Tag Archives: stereotypes

I wrote off an entire area as “not for me” but I was wrong

“Why would you want to travel to ___?!?” (Fill in the blank with any place you wouldn’t wouldn’t want to go on vacation.)

“What are you going to do there, anyway, besides ___, ___, and ___?” (Fill in those blanks with the activities that place is stereotypically well-known for, and that don’t interest you.)

I love traveling, and I really want to go as many places as possible, but sometimes it’s simply because I enjoy traveling anywhere, not that I’m particularly looking forward to going to that specific place. It’s hard to get excited about a place that you think has nothing for you.

I have several places like this, but recently I’ve had to change my mind about one of them.

Until a few months ago, I thought the only reasons to go to Western Montana (apart from visiting family) were Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park (which I thought only had skiing), and hunting/fishing. Since I’ve already been to Yellowstone (wouldn’t mind going again, though, but it’s not as high priority as somewhere I’ve never been), only go fishing when other people are going, and don’t have a great desire to try hunting or skiing, none of these made this area really appealing as a travel destination.

Then I went to a travel industry event with representatives from Western Montana’s Glacier Country, Missoula, Whitefish, and Kalispell and found out that my assumptions were very wrong.

Although pleasantly surprising, it was a bit uncomfortable to admit that I’d written off a really interesting place because I’d gone only on these assumptions and hadn’t really looked into it.

(Of course, if I’d really been planning to go, I’d have looked into it a bit more then, but sometimes it’s hard to look for things you don’t expect to find, so I’m sure my searching wouldn’t have turned up as big of a list.)

Now I have a real list of things to do when I go to Western Montana.

In addition to my first guess about Yellowstone, Glacier NP, and hunting/skiing, the area’s also known for beautiful natural landscapes, Native American history and culture, local food/drink/foodie experiences, biking trails, music and nightlife, museums and art, historical buildings, lakes and beaches, and bucket-list worthy events.

Here’s my current list of things I’d be interested in doing in the area (bucket list style):

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