Why I Became an Instant Floridian
(after relocating from the Midwest)
Oooo, another exciting assignment from Jessica. This time, I get to share about the state I currently reside in- Florida.
I’m not from here. I grew up in the New England state of Connecticut. And then, after college, I lived in the Midwestern state of Ohio for some time. Ohio, also known as the Buckeye State, is where a lot of my extended family live. It’s where I still have a lot of friends, where I met and married my husband, and where my son was born.
But Florida is where I am now, and hopefully where I will stay. I love it here.
Having been here for four years, or most of my son’s elementary school career, I pretty much consider myself a local now. So, why do I love this state so much?
Let’s face it- I live where pretty much everyone else wants to go for vacation.
Florida is the number one vacation destination in the world, and Families flock here from all over the globe. This is in part thanks to Universal and Walt Disney World. But we are also the home to the Kennedy Space Center, Lego Land, South Beach, Busch Gardens, and Key West.Oh, and did you by chance hear about our beaches? Clearwater Beach is continuously rated as one of the top ten in the World, and that’s just one of them. There’s also St Pete Beach, Longboat Key, Siesta Key, Amelia Island, Panama City, and because it’s more than just a hot spot for nightlife, South Beach.
With no less than three major tv markets (Miami, Tampa and Orlando), and one decent midsize one (Jacksonville), we have no shortage of professional sports here.
In Tampa alone, we have the Lightning (NHL), the Buccaneers (NFL), and the Rays (MLB). An hour’s drive to Orlando, and you’ve got the Magic (NBA). We’re also home to spring training to many other major league baseball teams (Yankees, Pirates, Phillies, Blue Jays), and several minor league teams.
Tampa is also host to two College Football Bowl games a year (Gasparilla and Outback), and frequently hosts the College Football Championship game. We’re also getting ready to host the Super Bowl again in 2021.
Is Auto racing your thing? Tampa hosts the St. Petersburg Grand Prix every year, and we are only a few hours away from the Daytona 500 and Sebring.
Regular Family Life
I’m a working Mom, so my life involves a lot more than beaches and sporting events. Actually, one of the main reasons we moved down here to Florida was because of a job opportunity. Tampa, Orlando, and Miami are all bustling metros, with lots of different industries. Finance, Construction, Medical, Education are just some of the areas you can find lots of open positions in, on top of all the work available in hospitality.
Florida is also a good place to raise a family. One of the reasons I specifically like Tampa is that it feels a lot like the Midwest to me (not weather-wise of course). It probably has a little to do with the fact that there’s a lot of transplants from the Midwest here, but it’s just a friendly place to live.
And we have a lot of the family-oriented things that you would want in your city, such as Scouts, a vibrant YMCA, great parent-teacher organizations, and lots of parks.
If you ever want to move to Florida, there are some things you should probably know. First, it’s hot and humid during the extra-long summer, and the Mosquitos are relentless year-round.
Traffic is insane no matter which one of our major cities that you live close to. There are never any shortcuts, and everything is a toll road. If you’re lucky enough to live near water, like we are, your rush hour commute may have the extra bonus of needing to cross the only bridge that can get you and everyone else to where you’re going.
There are no income taxes in Florida, yay! So, they make up for it in everything else, Nooo!
License plate renewal fees, sales taxes, property taxes, they get you everywhere. Which is probably part of the reason why the cost of living is a little higher here than in the Midwest.
Oh, and we also have hurricanes and alligators. And did I mention the &%#@ mosquitos.
I love it here
Yes, we have bugs, but here are some things we don’t have- snow, ice, sleet, slush, polar vortexes, short summers, freezing winters.
We have jobs, sports, beaches, amusement parks.
And we have water. As I get stuck on the bridge in rush hour traffic, I stare off into the big, beautiful Tampa Bay waters, and all of my troubles just seem to float away.
I realize how lucky I am to live here. I may be from New England, and maybe turned into a little bit of a midwestern girl during my time in Ohio. But I’m in Florida now, and I love it here.
About the Author:
Candace is a working Mom. She’s learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work. Sometimes the hard way. Both she and her husband work full time, while raising a relatively normal, if not rambunctious young boy. It’s tough being a working Mom, but she gets it done
Thank you so much for telling us about Florida! I hope to someday live there as well!