Not that I want to keep moving around the country like a nomad, but it's really interesting to me to be able to observe the differences (and similarities) between different areas. I went from Millersport (a small, one stop light town) to Columbus (a diverse and artsy city with great suburbs), to Nashville (touristy, VERY southern, and a terrifying place to drive), back to Columbus, and now to Port Isabel/South Padre Island, Texas.
A few differences I've noticed:
1) It is the "land of mañana." I did not make up this phrase, just to be clear. I have heard this from SO many people since we've moved down here, it's ridiculous. Granted, I noticed it myself pretty quickly, but it was nice to know that it's not just me and my impatient Northern ways. But that's the thing.......everything is so "go, go, go" where I come from that it's easy to forget how to slow down. In a lot of ways it's nice to be in the "land of mañana" -- less stress. Not everything is super important and some things can wait.
However, when it comes to people scheduling things in advance, businesses keeping normal hours, and information on websites being correct -- just to name a few -- good lord........the Northerner in me wants to break things.
2) No one cares about copyright -- no one -- especially the island area. It's incredible. They name things whatever the hell they want, use trademarked images, and use songs in ways that would get them major fines if we weren't so freakin' far south that no one cares. And that's their rationale -- no one cares because we're basically in our own little island bubble. They're not wrong, but still!
Let me give you an example........there used to be a restaurant called PadreRitaVille.........but Jimmy Buffett said hell no and they had to change it. That's probably the only time anyone here has gotten caught, but they also messed with the wrong guy. Jimmy owns everything island and kitschy.
3) Wine is infinitely cheaper down here. It's fantastic. Granted, not ALL bottles are, but I've noticed a pretty significant difference in several kinds that I've bought in the past. When I was in Tennessee for grad school I was pretty broke, so in order to satiate my wine craving I would buy the double bottles of Rex Goliath Cabernet Sauvignon. Don't judge -- it's one of the best cheap ones out there. To put it into perspective, the regular 750ml bottle in Ohio is generally $7-8. Well, a double bottle in Tennessee was $9.99. Oh yes...........And guess what? I'm in the South again, so it's $9.99 here too! Also, I found Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc for $7.99 at a nearby Target the other day. I was so excited at the register with my two bottles of wine (for less than the price of one in Ohio), that I'm fairly certain I had the kind of smile on my face my niece has when she sees chocolate. Southern state wine prices are awesome. AWESOME.
4) The weather, but that's a given. It's still in the 90s here. Beyond exercising, I have exclusively worn flip flops since we moved here back in July. I have a feeling I may be able to wear them year-round, or pretty close to it. Granted, this also means it's possible to get a sunburn around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it also means year-round outdoor pool.................so that's cool.
A few similarities I've noticed:
1) It's a small town, so there are several similarities to my old stomping grounds.
2) Columbus will forever have a special place in my heart, and one of the main reasons is because of the people. There are so many wonderful and interesting people from all over -- many Columbus residents are not originally from the area (or even Ohio). One of my favorite things about this part of Texas is that there are a ton of transplants. Every chance I get I try to find out where people are from and why they're here. I've met a few Northerners, but the main reaction I get when people find out where I'm from is, "Wow. Big move. Is it too hot for you down here?" Then I have to explain that Ohio does in fact get sun -- we just have more drastic seasons than an area like this. Maybe they think Ohio is in Canada...........who knows...........
3) Our family and friends. Turns out, that even from over 1,500 miles away, that you're still awesome. Thank you -- all of you -- for being there during this transition. I'm super excited about future visits to Ohio, but I'm even more excited for you to come and visit us. We want you to see just how beautiful and special this place is. Hell, you may never want to leave. I mean, I wouldn't hate it if you moved........
Regardless of the differences and similarities, this is where we're at now. It's an adventure, it's beautiful, and who knows.......maybe it will officially become home. Or maybe not. We'll see. :)
I'm an "adult," or so I've been told. I do "adult" things, I have an "adult" job, I pay bills, and I drink bourbon and wine. I have great friends and family, an amazing husband, and generally a pretty good life. I have achieved many things, yet so little at the same time. I'm 30, yet I feel more clueless than when I graduated college. This is how I "adult."