From the moment he stepped off his bus to come visit me, his mind has been blown by Montana and Bozeman and just how beautiful this place really is.

My friend from college, Niko, is in town visiting Montana for the first time. He's from Australia, so getting to the states can be a bit expensive, but he's always wanted to come visit me in my home state to see what it's all about. Boy, we did not disappoint.


I have been showing around town, introducing him to new people, enjoying food he can't get anywhere else and just exploring what Montana has to offer. We went out on Saturday night and he just couldn't believe how friendly everyone was at the bars and restaurants. Niko told me that when he went into bars in Seattle and California everyone just gave him the "stink eye" when he walked in and didn't understand why.

He said one of the best parts of the trip so far is that we went to the Montana Grizzly Encounter right outside of Bozeman. He had never seen a grizzly bear up close. He was very happy that he was protected from these bears. In Australia, they don't have anything that compares to the size of those beasts.

Then, earlier today, before I took him on a tour of the MSU campus, he said, "This place looks exactly what you would imagine a beautiful scenery would be. From the snow-topped mountains to the forests and the people. I can't believe this place exists."

That right there reminded me why I love living here and why so many others live here. That's why our population grows consistently, it's because some people are looking for paradise and that's right here.