Idaho Is The Most Unwelcoming State; Change My Mind
Today I took to Facebook and asked the following: You have 24hrs to give an out-of-towner the Idaho experience. Where you taking them? My little brother is coming to town just to visit for his birthday. Who better to ask than the people of Idaho what the best places for an awesome experience are. But I noticed for all the helpful answers there were just as many unwelcoming responses. And I hate to say, it didn't surprise me at all. There are just a few...
"Right back out of town…." - Jenna S.
"Veterans Memorial Park and then leaving them there to figure it out." - Mele T.
"Back Home." - Carol K.
"Back to the border of their state!" - Jason N Jamie H.
"To the state line" - John A.
Not to mention all the 'love' and 'like' reactions to these comments. And I guess I just have to wonder why? I fully understand that the influx of people moving here has made housing wildly unaffordable. That fact doesn't escape me. But this seems to be deep rooted in Idaho culture.
I moved here a year ago for a job. And even saying that feels like I've strung together a barrage of curse words and said them to a priest or something. The very mention of not being native to Idaho has elicited a variety of reactions from the people I've met, none of which have ever made me feel great. The first question is almost always "Are you from California?" And I'm not. But the fact that it inspires so much relief feels weird. And that tends to be coupled with explanations as to why Californians are awful.
I've been here for a year and it feels like home, but I feel like I'm not allowed to feel that way. "Then go back to where you came from" is a response I hear all the time for things completely unrelated to living here or anywhere. And now when the question is where to go to show an out-of-towner a good time, someone who is visiting for just 24 hours, the same response to go back to where they came from.
It would be heartening to learn that I've just been unfortunate in my interactions and they aren't the norm. But I met two mothers just a few weeks ago who were relieved I am also new to town because they are used to be ostracized for having moved here from other states. And they've been here for a few years longer than me. I'd love to be proven wrong. Especially because I absolutely consider Idaho home and it's a bummer to always feel like I haven't earned it. And I know I'm not the only one.