In the past year I have ziplined into a cerulean quarry, kissed death, visited the Twilight Zone, saw the Eighth Wonder of the World and marveled at eight Chinese acrobats simultaneously ride a bike. No, I did not embark on a strange sci-fi/adventure/tourism trip; rather, I tackled Indianapolis Monthly‘s list of 50 Things Every Hoosier Must Do.
Last May, while absentmindedly sorting through some magazines at my grandma’s house, I came across the August 2010 issue of Indianapolis Monthly. If you are unfamiliar with this publication, please run out to the nearest grocery store/pharmacy/newsstand (are those even around anymore?) and buy a copy ASAP. Or at least visit their website. This monthly magazine is filled with skilled writing and updates on Indy-area restaurants, stores, and happenings.
If you are under the impression that Indiana is comprised of little more than dusty farmland and smoky bowling alleys, this magazine will shatter your preconceived notions.
Anyway, the cover of this issue caught my attention. A picture of a model who is a cross between Pippi Longstocking and a redheaded Kirsten Dunst holding a corn cob was odd enough to stop me in my tracks, but the cover story next to this picture sealed the deal. The article “The 50 Things Every Hoosier Must Do!” was filled with an appealing mixture of obscure (#10. Don your lederhosen in Jasper) and mainstream (#39. Sing along to John Mellencamp’s “Small Town”) Indiana traditions. Given my love for road trips, small town exploration, and open summer schedule, I knew that I had to complete this bucket list.
At the time I had just graduated from high school and was looking for fun ways to kill time with my friends and family until starting at Indiana University in the fall. Creating a blog about my adventures would allow me to keep up on my writing before embarking on my journalistic studies, so the situation was a win win.
I assumed I would make some memorable stories while tackling the list, but so far my experience has far surpassed my expectations. At the time I was disillusioned with Indiana and thought it had little to offer. Now that I have explored more of it, I realize that you can find some pretty cool stuff in Indiana. My appreciation for my state has grown tremendously and I can finally say I am a proud Hoosier.
Although the Indiana Insider will post some of my past experiences, I still have many new adventures to embark on. So join me as I continue to discover Indiana and the wonders it holds. I hope that you will be inspired to do a few things on the list because there is nothing like rediscovering the joy of your home.
A lifelong Hoosier, Emily Metallic is an Indiana University student who was somewhat disillusioned with her home state. After reading the 50 Things Every Hoosier Must Do article in the August 2010 issue of Indianapolis Monthly, Emily made it her mission to complete (and blog about) all 50 Things. Follow her experiences on the #50Things section of the Indiana Insider Blog.