Have you ever been to a place and just felt at home? That had never happened to me, and I have lived in three different states. Then I drove into Flagstaff Arizona, never in my whole life had any place felt more like home. When we drove into town, it was dark and I didn’t get to see much. Nevertheless, what I did see impressed me greatly; it seemed to me that all the stores that I like and all my favorite places to hang out were there. Kind of like a city dropped on a mountaintop, the shadow of the trees making a majestic background. The next day, when I was able to get a better look at things, I felt like a horse had kicked me. Everywhere I looked, there were trees and mountains. I could see almost every detail in the forest that surrounded me, and the air was so clean and the sky so blue. That is what drew me in first, and then I started to talk to some locals. Everyone was so nice and they didn’t try to make you feel like you were just a person passing through. They made you feel like you were part of the community. The things that were brought to my attention were not so much the sights but the people, everyone I talked to said how nice the town was. There was no feeling of being watched of judged, as in most small towns. However, it was just a feeling of being accepted just for being there. When you stopped to ask directions the people were open and friendly, they didn’t make you feel like an idiot for asking. When my mother and I decided to check out the campus, I found that it had the same good vibes as the town.
Flagstaff has a feeling of being very clean, if you have ever been to a small remote town you will understand. Small towns tend to have a feeling of being, for lack of a better word, messy. To me the town of Flagstaff and the college of NAU just looked and felt clean. Many of the students who attend NAU don’t drive a car, instead they use the bus. The reason being is the fact that the bus comes around about every twenty minutes, so there is really no need for a car. Something else I found that was interesting was that all of the streetlights were built to protect the night sky from light damage. That kind of shocked me, most small towns didn’t care about their surroundings, or the sky for that matter, but I found that that didn’t apply in Flagstaff. I found that the people of Flagstaff were conservative and made and effort to protect the land that they lived on. Most people talk about their hometown, or somewhere they consider their hometown, as though they want you to be impressed with the big things. Which isn’t a bad thing, but after a while it gets old. While Flagstaff had some big things that they could boast about, they didn’t. They tend to lean towards the smaller, but more interesting things like the town history. When they did tell you about big things, they focused on the natural things. Like for example the fact that you could go river rafting and only be twenty minutes from home. On the other hand, you could go to the Grand Canyon, stay for the day and then go home for the night, without the need to stay in a hotel.
All of these facts put together made the town a very welcoming and fun place to be. If you have ever been to Flagstaff, you will understand what I mean. When I tell people where I will be moving everyone lights up and tells me what a fabulous place it is. What more could you look for in a hometown?