Plenty of Nebraska kids grow up thinking “I can’t wait to get out of here.” A lot of people do leave, but they often return – and if they don’t, there are things about Nebraska they’ll never stop missing. I moved overseas for a few years and couldn’t believe the little things I missed every day. Based on my own experiences and those of other Nebraska natives, these are the things we miss when we leave Nebraska behind.
1. The friendly people.
Living in Nebraska, it's easy to take for granted the small things like smiles from strangers. A greeting or just a friendly head nod when you pass someone on the street is such a good feeling, and you can't get it just anywhere.
2. Wide open spaces.
The big blue sky and fields that go on forever may not be strictly Nebraskan, but trust me - they don't look the same anywhere else.
3. Seeing cows on every drive.
Driving through the country is so relaxing, and because cows are such a constant part of the landscape in Nebraska, it feels kind of weird to go for a drive somewhere else and not see them on both sides of the road.
4. The smell of freshly-cut alfalfa.
This one positively killed me when I lived far away. There's really nothing quite like the sweet, earthy smell of freshly cut alfalfa fields.
5. Small town charm.
You can find small towns anywhere in the world, but Nebraska's small towns are special to a Nebraska native. They all kind of seem to feel like home, don't they?
6. Tight-knit communities.
From the small towns to individual communities in the larger cities, Nebraskans are great at banding together and being neighborly.
7. The dramatic weather.
This one probably comes as no surprise - Nebraskans famously love to watch the weather, especially when it turns severe. By the end of my time away, I would have given anything to see a real Nebraska thunderstorm.
8. Low crime.
Most small-town dwellers in Nebraska don't even bother to lock their doors. Sure, we have to deal with some property crime, but there aren't very many places in the state where I would feel unsafe walking alone at night.
9. The food.
It's not easy to find Runzas and Dorothy Lynch outside of the Midwest. If you have to leave, be sure to stock up first because you'll definitely miss them!
10. The awesome state parks.
Submitted by Kelly Keough
We have so many opportunities for swimming, fishing, hiking, boating, biking, and pretty much anything else you could want to do outdoors. And in really lovely settings, too.
11. The amazing scenery.
It's kind of a best-kept secret in America: Nebraska is actually a truly beautiful place. There's something unique and so peaceful about these surroundings we live in.
Have you moved out of Nebraska? What did/do you miss the most? Share your thoughts in the comments.