So, I was aware that people had jokes and general misconceptions about California and Californians to be more specific. However, it wasn't until I joined the Army and started traveling this country that I really discovered how misinformed and misunderstood Californians are. Let's put some of these common misconceptions to rest, shall we?
1) "Oh you must surf."
First off, I grew up in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California, an easy 3 hours from the beach. So no, I do not surf. Besides, a good portion of California is Agriculture, and not everyone loves the beach.
2) "I bet you miss the Beach."
Like I previously said, I grew up roughly 3 hours from the beach, in Northern California. What people don't seem to realize is those beautiful picturesque beaches they see on T.V. or in commercials are in Southern California. The state is huge! It has over 840 miles of coastline. The ocean is cold in Northern California, and I mean cold. The 'North Pacific Gyre' current runs down a bulk of the coastline, making the water pretty cold year round. Not to mention there are some pretty powerful waves and undercurrents throughout the bulk of the coastline. It isn't until you get down closer to San Diego (close to 600 miles from where I grew up) that the water gets warmer and calmer.
3) "How's the Hippie scene?"
First off, it's sort of offensive. But secondly, most of California is Liberal, Republican or Conservative Liberal. It is filled with Farmers, Ranchers, Tech Businesses, and practically anything else you can think of. It's a very accepting state. But, if living and working with or around open-minded people makes you a "Hippie," so be it, just don't live there.
4) "Winter is coming, you excited to see snow?"
Actually, yes I am, but not because I've never seen it before. I personally love the snow and enjoy the winter months. Where I grew up we would get between 13 - 30 inches of snowfall per year, sometimes much more. California is huge and full of different environments and terrains. So, snow is nothing new to me though, I have discovered in my travels across our country, what different cities and states call snow is not necessarily the same thing as what I grew up with. So, I'll give you that one.
5) "Hey, do you visit Los Angeles or San Diego often?"
California is a large state, in fact, it's a huge state. It is the 3rd largest state next to Alaska and Texas. So, no. San Diego is nearly 600 miles from where I grew up and roughly a 10-hour drive, one way. Let me put California in more perspective: From the California - Oregon border to the California - Mexico Border it is nearly a 1,000 miles, that's practically a 16-hour drive. Additionally, with all this said, California is spread out. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego are not close together, so let's get that straight. Just driving from one town to another can take a couple of hours.
6) A warning to you visitors
Yes, there is a rivalry between NorCal, Northern California, and SoCal, Southern California. Get used to it. But, know this. If you are an outsider, it maybe best to refrain from joining in on a conversation between Californians. It is sort of just a debate between resident's and sometimes it is not appreciated by either party for an outside opinion to be presented. In no way should this stop or scare you from visiting the Beautiful state of California. It's just more of a small heads up.
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