By: Vanessa Sanchez

So you’re going on a vacation huh? I bet you are planning a trip to Cabo or maybe Vegas.  How about a sweet backpacking trip through Europe?  Maybe you have kids and are about to hit up Orlando to see the new Harry Potter land.  Either way, you never thought about heading to Paducah, KY or Lincoln, NE.  Perhaps your car broke down if you decided to road trip it.  Or worse yet, your flight diverted to some small town you never knew existed because your final destination has weather or the airplane filled up with smoke.  You roll your eyes when the mechanic says it’s going to take two days to get the part in.  You groan at the announcement from the flight attendant that the weather won’t let up and the crew just timed out for the day and suddenly you find yourself in the Quad Cities with nothing to do and a voucher for the Holiday Inn Express.

So what do you do? Normally you would probably hole yourself up in the hotel room, order a pizza, maybe order a movie and feel sorry for yourself at such a horrible predicament you find yourself in.  I am guilty of it too.  In fact, I am one of the worst when it comes to seeing these small towns on my schedule and thinking, what have I done to the scheduling gods to be stuck here for 24 hrs?!  Perhaps I should explain.  I am a flight attendant for a regional airline company.  Regional airline??? What’s that?  We are essentially the little feeder planes that go to smaller towns that larger airplanes can’t or won’t go into due to the money market and airport fees.  We go to large cities too but we help those living in states like Montana, North Dakota, and Iowa get to large airports where they can connect to other destinations.  We fly jets and turbo prop planes.  I love working for a regional.  The flights are shorter and the people I work with or work for are generally a little nicer.  There is less stress when you are going through TSA security checkpoints in Grand Forks, ND or Muskegon, MI.

So where am I going with this? Simple.  I am here to tell you that since I constantly see places like Grand Rapids, MI and Pasco, WA, I want to write about them.  Tell you exactly what you are missing in Smalltown, USA.  I have overnighted in Boston, Atlanta, and New York.  That’s the dream of all flight attendants.  Staying in big awesome cities and seeing all there is to see.  But honestly, the most fun I’ve had on overnights were in places like Reno, NV and Madison, WI.  I ate the best barbeque in Rochester, NY.  I found out there is a large hidden artist community in Paducah, KY.  Missoula, MT has the best locally brewed beers I’ve ever tasted.  I want to share these little tidbits with you.  I want you to know that America is still an amazing place to find random wonderful hidden communities and towns that are full of fun and adventure.  That way, the next time you find yourself in some Podunk town in the middle of nowhere, you can see if I’ve written about it and discover the uniqueness of it yourself.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy my “wander”ful meanderings of our wonderful country.


Written by The Sundown United

The SUNDOWN UNITED is a multi-faceted project that houses an apparel and accessories brand, and online-magazine(weblogs/articles). All ends of and begins with the Sundown United our trademark, lifestyle, attitude, and personal perspective on Americana art/lifestyle subculture.


  1. Adrian and I have always believed there are wonderful things in this great US of A. Thanks for sharing Vanessa. We are always on the lookout for great adventures to pursue.


  2. What a great article! I have often thought about flying to Europe and other places then it occurred to me there is so much I haven’t seen in the USA. Your article just fueled my desire to see our country first. Thanks!


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