Two years ago, I moved from Miami to Seattle.
It was possibly the biggest change I’ve ever made in my life; moving across the country is a crazy, weird, scary thing to do.
And, not just because I went from constantly being mistaken for someone who fluently speaks Spanish to someone who needs a pint of O- every three hours to survive.
Besides having to buy foundation three shades lighter than your last bottle, here are 15 things that happen when you move from the South to the North:
1. Your top food destinations are nowhere to be found.
Say goodbye to Publix, Chick-fil-A, Bojangles' and Popeyes. You might occasionally find one or two, but things will never be the same.
Also, forget about decently priced citrus.
2. You fold your sundresses.
This is because you can only wear them for three months out of the year, not 12. Don’t be surprised when you pull a few out next year that you totally and completely forgot you owned.
3. You no longer get excited about wearing boots.
Or scarves, or gloves, or cute hats because now, all they mean is snow shoveling and teeth shivering. When the weather hits 65 degrees and your friends in Florida break out the Uggs, you cringe.
4. You hold a grudge against your Facebook friends who post pictures at the beach in December.
Seriously, you know who you are, you Ugg-wearer-in-April, you.
5. You drive differently.
Whether you like it or not, the roads are different. Seattleites who can’t drive in rain? A far cry from the Miami natives who do 70 in a 55 during a category-three hurricane.
6. You speak differently.
This one probably didn’t need to even be stated, but it goes much further than just a change in accent.
Nobody says “dope” (at least not the slang term that means “cool”) in the state of Washington, and no one says “rad” with a straight face in Florida.
7. You have to take vitamin D supplements in the winter.
Now, when you wake up for work in December, it’s dark outside. And, when you leave work at night, it’s dark outside.
8. Snow is no longer scary.
You can ski in it, snowboard in it, tube in it and even shovel it. If you’re really brave, you’ll drive in it.
Your friends and family back home are envious of all your Instagram posts... except those shoveling-esque ones.
9. Everyone notices your accent.
The way you speak will either be classified as “cute,” or you’ll hear, “But you don’t sound all country!”
Side note: Be prepared to answer follow-up questions about your previous encounters with alligators and snakes.
10. People will judge you based off the news stories that come from your home state.
My first job in Seattle was for a radio station, which literally had a segment titled, “Ohhh, Florida.” Enough said.
11. You finally get to watch the leaves change colors.
And, the flowers bloom in spring. Moving up North means it’s no longer 70 degrees and warmer 365 days of the year, and you’ll learn to actually love that fact.
12. You’ll become great friends with other transplants.
Because they get it. And, they need someone to watch their dog when they fly back down to see family once a year for two weeks, too.
13. You’ll become great friends with a local who’s lived in the region his or her whole life.
And, you’ll be so much better off for it. This person teaches you where the best sushi and happy hours really are.
14. You’ll be really happy you did it.
Leaving those creamy orange, Southern, summer sunsets behind is tough, no doubt. Leaving your family and friends is even harder.
But, there’s something about making a place for yourself in an entirely foreign environment that is absolutely exhilarating, which leads to the very best thing that will happen to you when you make the move.
15. You grow.
If stepping outside of our comfort zones makes us better, stronger people, then what does moving about 3,000 miles away from our comfort zone make us?
Leaving your world behind to experience a new one gives you no option but to adapt and become a better, more well-rounded person.
I highly recommend it.