Growing up and living in the midwest your entire life has its perks. We experience all four seasons to their fullest, call that fizzy carbonated beverage "pop," and have miles and miles of absolutely nothing but cows. When all you know are corn fields and cold weather, anything else will likely flip your world upside down and inside out. Welcome to the mind of a midwesterner taking on the west coast for the first time...
1. "Does everyone here have a dog? Because I think everyone here has a dog."
Big dogs, small dogs, dogs on a leash, dogs in a basket; They are seriously everywhere. Everyone and their mother (and their mother) has some sort of dog. Look to your right? Dog. Look to your left? Weird, another dog. Little do you know, the majority of them are really freakin' adorable puppies.
2. "Why are you so close to my bumper? You seriously could not be any closer to me, dude."
Driving on the west coast is similar to an intense game of Mario Kart. Ask someone what a "speed limit" is and they'll probably look at you like you're speaking a foreign language. People won't slow down until the last possible second and end up mere centimeters from your bumper.
3. "Oh dang, it's kinda hot out here."
If you're outside during the day, don't wear a t-shirt or anything with sleeves because you'll end up with pit stains in 0.00761 seconds. If you're lucky, you'll get some perfect days where the temperature is "just right."
4. "Why is traffic a thing?"
It's everywhere and it's unavoidable. It comes out of absolutely nowhere and you can expect some sort of delay anywhere you go.
5. "Ooooh, that's a fun tree. We don't have those where I live."
Some of the trees look like they come from out of movies. I'm not just talking palm trees, I'm talking crazy, twisting, bark-less trees, like weird branches and leaves. Wait, it's from Australia? Yep, definitely don't have those where I come from.
6. "Sunsets like this actually exist in real life?"
There's something about a sunset over the ocean that makes you feel some type of way. Watching it from a pier on the beach or 2,000 feet up on a mountain, it's impossible to have a bad experience or poor view.
7. "How are you so tan?"
This one seems obvious, but you don't realize how pale you are until you're surrounded by thousands of sun-kissed people. Do you live outside? Do you not do anything but lay on the beach and love your life 24/7? I look like a marshmallow. This is not fair.
8. "But seriously, though, is everyone here attractive?"
You know when you see someone once in awhile and think, "Wow, they're really good looking"? It happens constantly out here. Because that "someone" is "everyone." All the guys have chiseled bods, the ladies have long legs and toned physiques, and everyone has a pretty face. Not only do I look as pale as a marshmallow, but now I feel like a frumpy potato. A marshotato.
9. "Is it truly necessary to have five yoga studios on the same street? I think not."
Drive down any populated street to find yoga studios everywhere. Even three on the same block. For real, though, why?
10. "OMG, a lizard!"
This is a legitimate thing to get stoked about because clearly in the midwest we don't have these. We have boxelder bugs and yes, we will trade you.
11. "Holy crap, this place is freakin' cool."
You have mountains to hike? Beaches to relax on? Farmer's markets to explore? In-N-Out Burgers? Tons of celebrities? Endless puppies? Perfect weather? Is there anything you don't have at your disposal?
12. "Why is everyone's car so spotless and clean? The last time I got a car wash was...never."
Do people actually get car washes? Isn't that what rain is for? No? Oh...
13. "What do you mean it doesn't really rain here?"
When it does rain, people lose it and most forget how to drive. It's like the world is about to end or something. On some spots of the west coast, the most they'll get is a light sprinkle for a few minutes but nothing like the raging winds and sideways rain we get in the midwest.
14. "Do you work out, too?"
You won't be able to find a time of day where your gym isn't packed. Everyone is shredding away the fat, building up the muscle, and getting their swole on at all times of the day. If they're not in the gym, they're running outside or getting in a sweat sesh on the beach. Tough life, huh?
15. "Do I have to go home? Are you sure?"
After spending a week on the west coast, the reality of my cold and cloudy midwest home didn't sound so appealing.The west coast has its vacation-like qualities, but it's safe to say the midwest will always be home.