I was born and pretty much raised in Miami, aside from a short stint in North Carolina and Kentucky when I was 2-7. Seeing as how I can’t even remember that time, I am not counting it. Whenever I meet new people and they ask where I am from, and I say Miami, you would think I was the first person they ever met that was actually a native. It’s true that Miami isn’t exactly a be-born-here-and-never-leave city. Aside from my family and a few friends from high school that made their way back here after college, I don’t know anyone who is actually from Miami. My family left Miami when I was small because my father, being from North Carolina originally, wanted to go home to his roots. We lived on my grandparent’s farm for a year or two, and found that jobs were few and far between in the sleepy mountain town of Brevard. He joined the Army and we set off to Kentucky. When it came time to reenlist, he opted out of the military life because they were going to send him to Korea – without us.
So back to Miami we went.
And we’ve been here ever since.
I understand the desire to get out, as the I-hate-Miami bug bit me as a teenager and I went running for the hills the day I turned 18. Literally, I moved to North Carolina with my grandparents on my 18th birthday. I lived with my grandmother in the house her grandfather built, spent my days cruising the mountains with my grandmother and her friends, and helped them build a house. I stayed up late watching David Letterman, writing poetry and I spent the weekends walking to town, sitting at the Cardinal Drive In, trying to find other teenagers. I never did.
I lasted about a month.
I came running back home with my tail between my legs because I realized that as much as I loved spending time on my grandparent’s farm during summer vacation, small town living was not the life for me.
I think I was fortunate that I realized that I was a big city girl at such a young age, without a family or a mortgage to hold me to a small town before it was too late to get out.
Some people don’t realize they’re in the wrong place until life gets in the way and they’re settled far too comfortably where they are to leave.
This quickly led to jokes about coming down south to see me in Miami.
Who wouldn’t want to come stay in Florida for the winter? Our coldest day this winter was a chilly 45 degrees!
I think that everyone should come to Florida…and while a visit sure is nice, living here year-round is even better! Sure, it’s hot as hell 9 months out of the year, but the humidity is a small price to pay for living in paradise.
I took this photo on Pompano Beach in JANUARY. I cropped the photo, but there were actually families playing on the beach. IN JANUARY, people!
10 Reasons to Move to Florida
1. We live where you vacation.
My cousin took this picture of my cousins a few years ago in Pensacola Beach. When’s the last time you frolicked in the surf after school on a Tuesday afternoon? Those of you who live in California, I am not talking to you. You’re practically the other Florida, so you’re excluded from this conversation.
2. Who needs Farm-Raised fish? There’s always a fresh catch available in Florida!
While we are only 45 minutes away from Key Largo in Miami, there’s plenty of good fishing all over the state! We regularly catch Snook, Snapper, Grouper and other delicious fish in the ocean, and there’s plenty of Bass in our beautiful lakes. Just make sure you bring your bug repellent, because the mosquitoes? They suck. Literally.
3. We have pretty cool wild life.
As if it weren’t cool enough that Florida is the ONLY place in the world that has both Crocodiles and Alligators in the same ecosystem (in the Florida Everglades), Florida has the second largest amount of American Eagles in the country, second only to Alaska.
We have so many different species of birds in Florida (they do fly South for the winter, after all), that the Florida Birding Trail was established to help guide birdwatchers along in their adventures! There are over 515 sites along the trail and you can find out more here.
We also have quite a few exotic animals native to Florida, like the Florida Panther and the Key Deer, both of which are on the Endangered Species list. We have world-class zoos, like Zoo Miami, and drive through safari parks, like Lion Country Safari in West Palm Beach too. You can also see plenty of dolphin and sea turtles out on the water too.
4. Florida has no state income tax! Thanks to tourism, Florida doesn’t need a state income tax. Think of all of the money you would save each year! You could use it to buy suntan lotion and sandals!
5. We have enough theme parks to make your head spin!
Between Busch Gardens, Six Flags, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World and LEGOLand, we have enough theme parks to keep you – and your kids – entertained year round! Unlike theme parks in the North and Midwest, our theme parks are open year round – though I suggest you avoid them during the summer, when temperatures can reach 100 degrees with humidity.
6. There’s nothing quite like watching the sunrise over the Atlantic.
7. Because THIS is my winter coat in South Florida.
8. After the real estate bubble burst, it is truly a buyer’s market in Florida. In Miami Dade County, we have the highest rate of foreclosures in the country…While you may not be able to afford a fancy condo downtown or on the beach, you can likely buy a house in a nice neighborhood at a very reasonable price! To give you an idea, we purchased our 1500 square foot home in 2009 for $120,000. It is now worth $74,000, and there are many comparable homes in the area in that price range.
9. The food is amazing!
Florida, Miami in particular, is a cultural melting pot. That means that we have delicious cuisine from all over the world. Want authentic Italian for dinner? We have it. In the mood for Ethiopian for lunch, Vietnamese for dinner, then Irish Pub fare in the wee hours of the morning? We have all that too!
Oh…and if you’re into Food Trucks? We have plenty of those too!
10. Because Florida is the SUNSHINE STATE, y’all!