I made my way from Pennsylvania to South Carolina last year. In the year that I've been living here, I learned a lot of different things. There is an array of things that have stood out to me and they are the things I love the most and hate the most.
The one thing that I absolutely love is how kind everyone is. It's actually shocking to me. People in Pennsylvania just had dead faces all the time. Not everyone there did, but if you were out in public most of the strangers aren't looking for any human interaction. People down here actually want to talk to you! If you are waiting in line at the store the people behind you might talk to you and the cashier will even make conversation. There aren't any awkward hellos and goodbyes, there are actually nice conversations happening. I've really learned that southern hospitality is REAL.
I understand that bugs are everywhere, but they are really, really having a shindig down here constantly. It's not like I'm not used to bugs, it's just when I go outside at night I feel like I'm in a bug war zone. If you are outside for longer than 20 minutes, you are probably gonna end up with 14 bug bites. Yes, there is bug spray. Not everybody remembers to put that stuff on. I am really about to integrate bug spray into my daily routine.
Another thing I've learned is to appreciate the off-season when no one is on vacation. This definitely isn't something that I have been told to appreciate, but I just really do. I love people, but when it's vacation season I feel like I'm drowning in the pools of people. I'm glad I live in such a beautiful place that people want to vacation to, but I'm also glad when it's September and nobody is vacationing anymore.
A very crucial thing I've learned is do not, and I can't stress this enough, go grocery shopping on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings. Not everyone in South Carolina has to deal with this, but if you're in a more popular area it is a major problem. Most vacationers arrive on Saturdays so they are gonna want to do their grocery shopping for the week on Saturday. If they are too tired, then they are going to go on Sunday morning. I worked at a grocery store that a lot of vacationers go to so I can tell you, through my experience, that it is HECTIC. I know people need their food so they don't go hungry, but you really have to mentally prepare for it.
I've learned many things in just the past year and I cannot wait to learn so many more things. I plan on being here for a while, so I'm waiting to get in the habit of saying "soda" instead of "pop" and waiting to develop the signature southern accent everyone loves.