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Bri McBride | Beyond:Wichita

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Many Wichitans dream of the opportunity to leave for someplace bigger and more exciting. But sometimes, the reverse is true – with people from larger cities making their way to Wichita. In this episode of Beyond:Wichita, Paris Cunningham tells us about Briana McBride.


In my search for stories about what keeps or repels people from Wichita, I found out what brought a young woman from Detroit to our city. Briana, Bri for short, had never even been to Kansas before she moved to Wichita in December of 2015.

While most of us leave our hometowns looking for bigger and better, Bri left Detroit in search of simplicity and autonomy. In Bri’s story, she details struggles with mental health and how an offer to move to Wichita with her aunt gave her a renewed perspective on life. She had no idea what to expect. Here’s her first impression of Wichita:

"When I hear the pilot, it's like, all right, we’re about to land in Wichita. I look out the window and this was my first impression of Kansas: I was like 'Oh my goodness! Everything’s so brown. As soon as I get in the car and I look around and she starts driving, I'm like, okay, this is not what I anticipated at all. And the little cabin I envisioned in my head was not a cabin, it was my aunt's ranch-style cabin in south Wichita. And you walk in and it's just full of green plants - probably close to like 40-50 plants and they're all crammed in the living room.

"I left Detroit in the winter where there's like, dirt and snow and sludge...and then one of the first rooms I walk into in Wichita is just full of green life and I'm like, 'Wow, this is pretty...this is pretty dope!'"

So sometimes, it's less about the city and more about what you find there.


Paris Cunningham explores what sends people away from—and brings them to—Wichita.