Story and Photos by Cherlyn White-Conklin
“You live where?”
That’s the response I usually get when I tell people I live just outside Wamego, Kansas. (Pronounced wah-ME-go.)
It’s a small town — population less than 5,000 — with four stoplights and a Main Street that’s straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. I love it here and I burst with pride discussing our town and region for what it has to offer residents, visitors and passers-by.
I was raised here and moved back from Kansas City with my husband (a transplant) in 2013. While we may miss a few stores and our suburban family, we don’t miss life in a big city. I could go on for hours (and often do) about my love for this area. You might wonder how I could possibly leave that excitement behind and fall back in love with rural living. Plenty of reasons. And the switch is much easier than you might think. The things we gained are so much greater than what we gave up.
We have access to so many amenities — culture, shopping, dining — with boundless beauty everywhere we look — nature, sports, agriculture. It’s the best of all worlds. We’re close to cities like Kansas City, Salina, Topeka and Manhattan with world-class facilities, and far enough away that we can enjoy rolling hills and amazing celestial phenomena (no light pollution). There’s plenty of space to just breathe.
In addition to the basics like high-quality hospitals and school systems, this region has so much going for it. Here are just a few (of the many) reasons I love this area.
I told you I could go on for hours and I’ll stop now. I’m really proud of where I live — our little town of Wamego and the region beyond. We did not sacrifice a single thing when we moved back here. In fact, we gained a lot.