1. Fargo, for the creative culture.
“I think I moved here at the perfect time. Fargo started a program to revitalize its historic downtown right before I moved into the neighborhood, so a place that was already really popular with students and artists began to attract new restaurants and shops, entrepreneurs and start-ups too. We have several universities in the metro, a really vibrant and well established art scene and an active population that likes to get out and do things, so all that brings a great energy to the city.
I can be a travel writer anywhere, but it's easy and affordable to be a travel writer and an artist and a business owner in Fargo. The art scene is small, supportive and as unpretentious as you can possibly get. (Taking yourself too seriously will score you an epic eye roll here.) The low cost of living and the fact that I could buy a home with my husband fairly easily more than make up for the higher fares I pay at the airport.
And there's an independent, DIY vibe in Fargo that I love. Honestly, it gives me courage. When I worked in advertising in my early 20s, I would regularly meet with business owners and members of the City Council that were way younger than me. Nobody thought that was weird — or even particularly notable.
In Fargo, and in North Dakota in general, if you have a good idea and you can make it work, you just do it. Almost everybody in my circle has a side hustle, almost everybody creates something beautiful in their spare time and both your friends and people you only vaguely know will show up to support your ribbon cutting or gallery opening or book signing. Not everywhere is like that.”
-Alicia Underlee Nelson, Prairie Style File, Fargo, ND