Don’t get me wrong, I love the ocean, I mean who doesn’t? But I am in love with the Midwest and there’s nothing that could get me to leave. No other place in the world feels quite like the Midwest does. It’s cozy, yet modern and beautiful.

Having the luxury of four seasons is something I definitely don’t take for granted. I a million capture pictures and make sure to do every cliché activity that season insists on everyone taking part in.

In the Fall, I break out my sweaters, boots, and scarves and don’t plan to put them away for months. Outside, I rake up the colorful leaves in the yard just to jump on the mountain I created. There are haunted trails and hay rides at the apple orchard and carving pumpkins for Halloween. In the Midwest, we bundle up for Friday night lights, but would never miss a game.

In the Winter, I watch out the window as inches on inches of snow pile up outside our doors. As a kid, the only thing you can think about is sledding down the hill and making igloos and snow angels. Everyone else, on the other hand, is just waiting on the snow plow to make its way through your neighborhood and hoping they sanded the highways. We aren’t scared off by negative temperatures in the Midwest, we just put on an extra layer.

In the Spring, everyone seems to have adapted to the below freezing weather so well that even one degree above means people are wearing shorts again. The trees start to bloom and the grass turns green, you start to hear birds chirping in the mornings again. Everything seems to come alive and Midwesterner’s are just happy to see the sun – when it isn’t raining that is.

In the Summer, we have it like no one else. No one else knows how to appreciate a Summer like we do, therefore we waste no time and make every day worth it. Head to the cabin up north for a long weekend, spend all day on the boat, grill out for dinner and make a campfire at night. Three months of this just isn’t long enough, but it sure does make us love it a whole lot more.

Hiking and camping under big pine trees next to a river or lake is an experience like no other and one you will truly only have in the Midwest. I feel lucky to have grown up in a place where it’s so easy to find the beauty in nature. There’s no where else I’d rather be than exactly where I am.

Sure, visiting the southern states is fun and they never disappoint, always beautiful and adventurous, but they’re not the Midwest. The Midwest feels like home and that will never change.