Ouch. I'm sorry. I lived in Iowa for about 18 months about 10 years ago. ugh... never, ever again. there's a reason I fled the midwest.
To be fair... Financially you can't beat it, and it is a good place for a family. (That is not my place in life right now though). Seriously, a ton of people I know just graduated college and are buying houses, NICE houses, easily. You can get a really fancy house for 300k here. Take your 300k to San Fran, see what you can buy. My rent is under 600 with no roomies for a newer apartment. A year hear has given me a jump start on finances that simply wouldn't have been possible in a large city.
That isn't to say I love it--it just has its benefits! I'm interested in somewhere new for sure!!!
I lived in Hong Kong for 6 months, that was such a dream (except the humidity!)