When in Arkansas, Shop Like an Arkansan

April 11, 2011

Arkansas probably wouldn’t break my top 100 places to visit. Not that it’s a terrible place, it’s just not somewhere I ever imagined myself spending time.

But last week I had the chance to take a free trip to Arkansas for business, and I just can’t say no to free frequent flier miles, so off I went.

Unlike most of my travel destinations, there were no big museums, famous concert halls, large monuments or other well-known sights to see. So instead I looked at this trip as a chance to try some typical Southern experiences. That meant eating a lot of really good barbeque, and shopping at a really big Walmart.

When I grocery shopped in New Zealand I learned that they’re a lot more creative with their tuna than we are. When I shopped at an Arkansas Walmart Supercenter, I learned that people there have very diverse but intense needs for barbeque sauce:

They also enjoy their cheese puff ball things:

But they also have some decent choices in fresh produce, which surprised me:

And while most of what I saw looked like a big strip mall, the Bentonville town square, where you can visit the free Walmart museum (woo hoo!) is  kinda nice:

The lesson here is that you don’t have to run off to Europe to feel like you’ve really travelled. You just have to go somewhere new to you, and learn a little about what life is like for the people who live there.

And if you get a few thousand frequent flier miles out of the deal, even better.

Save money, travel better,

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