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06-Jun-2020 04:34

Anytime we booked more than three days in a place, we fast-tracked the getting-to-know-you process by plunging ourselves into the daily scrum.We shopped for Bibb lettuce at the local farmers’ market, combed the event listings in the alt weekly, and made ourselves “regulars” at the coffee shops nearest our rentals.Type “snow struggles in New York City” into You Tube to see what I mean.) Among the many things that astonished us about Minneapolis and St. Enormous old trees, winsome rose gardens, lushly manicured parks, sparkling blue lakes, bike lanes everywhere — it’s absolutely gorgeous seven months out of the year. And hey, if the travel writing thing doesn’t work out, we can always look for cubicle jobs at one of the 17 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the Twin Cities — or better yet, start our own business.

In the end, we didn’t need to date every state in the union to find the one.

When we visited his family for Christmas, I slept in his childhood bed.

My family, by contrast, traveled often and moved dozens of times, mostly throughout the South.

It was a slower burn, but no less infatuating — ­the kind where every day we found ourselves remarking out loud, and somewhat incredulously, on our good fortune. As travel writers finally looking to “settle down,” living somewhere that cele­brates diversity was of utmost importance.

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“How is it ­possible that one city has so many things we care about? Beyond its deep Nordic roots, Minnesota is home to the second-largest Hmong diaspora in the United States, plus sizable immigrant populations from Somalia, Ethiopia, Liberia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Mexico, Russia, India, China, and Korea.

I’d been tethered to a desk for more than a decade; I wanted to see the world and live out my dream of becoming a full-fledged travel writer.