About the Author
Hayden Stewart is a contributing writer and media specialist for the Allied Van Lines Moving Blog. He regularly produces content for a variety of lifestyle and home blogs, based around the transitional obstacles that come with moving, settling into a new home, and more.
Montana is a state filled with breathtaking nature and stretches of sweeping scenery, but making the change from city to true country life can be a difficult challenge for many. Even if you're excited about your move to Montana, there's definitely a bit of culture shock to be expected when you swap sneakers for boots and find that your "local" supermarket is now miles away instead of just a few blocks.
If you've decided to make the move and are gearing up to head to Montana, here are 10 tips to make the transition a little smoother.
1. Learn the Geography
Montana is home to a little over 1 million people and spans 147,040 square miles. The state's diverse terrain includes broad expanses of vast wilderness, cozy small towns and some cities, too. Billings is the largest city in the state with more than 170,000 residents.
2. Understand the Small-Town Mentality
Country life is rooted in community, and it's not uncommon for everyone to be on a first-name basis in small towns. For a city-dweller, this adjustment can be difficult as it feels invasive and strange to suddenly be having a personal heart-to-heart with your cashier, but people from small towns value relationships within the community.
3. Make Yourself Approachable
It's a lot harder to go without friendships in a small town than the city, so you want to make a good first impression. When you're the new face in a small place, it's natural for people to be curious about you. If you catch them staring, don't be afraid to smile and introduce yourself.
4. Embrace the Rural Way of Life
Enjoy the incomparable view of the sunset each morning while drinking a steaming cup of coffee and hearing the world wake around you without the intrusion of traffic. Get a chicken coop and start a garden. Country living has a way of transforming your priorities and teaching you how to enjoy life without the constant need for constant stimulus.
5. Visit National Monuments
You'll definitely need a car to do it, but that's okay. Montana is packed with plenty of interesting sights to see from ghost towns to national parks. Entertainment in the county takes more effort, but it's possible.
6. Enjoy No Traffic!
In Montana, you can expect smooth, uninterrupted driving with beautiful views. There isn't much public transit, so a car is a requirement, but your commutes won't be bogged down by backed-up streets and constant red lights.
7. Move During the Best Months
Montana has harsh winters, which often leads to a lot of road closures. Summer is the most popular time for construction, so you might be surprised to find your moving route completely blocked. Consider fall or spring to make your move and double check that there are no major closures before you start your journey.
8. Consider a Metro Area
While Montana's cities are small in comparison to others in America, there are still some bustling spots you can call home like Bozeman, Missoula, Billings and Great Falls.
9. Enjoy the Lower Cost of Living
Montana's cost of living is 6.29 percent than the national average. Median annual income is around $36,000, and low tax rates make it much easier to afford real estate and vehicles. You can also get a much bigger home for your money in Montana. The median home value is $225,100.
10. Get Out and Start Exploring
From festivals to rodeos, hiking and bike trails, Montana has plenty to explore. Attend as many social events as you can when they spring up since this is the best way to meet people in the country.
11. Making Montana Feel Like Home
While you'll need time to adjust to rural living, take your move as an opportunity to embrace the foreign and unexpected. You might feel like you've wound up in a completely different world when you first arrive in Montana, but by following some of the tips above and going out of your way to make the experience fun, you'll create lasting memories that will make Montana feel like home in no time.