MN Expats Share What They Miss Most about Life in MN
It's easy to take for granted the little things in life when they're all you know.
I spent three years right out of college doing non-profit work in South Africa. To say it was a different world there would be a gross understatement. SO much was different -- from driving on the opposite side of the road to living in fenced and gated properties, the selection in a grocery store to being serviced by an attendant at a gas station. After the initial shock of the obvious differences between South Africa and home wore off, I began to realize the little differences and things I missed -- Culvers, Caribou Coffee, Ranch Dressing, Heinz Ketchup, Coca Cola, Christmas with snow. Things I took for granted here in America I came to sorely miss in South Africa.
A recent post on online discussion forum Reddit asked Minnesota expats what they missed most (or least) after they moved away from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
"As a Minnesotan who moved for a job to a state known for its tornados, I've found myself missing little silly things, like Old Dutch potato chips (have to hunt for them down here), Kwik Trips (there are QuikTrips tho...imposters), and easy access to Schmitt's Meat Market," says Reddit user u/Ilickedthecinnabar. "I was thrilled when a Culvers finally opened in the city I'm in this summer. So, fellow Minnesota ex-pats, what are the little things you miss about living in Minnesota?"
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The responses are enlightening and entertaining.
"I miss Cub Foods," shares one Minnesotan who moved to Europe. "Grocery stores here are TINY and have very limited selection. 4-5 types of breakfast cereal, max. You want peanut butter? There is one kind. Buy it or don’t." He goes on to list other things he misses including lakes and boating in the summer, small talk, 24-hour convenience stores, cabin culture, Mexican food ("it’s the ‘new exotic food’ at the moment, so it’s just starting to pop up"), pizza (all they have is Italian style super thin crust pizza here. No deep dish, and definitely no Giordano’s") and tartar sauce ("They don’t have it, and they eat a lot of seafood").
"I miss the lake culture a lot," said on Minnesotan in Montreal. "I'm happy in Canada in a lot of ways, but I really miss hanging out on a boat randomly in the middle of summer. Here it's like a whole thing to do that."
"Dill pickles. Why are they better in MN?!" wondered one. "Also swimming in lakes. Coming up will miss ice fishing."
"I miss having some living space," commented a Minnesotan who moved to Scandinavia. "There’s plenty of wilderness to go around, but flat space is practically non-existent. People live on top of each other here, and compared to anywhere in MN the amount of space you get renting is tiny. Renting a place with enough space for a small workshop is not at all feasible with my income." He also went on to list grocery stores, fresh produce, cheap beer and small talk.
"I’m in Indiana now and there’s no Top the Tater," said one simply. "I cry."
"Real cheese curds, the squeaky kind, shared a Minnesotan who has moved around the West Coast. "They're not totally absent here on the west coast but they're a lot harder to find." They also added that they miss "generous, almost-overbearing road signage" -- "Minnesota is very assertive about labeling roads and intersections and exits and turnoff points and everything else."
"Kwik Trip, Fleet Farm, snow, lakes, lefsa, top the tater, and tator tots offered instead of fries on the regular, listed an expat in Ohio, who added "I'm also super annoyed with people in Southern Ohio talking about how 'brutal' their 40 degree and snowless winters are."
You can read the full Reddit thread here.
Are you an expat? What do you miss about the place you moved from?