A Life Update About Where We Live
Geographically, Wyoming is the ninth largest state in the U.S. with a total population of 578,759 +3 (for perspective, that's about the same size as Oklahoma City). Laramie is the fourth largest "city" in Wyoming with just over 32,000 citizens.
This is where I was born and raised.
As a teenager, living here, I was stricken with a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). I had an abiding sense of isolation coupled with a lot of romantic notions about how amazing it must be "out there." I was itching to graduate high school so I could get out into the “real world" and see how civilized people lived. So, the day after I graduated, I bolted.
Fast forward 33 years to this past January and my wife Tricia, my daughter Grace, and I relocated back to the Cowboy State.
Having lived in a number of different places and having traveled extensively, I realize now that Laramie is a wonderful place and if anything, I missed out on not living here all those years.
A Little Tour
Laramie sits at 7,200 feet above sea level on a high plain and is surrounded by huge, magnificent skies and mountains. What it lacks in oxygen, it makes up for in beauty.
Laramie has just about all the amenities you would ever need—just not as many of them. For example, the last city we lived in had six Starbucks and Laramie has just one.
We have really great restaurants, a super comfy theater (the kind where you can get horizontal and watch the movie while your wife takes a snooze), museums, great parks, and a charming downtown.
Laramie is also home to the University of Wyoming—the only major university in the state. When school is in session another 12,000 people are added to our population which brings a lot of extra energy to the town. UW has an amazing campus and all the benefits that come with a D1 University including all the major sports.
Location, Location, Location!
One of the best parts of Laramie is its location. If you get a craving for crowds and traffic, you can drive an hour south and be smack dab in the middle of Ft. Collins, Colorado with the entire front range at your disposal. Otherwise, you can drive 30 minutes west and find seclusion in the beautiful mountains of the Snowy Range or 20 minutes east and find yourself in Vedauwoo which has some of the best climbing and hiking anywhere.
Nice People and Slow Driving
It’s been a pleasant surprise to experience how nice the people are here. It's not uncommon to get into conversations with strangers while shopping at the grocery store or sitting in a restaurant. We weren't here much longer than a week when my wife and I were eating at a local Thai restaurant and a wonderful couple who were perfect strangers invited us to sit with them—we talked for well over an hour.
I must admit that I’m having to learn to slow down when I drive. The max speed limit of 30mph around town was a bit maddening at first (most everyone actually drives that speed) but I soon realized that even at this slower speed it only takes ten minutes to get anywhere in town, so what's the hurry?
Some other small unexpected observations were that people wait patiently in line at places and aren't cursing under their breath as the server waits on people in front of them. When going through drive-thru lines it's as if every fast-food place is staffed with Chick-Fil-A employees—they are so attentive and pleasant. And while driving it's common for other drivers to stop and let you into traffic.
Currently, you won't experience any lockdowns here, and about the only protests you'll see is a large angry group upset that the rodeo was canceled. [Actually, I just made that part up. We don't have any protests here.]
Anyhow, I've had several people ask me how I'm liking being back in Wyoming so I thought I'd write this short update.
I like it.