece! I am from Missouri but have lived in Vermont and currently live in Brooklyn and I always struggle with explaining what the Midwest is really like to people here. It has its ups and downs like everywhere else but it’s nice to see someone else shares my love (sometimes) for it.

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