I lived in Houston, Texas, along the Gulf Coast for six months and this is what I learned when I moved to the area. Of course, this is only my perspective from my experience living on the Gulf Coast and I hope that no one takes it anything I mention personally because I love this area. I absolutely loved living in Houston and hope to move back at some point in my life.
1) “Y’all” is actually a thing that people say. (I found that I said it more after I left.)
2) The ocean water isn’t clean. Some days the beach is open, and other days it’s not because there is a high amount of bacteria in the water, caused by pollution. This was new to me as a west coast girl, where the beaches and water are relatively clean and beautiful, and it made me very sad. It’s another reminder of how humanity needs to take better care of our planet.
3) Tex-Mex is a thing. And it is not good. (But maybe I’m biased because I was raised on Mexican food from California and Arizona?)
4) Besides the Tex-Mex, the food is pretty great! There’s all types of food, and I found the Thai and vegan options exceptional.
5) Gasoline for your car is very cheap. Most likely because it’s taken right out of the Earth in the Gulf less than 100 miles away and there’s less transportation costs from the refineries along the coast?
6) The previous point is all thanks to the oil rigs everywhere. In the countryside, in the ocean — literally everywhere and seemingly in random locations.
7) Clear definition in social class between the “have” and the “have nots.” This is most evident in the differences in Houston’s houses, shopping areas, and restaurants.
8) Not everyone recycles. It’s not standard to pay for recycling along with your garbage, so if you want to recycle, you have to bring your recycling to a plant. I find this devastating because this means that the majority of the time reusable plastic, paper, and aluminum are being sent into a landfill unnecessarily.
9) The humidity is terrible and it never goes away. It’s still warm and humid in the wintertime! There’s not really “seasons” in Houston — it’s more like “more humid and hot” versus “less humid and cooler.”
10) And last but certainly not least (I saved the best for last!) — Texans are some of the nicest people you will every meet. I was lucky because I was able to witness the community come together after Hurricane Harvey and really support each other. The hurricane was awful, but the number of people willing to help each other was overwhelming. And besides the hurricane, Texans are just generally sweet and generous people. I’ve stayed in touch with most of the friends I made in Houston and I hope to maintain life-long friendships with them. They’re so supportive and loving, and I really appreciate having them in my life.
Thanks for reading! Have you ever lived in Houston or near the Texas gulf coast? How accurate do you think I am in this article? Let me know in the comments and like this post!