Happy Valentines Day everyone! This post has nothing whatsoever to do with today’s holiday, so if you need a distraction read on…
As some of you may know, I live in South Florida and have been down here for almost 3.5 years, which is crazy to think about. Florida is a wonderful and diverse place to live, with so many things to see and do. Since coming here as a student back in 2013 and now as a recent graduate finding my feet in the career world, I’ve had so many amazing opportunities that I couldn’t even have dreamed of back home in Ireland.
But, of course, nowhere in the world is perfect, so I thought I’d outline my favorite and least favorite things about living in here in South Florida, since many people really don’t know that much about Florida aside from the crazy headlines and Disney World.
Thankfully, the good far outweighs any negatives!
Year-Round Warmth – Naturally, one of the major benefits of living in a sub-tropical location is the year-round warmth. I don’t think I’ll ever get over opening my door in November and being greeted by a wave of warm air and sunny skies or wearing a t-shirt and shorts in December. The constant blue skies and sunshine makes being out and about more enjoyable, and you never need to worry about your plans being ruined by excessive cold.
Beautiful Sunsets – South Florida sunsets are unlike anything else in the world. They are just so stunning and no two are ever the same. From cotton candy to scorching red, the sunsets here never cease to amaze me and inspire a sense of awe. I genuinely look forward to the sunset every night and get disappointed if I miss one. My iPhone’s camera roll is overrun with pictures of sunsets. Whenever there is a particularly beautiful sunset, my Instagram feed and Snap Chat become a stream of sunset pictures from my friends who lives here. I always find it so funny that we’re all equally obsessed with the sunsets.
Amazing Beaches – No surprise here, but Florida has amazing, sandy beaches. They are always so clean and well kept, and seem to go on forever! Most of the state is coastline, so you are no more than two hours from a beach no matter where you go. The ocean is so therapeutic and being able to sit on the beach any day of the year with the sun on my face, listening to the waves is such a luxury.
Relaxed Lifestyle – Life in South Florida runs at a different pace to everywhere else in the United States. Everything feels more relaxed, carefree and easy going. This laid back atmosphere permeates into all aspects of life, from people wearing flip flops to work (personally not a fan) to the very loose interpretation of time.
Exciting Cities – Florida has wonderful cities, from tiny sleepy seaside towns to huge metropolitans like Miami. Miami is so vibrant and fast paced with endless options of things to do and places to explore, but I equally love all the picturesque little coastal towns that line the state’s coasts. Florida is huge, so there are many cities, both big and small to explore from down in Key West all the way up to the pan handle.
Car Culture- In Ireland, people tend not to learn how to drive until they are much older than here in the states. It wouldn’t be that unusual for someone in their thirties not to know how to drive, especially in Dublin. However, in Florida and most parts of America you pretty much need a car to survive and people will think you are a bit odd if you are over 18 and don’t have a driver’s license. America is so vast and many places, Florida being one of them, are impossible to explore on foot, which is my favorite way experience a new city.
Scorching Humid Summers – Although I do enjoy the Floridian climate for the most part, sometimes the summer months can get too intense for my Irish self. It’s really the humidity more than anything else. Every time you step outside it kind of feels like someone’s poured a bucket of warm water over you. At the height of summer, I spend my days scurrying from air conditioned building to air conditioned building.
Bugs – Living in a warmer climate mean more creepy crawlies. I am obsessive about keeping my kitchen 100% spotless at all times, for fear of a bug outbreak in my apartment. I also tend to get absolutely eaten alive by mosquitos, so if anyone knows any good bug repellents, feel free to let me know …
Lack of mountains – I love hiking, and spent most of my childhood weekends up some mountain or another with my family. Florida is an infamously flat state, so I miss being able to spend hours on mountain hikes. Even if there were mountains here, I’d probably die of heat exhaustion if I tried to climb them.
If you’ve ever been to Florida or live here, let me know what your favorite/ least favorite things are about the Sunshine State!