Summer in the Midwest
On Instagram, you’ll see most RVers spending their summers traveling to breathtaking, mountainous landscapes. It’s easy to get swept up in the idea that we should be traveling to this place or that place. But the Wild Hixsons like to travel for our own reasons, and the last few summers we’ve found ourselves back home in the Midwest. The funny thing is that at the start of the last three summers, I’ve found myself wishing we were going somewhere else. But at the end of the summer, there’s nowhere else I would rather have been.
Here’s why we love summer
in the Midwest:
1. The best summer vibes
Forget the beach, the Midwest has the absolute best summer vibes. If you want a real summer, as in hot and humid, with long days of sunshine and the occasional sweet-smelling rainstorm, the Midwest is the place to be. The hot weather is perfect for laying out in the sun, evening cookouts and campfires, and comfortable early morning walks. One of our favorite activities is walking through local parks and getting to take in the scenery. Pair the warm evening air with the sounds of cicadas in the trees and twinkling fireflies in the grass, and nothing feels more like summer.
To pair with our Midwest experience, we recently got this amazing window mounted hummingbird feeder, which I have to say has been the best purchase for our RV. We’ve used it in two different states, and so far we have been a total hummingbird hotbed. Now, even when we’re inside working, we have tiny friends that come hang out just a couple feet away from us! If having a neverending posse of hummingbirds doesn’t feel like summer, then I don’t know what does.
2. The nicest people
We may be biased because we both grew up in the Midwest, but I’ll still say that I think the Midwest has some of the nicest people anywhere in the country. Even small interactions like getting groceries are made just a little bit more pleasant by the friendly attitude of Midwesterners. We’ve been all over the country, and the Midwest is where we feel like we could become friends with almost everyone we meet.
3. Time with family and friends
Part of what makes summer in the Midwest so lovely for us is that we’re going home, so we get to see family and friends. The Fourth of July is one of our favorite holidays to spend with family – none of the pressure of Thanksgiving or Christmas, but all of the fun! Something about getting out in the sun and playing around in the yard seems to strengthen bonds, and always makes for a great time.
This summer, we are also spending some time with new friends, doing some small game hunting and fishing in the Hannibal, MO area. The Midwest offers quite a few hunting opportunities over the summer, and while it may not be as exciting as hunting whitetail deer in the fall, we’ve had a lot of fun on small game day hunts. Since we don’t own land, we are always thrilled when friends and family invite us to come hunt on their land, and we look forward to getting to know new landscapes and taking advantage of whatever wildlife is in season. This summer, it’s squirrels and crappie on the menu!
4. Surprising landscapes
When you think of the Midwest, it’s easy to picture only plains and farmland. But there are some surprisingly beautiful landscapes out here, too. My personal favorites are the cliffs and rock formations in Missouri near the Mississippi River. The exposed rock is stunning, and while they would still be considered hills, the height on some of these cliffs is remarkable. We’ve also found hikes with not only gorgeous scenery, but also decent ascents throughout Missouri, Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan. In Illinois, we know where to find wildflowers of every color, in Michigan we can walk barefoot through sandy beaches that feel like ocean shores, and in Minnesota we can watch cascading waterfalls in awe. The Midwest has something to offer, no matter what kind of summer trip you’re looking for.
There’s definitely something special about going home after you’ve moved away, but we think there’s something extra special about our homes. Come see the vast plains and colorful wildflowers in central Illinois or the towering cliffs of northwest Missouri, make friendly conversation with your cashier, and take an evening stroll with the fireflies and cicadas, and you’ll see why we’re never too bummed about spending our summers in the Midwest.
Tyler & Andrea
We travel the country full-time in our RV, making documentaries and podcasts about our life. We are the ultimate adult beginners. From RVing full-time to cooking to some of our newer interests like bow hunting and jiu-jitsu, nearly everything we do we discovered as adults. Being an adult beginner is surprisingly challenging, and at times we really do feel like we don’t know anything! But if there’s one thing we know in the Hixson household, it’s that we want our lives to be wild, free, and lived intentionally. If something looks difficult or intimidating, it’s probably worth doing. And there’s no better time to start than now.
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