When in a foreign country we like to get off the tourist path and visit small towns and “real” places. But in out in our own country, we rarely consider visiting the heartland or small towns in the middle of nowhere. Why is it different?
Consider this – a friend returns from a trip and tells you they rented a car and drove 2 hours from the main tourist city to a small town. A century ago this was a boom town, and though unkempt, the small historic center still has dozens of old brick buildings and factories. Downtown is the world’s tiniest skyscraper and a dozen antique and consignment shops. Within an hours drive they found the best hamburger they have ever had and there were tons of hiking and boating opportunities. And too boot, the locals were chatty and friendly.
This is the kind of recommendation we love to hear when traveling overseas. These are the gems that make a trip extra special and when we feel like we really saw a place.
Now what if I were to tell you that this location really exists?? Wichita Falls, TX.
I was recently in Texas for work and drove to see friends in Wichita Falls. And I am definitely not advising everyone change their summer vacation plans and go buy tickets to North West Texas. But this trip got me thinking that I need to start to value the same things in my own country as I do overseas. The principles are the same – there is value and joy to getting off the beaten path and seeing the “real” America!
And for those that find themselves in Dallas or Oklahoma City (both a 2 hr drive) I recommend you stop in Wichita Falls to see the world’s tiniest skyscraper or Meers’ Oklahoma for one of the best hamburgers you will ever have!