I'm not sure why this question is on my mind today, but I think about this a lot. Probably because I talk to people from many different places, and they all say it, but it means different things to everyone. They say, "I'm going up north."

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I hear people say they are going up north for the weekend, or some variation of the words 'up north' probably 20 times a week. But when people say 'up north,' what do they actually mean? Does 'up north' have certain qualifying factors to be used officially?

For example, 'up north' in St. Cloud might mean we are headed to the lake, whether or not it's north of where we live. Up north could also mean any place north of St. Cloud, but further than Little Falls. I mean seriously, if you live in St. Cloud and tell me you're going 'up north' for the weekend, I'm thinking that you mean you're heading to at least Brainerd.

To me, it depends on where you live. If you are in the cities and you are going 'up north' I'm thinking that you must be headed up to Brainerd; however, I'm aware of people in the cities that have a cabin in Princeton and call that going 'up north.'  To me, that feels weird. Princeton isn't up north; is it?

Whether it's right or wrong, 'up north' means lots of different things:

  • You're going on vacation somewhere north of your location.
  • You're going on vacation somewhere.
  • You're going to your cabin.
  • You're going to a friend's cabin.
  • You're going ice fishing.
  • You're going somewhere in Minnesota.
  • You're going to a friend's house.
  • You're going a mile up the road.
  • You're going to the farm.

I say I'm going up north when I'm playing music anywhere by Brainerd or Baxter. Sometimes I catch myself saying I'm going up north when I'm really not, I'm just going to visit my Dad on the farm close to Princeton.

'Up North' regardless of what you use it for, usually means something positive. Let's go 'Up North'.


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