Everyone has an IDEA of what Florida is like, but only native Floridians can tell you the truth about living in the Sunshine State.
1. Not everyone who lives in Florida lives on the water.
If you saw part one, you'll know by now that Florida can be divided into at least two, three, and maybe four different states! The fact of the matter is, not all of us live on or even close to the water. (But yes, at the same time, I do live on an island).
2. We're not all obsessed with Disney World.
Many would disagree with this because the Disney lovers are Disney lovers forever, but shockingly, we aren't all obsessed with Disney! We don't go to Disney every weekend and most of us live too far to go all the time even if we wanted to.
3. Everyone moves TO Florida.
We are the Sunshine State, the haven for many senior citizens, and some younger adults who can't stand the cold. Have you ever noticed not many people seem to actually LEAVE Florida permanently?
You can make fun of Florida for many things, but the simple truth is people want to move here! As much as the younger generations talk about moving out and away, not many of us do. Interesting phenomenon.
4. There are rednecks in Florida.
When most out-of-staters find out I'm from Florida, they usually ask any question having to do with dolphins or sharks. What many people don't understand is, yes, we have rednecks and rural country in Florida! If you ever drive through the middle of the state, you'll come to know this as a fact. In fact, a lot of the state is made up of rednecks. Not all Floridans are coastal birds!
5. We hate listening to "how you did things back home."
I know so many people who love to talk about the way they did things back home. The truth is, the first few times it's nice to hear, but after a while every Floridian begins to think, "Well, welcome to Florida, where we don't do things how you did it back home!" We don't do things like everyone else, which is why we are always talked about, for better or worse.
6. You learn to tolerate snowbirds at a young age.
I've been a native Floridian for 18 years, and I can tell you the ability to tolerate snowbirds is a skill burned into my DNA at this point. Most people drive around unsure of where to go and will be lost forever unless you tell them.
The number of times the same snowbirds have come back and asked me the same question year after year is astonishing. The crazy part is, I'm so used to it I don't even notice or mind that they've asked that question a zillion times!
7. Not everyone who lives in Florida is as tan as you'd think they'd be!
It's true, we have people of all kinds here, and this means we have our pale representation, as well! I have a number of friends who can barely go outside without sunscreen.
The "you're tan because you live in Florida" mentality can be true, but we have our fair share of fair people like the rest of you!
8. Most people are truly on island time.
Whether it be retirees or your contractor, your plumber or your A/C guy, many people in Florida are on island time. You might be told a job will be done by April, but it may actually take until September for some intricate reason.
"I'll be there by noon on Tuesday" usually means "I'll try to make it there by quitting time on Friday." Next time you're late on a submission for a class, just tell your professor you're on island time! I'm sure they'll really understand that one (NOT)!