I’ve been living in Florida for about 3 weeks now and I’m already learning so much about the state. Please keep in mind, however, that I can only speak for the panhandle and Jacksonville area since that’s what I’ve visited. But for the sake of this blog post, I tend to generalize the state. Having never even visited Florida before, here are my first impressions:
Lots of water, everywhere, and it rains A LOT
I came from Houston, Texas, where I thought that there was a lot of water, but I was wrong. There is SO MUCH water in Florida. It’s everywhere! There are streams and rivers and washes and ponds and manmade water areas and there’s just water everywhere! It makes sense because the entire state is essentially a wetland area, it’s still just shocking because I’m from the west coast / southwest, which is the driest region of the United States. It also rains A LOT. I don’t know if it’s because it is currently late autumn and therefore a rainy season, but out of the 3 weeks I’ve been here, I’ve only had a few fully sunny days.
People are generally very friendly
Generally, I’ve found that most people in Florida are generally very friendly, happy, and willing to help. It’s a very typical “southern” attitude, which is very welcoming. However, I do believe that the personality of people living here is a combo of southern hospitality and California snobbery. People who live in Florida, and especially those who are born and raised Floridians, very much so have a “I am better than anyone else” attitude, which is very similar to Californians (I grew up in California so I understand this attitude). It’s like, “I live in Florida, which is a superior state, therefore, I am superior.” If you move here, you’re automatically absorbed into this attitude so I feel like it’s helped others accept me, but it is still requiring some getting used to.
Lots of dog people
I first noticed this primarily at my apartment complex, but I feel that this is true for much of the area. I feel like nearly everyone has a dog because I’m always finding people out walking their dogs. As someone who’d love a dog but doesn’t currently have one, I would love to join this club.
I don’t know what it is about some places in the United States, but drivers in Florida are crazy! They’re speedsters, very impatient, don’t use blinkers / turn signals, and don’t follow road signs. They also don’t know how to drive in rain, which I find funny since it rains so frequently.
Roads are… confusing? different?
I don’t know who designed this city or why, but the roads don’t go in straight lines. They curve a lot or randomly end or do other random things. It’s been very confusing trying to learn my way around the area. Maybe the drivers are so crazy because the roads don’t make any sense (kidding!).
There’s lots of great shopping
It’s probably because there’s lots of money in the city, but the shopping areas here are amazing! Within 10 miles of me, I can find a Sprouts, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods! I couldn’t even find that in Houston! Besides my favorite health food markets, there are countless malls and shopping centers that I’m discovering more of every week. It’s more than I’m used to, but definitely appreciated.
Overall, I would say that my first impressions of Florida are generally positive. I miss my friends and family on the west coast and in Texas, but Florida is slowly winning me over.
Thank you for reading! What are your thoughts on Florida? What about first impressions moving to a new place? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!