What is it like living in Missoula?
Ive lived in Missoula for 10 years. I love it here, but it has its costs.
The job market, outside of a few major industries (the university, healthcare, and government), is pretty shitty. This causes a lot of cool people to move away.
Yes, there’s tons of outdoor recreation, but if youre not into that there’s not much else to do besides nightlife. Almost everyone i know is an alcoholic and smokes weed probably a little too much. Alcohol is at the center of most non-work activities.
There is a fair amount of crime, mostly related to meth, the homeless population, and sexual assaults related to having a university & a busy bar scene. I dont worry for my safety… usually. But crime is definitely present.
Housing is terrible. Its expensive relative to what most jobs pay and how run down most of the stock is. Yeah, its cheaper if you live 2+ miles from downtown.
Its a big small town or small city. You run into acquaintances and friends (and old sexual partners) regularly, but you also always meet new people.
The winters suck is an odd way. Not too much snow nor stupid cold, but theyre just kind of icy and erratic. The city doesnt plow much, so the roads of sheets of ice. Some years theres no winter, others its brutal. Summers are really smokey. So theres kind of like “windows” of awesome weather, with many seasons having major limitations about what you can do outside due to ice/snow, water levels, smoke, muddy roads, etc.
You pretty much need to own a truck or Subaru, which is expensive.
It can get old. The downtown scene, the outdoor rec, everyone moving away, making less money than people on the coasts… but other times it’s laughably awesome.