1 || Idahoans are kind.

Folks here are all about paying it forward, celebrating first responders and those who serve, hand-ups, and welcoming newcomers into the fold. This has been especially true for my family and the Idaho family we've grown over the last seven years. Some might shrug that off, but military life has learned me that true friends are the family we choose. And our Idaho kin are among our greatest blessings.

New to the Valley? S'all good. Just keep it kind, friend.



2 || Dog-fams, this one's for you.

Idahoans are best pals to the furry four-legged kind. It's true, Spot. It's Pups on Parade 24/7 across the Treasure Valley. If there's not a written law endorsing it, there's certainly an unspoken cultural rule upholding dogs in grocery stores, commercial businesses, small businesses, churches, schools, offices and dozens of other places. It's kind of wonderful when you're sifting through the bottom shelf of the canned good aisle and a pupper appears out of nowhere to nuzzle your knee. For the record, it's not as cute when their single dad tries to do the same, but that's a song for another time. One last thing–one Idahoan loves dogs so much, that they founded Restyle Animal Rescue Thrift Store. All proceeds support life-saving initiatives for injured, abused, and abandoned animals across the Treasure Valley. Super cool.



3 || There's something magical and refreshing about the Treasure Valley's proximity to the foothills, the Sawtooth national forests, the Rockies, and our beautiful rivers.

Within 20 minutes of any direction you choose, nature welcomes you to its playgrounds. For Boiseans interested in the convenience of local nature, they look no further than Boise's famous Green Belt; a 25-mile beltway that runs along the tree banks of the Boise river. Connecting one Valley city to another, the BGB is every Boisean's one-stop shop for free fun and fitness, and the ability to connect with nature in their own backyard. Like a proud first-time grandma, the BGB's got top billing in the brag book and an eternal place in our heart.

PS, BGB runs parallel to BSU's Smurf Turf–the onliest, bluest football field you'll ever see!



4 || Contrary to pop culture's take on the Gem State, today's Idaho is made of all kinds of kinds. And it's kind of awesome!

Thank you to the homegrown locals who continue to make room at the table for transplants like me. I'm also so grateful for their hospitality. A one-state melting pot that reminds us of the strength and beauty in our differences, most are surprised to learn of Idaho's expanding diversity. From politics to religion, to a multitude of other orientations and belief systems, Idaho culture is a fast-growing index of inclusion and equity. All we ask is that you handle us with care and we'll kindly return the favor.

PS, are we perfect? Nope. Don't claim to be. But we're trying to do better, and that's the point.


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