the midwest | (mĭd-wĕst′) | NOUN untapped; the middle west portion of the United States; Dorothy's hometown in the Wizard of Oz; “it's beautiful, though you probably have to be a child of the Midwest to see it”; “there is this sense of vast, open sky and loneliness and cold”; ORIGIN late 18th cent.: Italian, from Latin, ‘wheat.’
Yo! Bonjour! Hola! Aloha! My name is Kara and I'm thatchickfromohio, lovingly referred to as Carmen Sandiego, by family and friends. thatchickfromohio (TCFO) is a travel blog and global guide to adventuring “boojee on a budget.” Though a platform designed to more generally inspire millennials of color to see the world, the specific focus is to both create dialogue and evoke change around stereotypes commonly associated with individuals from the Midwest or small towns. In short, there is more to us than cornfields, cows and LeBron James—topics that too often become the center of conversations. Enacting such change in the current “Midwest narratives” is just as much an internal process as it is external. What do I mean by this? Beyond educating non-natives, current residents must also begin to envision themselves in a new way. Story Time: When I decided to study abroad in the south of France for half a year, some members of my family questioned my desire to “go so far away, for so long”. It should be noted that at this point in time, many of them had never ventured beyond Kentucky. This may sound surprising, but according to a 2008 Pew survey and analysis of U.S. Census data, in the Midwest, nearly half of adult residents say they have spent their entire lives in their hometown. My editorial scope is simple. By contextualizing each post with insights, explanations and fun history facts, I aim to inspire others to create their own adventures, as well as create a more connected global community by generating a healthier perspective of the world and the role of black and brown bodies in it. So, to all my small-towners, Midwesterners, and really anyone with dreams of venturing outside their immediate environment or circumstance, here’s me sharing a bit of light and love, encouraging you live on your own terms and break out of the box anyone—society, family or even you, have constricted and restricted yourself to up until this point. After all, the Midwest holds magic outside of being just Dorothy’s hometown in the Wizard of Oz. There is magic in our history, economic contributions and our people.