This may be your first time hearing that I am not from Montana so thought I'd give you a little background. I moved here just shy of a year ago from Seattle, WA and I grew up in Oregon (lived in Salem and Portland).

Moving here to Montana was definitely a shock in multiple ways but it was one of the best decisions I ever made. However I learned a few things in the first year under the 'big sky.'

1. People like to talk and you seem kind of like an asshole if you don't talk back. Just small chit-chat in the elevator or in line to pay somewhere can make a big difference in fitting in here.

2. Time passes differently. Being in Seattle where my commute to the radio station there took me an hour in and an hour back if I was lucky. So, two hours or more of my day were spent commuting and I only lived about 15 miles outside of the downtown area. Here in Billings it is much slower and the pace is slower and I am the biggest fan of this.

3. Kale is NOT important or a way of life. While I still cook with it sometimes, it is not a way of life and people don't wear shirts with 'Kale' on the front... that would make you look like an idiot and I kind of feel stupid for ever purchasing one.

4. People don't care (in a good way). What you are wearing, what you look like, what you drive... none of that really matters and people are definitely not judging you if you have last seasons jacket on. It's a huge sigh of relief for me. I'm definitely not a person who needs approval from other people but being judged is no fun and it was kind of a heavy burden in Seattle.

5. You really do need a truck. I know people who manage to get around without one but if you want to go camping, fishing or hunting somewhere that is off the beaten path (and in that last year that has happened a few times) you HAVE to have something lifted and all-wheel or 4wheel drive! Plus... they are find of sexy, right?

6. That parents are raising children to have manners and have respect. YOU GUYS. I have never met or ran into more children here in Billings that have better manners. Please, thank you, saying hi, holding open doors. It is CRAZY to me how un-snobby and polite the youth are in this city and it definitely to be praised!!