From The Editor: Finding Community While Traveling

In this issue, we are crisscrossing the country – and the world – for great ideas to go after Labor Day Weekend.

Granted, Pride season continues into September and October here in the Upper Midwest, but we also have some really awesome ideas for you to plan on visiting when the leaves start turning colors.

Before we dive into those ideas, I want to rewind back a couple of months ago that has sparked some ideas about travel. As June was the heart of Pride season, I was fortunate to stretch out my sea legs to some of the small town events we featured in our May 18th issue (Issue 730). They help to see what is on the ground in places we never thought would have a Pride event, let alone vibrant LGBTQ+ communities.

My mission is to always find intelligent and proud LGBTQ+ lives in these places. I am happy to report that not only did they exist – they are thriving.

For example, the southwest Minnesota city of Marshall had a vibrant celebration bringing in people from Willmar down to the state lines of Iowa and South Dakota – even beyond. The people there were friendly and are willing to welcome new people to the festival. I learned a lot about the challenges and triumphs Marshall are working with – from being a refuge for the trans community from neighboring states to ensuring that services are available from the city and nonprofit organizations in town.

I also saw the same vibrancy from the people in Alexandria – up Interstate 94 past Saint Cloud. They held their Pride festival on the same weekend as the one held in Fergus Falls, which added a lot of value for the LGBTQ+ community that part of Minnesota. Again, the people were friendly and are willing to provide support to the community. Between Alexandria, Fergus Falls, and Detroit Lakes is a community that will show us what small town LGBTQ+ life can be when people truly come together.

These themes were evident in practically every stop I made beyond the Twin Cities. It is heart-warming to know that our community is in good hands in places across this state and beyond.

Which brings me to this Fall Getaways issue and to the region I just spoke about. If you drive through Alexandria, Fergus Falls or Detroit Lakes, then you are perhaps heading to Itasca State Park – the most iconic recreation area in our state. This is the source of the Mississippi River, where it flows through our state down towards the Gulf of Mexico. Let us be your guide through this park – even if you have been there before.

We also make stops along the Great Lakes, through the heart of Europe, the state of Connecticut, Salt Lake City, and a special stop in the Fargo-Moorhead area for a look back at our own history. Each of these places are brimming with inspiration for your next adventure.

Got plans to travel soon? Let us be your guide!

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