The boomerang effect: A Maine thing

Since I’ve been in Maine I’ve noticed something pretty incredible. A lot of Mainers are boomerangs. Allow me to explain. For those of you who may not know, a boomerang is a bent or curved piece of tough wood that when thrown will return back to the thrower. Every time I talk to someone who is from Maine I usually end up hearing about how they grew up in Maine, went to live somewhere else for college or beyond, and eventually came back to Maine. Boomerangs.

“What is it about Maine?” I wondered.

Boomerang lobster boat

I get it; Maine is beautiful. It has mountains, the Atlantic Ocean, beautiful lakes, quaint small towns, succulent lobster, majestic moose, and lighthouses. It’s all part of the reason I decided to call Maine my new home. But was that it? Was that enough to decide that you wanted to move back to the place where you grew up?

These thoughts were gnawing at me so much that I just had to know. What IS it about Maine? So I decided to ask a few boomerang Mainers that I know why they decided to come back to Maine.

“For me nothing else compares to Maine. It’s beautiful and simple. We rely on natural beauty in the way that some states rely on architecture. And if you’re somebody who’s used to seeing beauty in one way, it’s pretty hard to see it any other way.” – Megan T.

Cadillac Mountain

“It’s where my family is. I was raised in a very small town where everybody knew everyone else’s name. This drove me crazy as a kid which is why I moved to New York. It was great at first, but after a while I realized that New York is such a lonely place. I missed the grocery shop owner in my hometown who would ask after my mom after her knee surgery and the mechanic who went to school with my grandpa. You just don’t find that anymore.” – Catie B.

“It’s the quality of life here. I lived in L.A. for a few years after college and it just wasn’t for me. Too much traffic, pollution, and a fixation on the daily grind. That’s not what it’s about for me. It’s about being with friends and family in the great outdoors.” – Matt P.

Portland Harbor

“I guess I moved to Boston because I assumed that it was similar to Maine—just bigger. It wasn’t. I think a lot of Mainers make the assumption that the rest of the country is just as beautiful as Maine. We take it for granted, and once we discover that there is no other place like Maine we come running back.” – Lindsey K.

Fascinating! What really resonated with me was Lindsey’s response and how a lot of people take for granted the natural beauty that is so ubiquitous in Maine. I can definitely see how you can grow up somewhere your entire life and extrapolate that everywhere is else is more or less the same, but until you live somewhere else you really don’t know. Mainers seem to have the right idea. They decide to focus on family, friends, and the great outdoors.

Are you a boomerang Mainer? What made you decide to come back to Maine?