I have neighbors from all over. Minnesota, Utah, and yes...California. So the other day as I was taking out the trash, I stopped to talk to Kyle (he and his girlfriend are from California). I was curious as to whether they can feel the animosity when they tell people where they are from. I personally like Kyle and Steph (that's the girlfriend), they are always really nice, they say hello, they let me pet their dog, so I consider them pretty "alright".

Photo by Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash

I started by asking Kyle why he was here, if he had a job, what his favorite things were. I won't say where he works, but he is a student at MSU (Go Bobcats!), he works 20 hours a week, and he loves the winters here. He and Steph both like to ski, so when he got accepted into MSU he was super excited. He also said he loves how dog-friendly Bozeman is and the dog parks.

Then I got to the questions that I am sure EVERY Californian dreads. He grabbed Steph when I started asking these questions, so it was pretty interesting. I wanted to know if they felt judged for being from California if people were still kind to them, and will they ever switch their license plate to Montana so they don't stick out like a sore thumb.

Photo by Timo Stern on Unsplash

Steph proudly tells people she is from California, and she said most people her age (22) don't really care, but older people give her a cold shoulder. By older, she meant 35 and up (insert eye roll). Kyle doesn't say where he is from unless specifically asked...he doesn't want to deal with it. Both said people are still pretty nice to them, but they said they don't really talk about California. Why? "Because we don't live there. We live here".

Perfect answer!

They both said that it is annoying that people are always complaining about Californians, but they understand. "Rich people always try to change things to make their lives better. We are not them, we go to school, pay rent, AND work part-time. We feel like we didn't come here to change anything, so people appreciate that. Plus we are not rich enough to buy land and build on it." As far as the license plate question, they are still deciding which one they want to get.

Kyle and Steph are part of the "cool Californians". The ones that came here because they truly love Montana. If they wanted Montana to be like California, they would have just stayed there. So if you are from another state, and you want Montana to be like your home state, then perhaps a move wasn't the right step. Just an opinion.

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