This group included Kansans from all age ranges gathered together with one purpose, get really freaking excited about Kansas and inspire one another to go make their hometowns awesome! We can't solve all the rural issues by ourselves, sometimes we need the help and encouragement of other rural Kansans to get things done. I was a part of the group called PowerUps. This would be people between the ages of 21-39 who are rural by choice. I never really thought of it that way, but I am definitely rural by choice. Although there are many days when I feel like running away I am indeed rural by choice.
Reasons I am rural by choice:
- I don't feel the need to lock my car in my rural town.
- I never lock up my bike at home or around town.
- I know my neighbors and sometimes invite myself over.
- If my front door gets left open all day, my neighbors call me to let me know.
- My landlord is kinda like my grandpa.
- When my picture is in the newspaper, my students let me know they saw it.
- I know my city commissioners and they know me.
- My car insurance is much cheaper.
- I have plenty of space to have a garden in my back yard.
- People generally know all my business and I'm okay with that.
- I get unobstructed views of the sunrise and sunset on a regular basis.
- My commute to work is one mile and I am able to ride my bike.
We left the conference with at least one thought regarding what we could take away from the event. In general I was able to take away a greater appreciation for my rural hometown. We live in a great state and although it has much need for improvement to make it even greater I am proud to be a Kansan. My rural action commitment involves educating myself more about my rural town and other great rural destination places in Kansas. Then when I am able to host couchsurfers and others passing through the state, I can be a more informed Kansan and perhaps entice them to stay a while and spend some money in Kansas!
Are you proud to be rural or proud to be urban? What makes you excited about where you live?