Diverging a little bit from Peru, I’d like to note a recent development.
It’s been a long time coming. Practically ever since I touched down in Boise, Idaho in 2010, I’ve had an ok, maybe it’s ok, relationship with the city. The time has finally come to leave the city behind and of course, as with any change, I have mixed feelings. But here’s my honest account of the place I called home for the past 6 years.
Boise often makes the list of the top nicest places to live in the United States, but it can be an odd duckling. Populated by a large conservative base and a pocket of hipsters in Boise’s north end, it can take a while to find a niche of relatable people as small as the city may be. Boise is clean. Safe. Comfortable. Traffic is minimal unless you hit the exodus at 5:00 PM from Boise out to Meridian each day. People particularly enjoy Boise for access to the outdoors, but after growing up in Coeur d’ Alene, ID, the terrain appears more like barren badlands than anything else. Sure, there are trees down by the river. It’s called Le Bois – the city of trees for goodness sake – but as soon as you step away from the sanctuary of the valley, it’s dry and dusty as far as you can see. Even so, I often tried to find the beauty in Boise and sometimes I did.
But overall, its desert terrain and remoteness lacks a certain ump that I’ve always craved. The local large body of water, Lucky Peak, is not a lake; it’s a reservoir. There’s a brief time during the year that the hills come to life in a variety of green hues, but then they turn brown like any other desert climate. When I say Boise is remote, it’s remote – far from any other large metropolitan area and serves as a strange oasis nestled between Oregon, Utah and Nevada.
I met some of my favorite people to date in Boise, but I also met some of the worst in my life. Largely, though, the people are kind, friendly and welcoming. There are also A LOT of families, which is not to say a bad thing, but doesn’t bode well for the young, single, professional lifestyle. Sure, there are bars and a tiny nightlife, but in reality, the city is built on the notion of the working American family dream – white picket fence and all. There are also limited job opportunities, and career advancement lies largely in the fields of medicine, insurance, real estate, tech or law.
You have to work hard to find cultural events, and they often end up being mediocre at best. Boise does not radiate the energy that you may find in say LA. Diversity is minimal. That said, Boise is rich with a few culinary delights. Foodies can find local fare at Fork and by far, the best place in town for wine enthusiasts is Bodovino. You can always find just about any chain restaurant and the Saturday market is a fun event to stroll through once or twice.
I realize the laid back lifestyle appeals to a huge population out there, and hence, why Boise hits some of the top lists. But I would argue Boise is not for the thrill seeker. There’s nothing wrong with that. I had some great times in Boise, but also some of the most trying times in life.
So the time has finally come to bid Boise farewell, to reach for the next chapter. There’s nothing to say the next place will be better – just different. In fact, it’s always hard to go to a new place and start over. It’s lonely and unfamiliar. Often uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s easy to adjust and sometimes it’s not. But the only thing to do is live in the moment and approach each day with a new perspective. It’s been fun, Boise. I’ll always have some great memories. But until next time – farewell.
I’ve been traveling a ton, so stay tuned for a lot of new content!