The 4 F’s of Living in Bozeman, Montana
Bozeman is unique. Bozeman is beautiful. Blah, blah, blah. There ARE, however, some "F" attributes that will always be necessary to have a successful life here.
1. FRIENDS. YOU HAVE TO HAVE GOOD FRIENDS HERE: Montana living is no joke. It looks like the easy life on paper and pictures but we all know how serious the weather can get no matter the season. It's a lot easier to stack three cords of firewood when you have some friends. Wildfire in your area and you need to evacuate? Better have some good friends to help you load some important crap and get out.
Even a simple flat tire can become a much bigger issue if you're out in the middle of nowhere. AAA is great, but it might take them a long time to get out to you. Having a reliable friend to call is your best bet...at least someone knows what's going on and where you are. A GOOD friend will drive out to ya and help if they can.
2. FOREST. KNOW WHAT TO DO (AND WHAT NOT TO DO) WHEN YOU'RE IN THE FOREST: Outdoor recreation is the number one reason people live here. Makes sense. But a surprising number of folks don't know what they should actually bring with them into the forest or back country areas.
Be prepared and knowledgeable. Food, water, info about where you're going to a friend, bear spray, proper clothing, etc. Don't be that person who has to be 'rescued' simply because you were ill-prepared.
3. FRIENDLY. BE A FRIENDLY AND POLITE PERSON. We're all supposed to be happy to be here, right? Say 'hi' to people when you pass them on the street. Don't tailgate folks on the road. Perhaps shovel your neighbor's driveway in the winter. Lots of little, kind things go a long way to keeping this place awesome.
4. FORGIVING: Gallatin Valley residents are very different. Downtown, Belgrade, West Yellowstone, Big Sky, rural areas...VERY different mentalities with different life priorities. Plus we've got a ton of tourists.
Things will happen every single day that annoy you about another person. As long as it's something small, it's always best to forgive and forget. Walking around with a chip on your shoulder in a place like this seems to be an oxymoron to me. Wasted time, if you will. In this day and age, there are plenty of things to genuinely be upset about...but most of the day to day stuff is trivial. Let it go. It's Montana.