Growing up in Florida, my house was just 15 minutes away from the beach. On any given day, I could be taking a nap on the sand in a matter of minutes. "Island time" is a real thing, and pretty much everyone I knew lived by it. When I got accepted into New York University for college, I knew that moving from the beach to the city would be a big transition, but I didn't know it would teach me so many things about life.
Of course, there were the obvious weather differences, and it was a shock to find out that if I wanted to see the ocean, I would have to take an hour-long subway ride, which wasn't worth it. Instead of seagulls, I heard horns and sirens all the time, and I had to learn to pick up the pace when getting places. However, with time, I discovered that this new home away from home was exactly where I wanted to be.
Whether you're at the beach or in Times Square, you'll find that both places have their own perks, and it's these nine things that I learned from moving that showed me how much I love them both. I will always be an island girl at heart, but now I have a bit of city girl in me as well.
1. You Always Have To Keep Up With The Pace
Now, I've always been a fast walker. I blame it on my dad, but there was never really any rush to get somewhere in Florida. You just kind of took your time, and really — pardon the pun — sea-zed the moment.
That's not the case in the city. With the crowds of people on the streets and in subways cars, you have to pick up the pace in order to get anywhere on time. I learned that you can stop and relax once you arrive at your destination. Phew!
2. "Island Time" Doesn't Fly In The City
I quickly realized that people were more accepting of excuses for whenever I was late back home in Florida, but that didn't fly for me in NYC. The trains are always delayed and slow. You should account for that before you leave, and take a cab if you're running behind.
3. Flip Flops Are Not Meant For Year-Round Wear
I will admit that I used to be one of those girls who rocked flip flops 24/7, 365 days a year. It was just so easy to slip them on, and head out the door. I was always ready to go to the beach and play out in the sun.
Moving to the city, I realized that I needed to step up my shoe game. Not only did I have to put on something trendy, but I also had to wear something comfortable enough for walking all day long. Living in the city is definitely when I was living my most fashionable #bestlife.
4. You Have To Make More Of An Effort To Find Your Sunshine
My first winter in the city, I was seriously missing my sunshine. In Florida, I couldn't escape those beautiful rays. It was everywhere, but in the city, you have to make more of an effort to find it and soak it up.
5. You'll Get Used To The City Noises
I thought I would never get used to the constant sirens and car horns honking at any time of day, but pretty soon, those became the noises that rocked me to sleep. I learned that you can always adjust to your surroundings. Now, when I go home to Florida, I have to leave the TV on as I fall asleep for some additional noise, because it's just too quiet.
6. You Learn To Appreciate The Skyline Views
I thought nothing could ever top the beachy sunsets and starry nights in Florida, but boy was I wrong. I quickly learned to appreciate the gorgeous skyline views and people watching in the city. As cheesy as it might sound, I learned that no matter where you are, there is beauty to see.
7. You Trade In Your Fruit Smoothies For Bodega Goodness
Of course, I still miss my go-to burrito joint by the beach and smoothie cafe with delicious smoothie bowls, but I fell in love with city food, too. Give me a bodega with bagels and iced coffee, and I am in complete heaven. As a foodie, I can appreciate the food anywhere I go.
8. Instead Of Sand In Your Purse, You Pack Every Essential
It's inevitable that no matter how long it's been since you were actually at the beach, you will still find sand everywhere in your purse. That's just a truth of beach living. However, in the city, it's not just sand that you'll find in your purse.
When you're packing your bag, you need to add every essential possible. I always felt like Mary Poppins leaving my apartment, because I was prepared for literally everything.
Hand sanitizer? Check. Tissues and gum? You got it. Chapstick? Duh. If you needed something, I had it in my bag.
9. You Find Your Little Bits Of Home Wherever You Go
If you happen to be long-distance from your hometown now, you know that no matter where you end up, there will always be little things that remind you of home. Those are the things you hold onto tight. As a beach girl in the city, I loved the tiki bars that reminded me of my favorite spots along the beach.
I also enjoyed seeing gorgeous sunsets over the water. Also, even though it took me longer to get there, I still appreciated spending a day at the beach once a summer.