"Great Faces Great Places", photo credit to S.T

SOUTH DAKOTA THROUGH MY EYES

SOUTH DAKOTA

If you are planning a trip to South Dakota, you’re doing the right thing. The State is vast in territory, low in population compared to other States, but there is something for everyone out there. The place is magical!

However, this article does not aim to tell you where to go or what to do when you visit South Dakota. There are thousands of sources you can check online for that info. If you prefer a personalized trip, tailored to your preferences and likes specifically, we will be honored to plan and organize that trip for you.

This article will unfold the beauty of the state through the eyes of a 21-22 year old college girl.

State Capitol Building on sunrise, Pierre, South Dakota.  photo credit to S.T.
State Capitol Building on sunrise, Pierre, South Dakota.
photo credit to S.T.

“GREAT FACES, GREAT PLACES”

At the time I was living in Arkansas (…an article about THAT experience to follow). Being in my sophomore year of college I was looking to transfer to a university that will offer a decent degree in International Business at an affordable price. Having visited the University of Arkansas–the idea of becoming a Razorback didn’t sit too well–and not being impressed with other schools deep down south, I started to look for a school in the north. I found my lucky ‘Northern Star’ and my home-away-from-home in the small but welcoming town of Aberdeen, South Dakota. To be honest, I did not even know that it was part of America and thought it was a coastal state. When I found out that the coastal state was actually South Caroline and that South Dakota–the state where cattle outnumbers people– is almost as far north as one can go before reaching Canada, I was simply shocked! 

So, I loaded up my 1985 Honda Accord with an odometer of 220 000+ miles and headed up north on a journey of a thousand miles, which ended up being a journey of a lifetime! It is not by an accident that one of the states’ slogans is “Great Faces, Great Places”.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, photo credit to S.T.

SOUTH DAKOTA THROUGH MY EYES

As I already mentioned, I didn’t even know that South Dakota was part of the United States, I didn’t know anything about it and I didn’t expect much from it either. All I was told before I left Arkansas was that they have cold winters and wolves. 🙂 

What I did see with my own eyes during my time there was something few have seen and 800,000+ people live with daily: clear big skies, wide open fields, countless stars on a clear night, crystal clear air, small cozy towns, some of the most friendly people and tons of snow that adds even more to the uniqueness and serenity of the place. 

Yes, it is true that most tourists go to visit South Dakota because of Mt.Rushmore and  Crazy Horse memorial–both are worth visiting — but this is not what the state is all about. I think that the beauty of South Dakota hides in its wide open fields and good hearted people. People who have kept a sense of community and proudly work for the well-being of their small towns. People who offer a helping hand to their neighbor during tough times and people who have kept family values and a sense of personal responsibility.

South Dakota is a place where home-made meals are still fashionable. It is a place where one can spend time with nature without being bothered by the constant beeping of Facebook messenger, e-mail or text messages. It is a place where the rising sun gently reflects in the snow during the winter mornings and beautifully sets down, throwing golden sun rays upon the open fields, during summer.

The possibilities to reconnect with nature and oneself are limitless out there. From the vast Missouri river slowly flowing through the southern part of the state to caves and hiking trails in the Black Hills, or simply running through the fields on a nice summer day, it is your call. 

Having lived in Arkansas for awhile, I was sure I had seen the ‘real’ cowboys with big fancy boots, eye-catching belt buckles, chewing tobacco and riding horses, but I was wrong. The real cowboys — saying this with admiration — I met in South Dakota. If any of you grew up reading adventurous novels about the ‘wild,wild, west’, then you will know what I am referring to. The rodeos are some of the most popular events across the state and worth going to! I even ended up with a cowboy hat gift. 😀

Missouri River off Yankton, South Dakota, photo credit to S.T.
Missouri River off Yankton, South Dakota, photo credit to S.T.

 

I know that rarely anyone thinks of  South Dakota when brainstorming vacation places but that’s the best part because in My Eyes it keeps the state as it is and as it should be: “South Dakota is just being itself: pure, magical, magnificent and unadulterated” and if anyone is interested in going and experiencing what I did, please don’t hesitate to contact me at: mytrip@customtrip.org, subject line: to S.T., and I will gladly share way more about this great state and give you useful tips&tricks for a memorable trip.

 

 

S.T.

 

 

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