Relocating South: What to Know Before You Go

Do you currently live in a northern US state and looking to head south? Before you relocate, there are a few topics we need to discuss so that you’re fully prepared and happy with your decision of heading down to the dirty south. I live in the north now, but I lived in the south for 22 years of my life. Here’s my list of tips, advice, and what to think about:

Fashion is delayed Certain fashion and hairstyle trends for men and women may appear to be a bit delayed in the south. The look on a lot of people will seem so ‘last season’. I’m not sure why this is, and it certainly doesn’t apply to everyone who lives in the south. By moving from a northern state, you may have the best style around! Speaking of fashion, people also tend to dress a little more modest and may gawk if you don’t. Individualism and expression with style is harder to find as well. People in the south are more comfortable blending in with their neighbor than standing out.

You’ll See Churches with Different Sects of Christianity Popular sects of Christianity in the south are Baptist, Methodist, and Pentecostal to name a few. It may be more difficult to find a church or religion that hold your beliefs here, as they differ from those of the north.

There are Dry Counties and Hours It’s very common for stores to stop selling booze by a certain hour of the day, not at all on Sunday, or even not at all in a particular county. They call them ‘dry counties’. If you’re one who enjoys a drink fairly often, I’d look up any possible dry counties in your state of interest.

All the Bugs! The summers here are much longer and therefore the bugs and insects hang around outside-or inside-for more months out of the year. Stock up on bug spray, and it would definitely behoove you to invest in a dehumidifier (thank me later). You’ll also see a lot of different species of bugs that are larger, and with wings!

Marrying Young It’s also common in the southern states to marry young-some people right out of high school even. The south gives a whole new meaning to ‘high school sweethearts’. It’s simply a way of life for some people there. I know several old classmates from high school who married the person they were dating at the time.

Long Summers As I mentioned earlier, a southern summer is long and hot. It starts getting warm here and there in March and you won’t see a chilly day until about November. In my personal opinion, it’s pretty rad that it starts warming up in March but honestly by October you’re ready for it to cool off and you still got about another month to go! Also, the summers aren’t quite as enjoyable as the temp can reach 100 degrees in July and August. Whew!

No A/C is in fact the end of the World Because the summers here are so hot, you’re gonna want to take central and car air conditioning quite seriously. It is possible to get a heat stroke and it sure makes it hard to sleep at night in the relentless heat. Most homes and cars will come equipped with this amenity, but be sure you don’t waste time getting it repaired if something breaks!

There’s a Lot of Strays People have pets here, sure but what isn’t as common is people spaying their animals, and they let them roam outside more often in an unfenced yard. That makes for a lot more stray cats and dogs than what you might see in other parts of the country. This always saddens me; I hate seeing all those babies without a home.

The Job Market This varies from state to state but there are a lot of industries hiring in the south. And a lot that aren’t. Trades and tech degrees and certificates seem to go a long way here, whereas 4 year arts degrees aren’t as thriving in the south. Word to the wise- whatever your educational background may be, scope out the job market in the areas you’re looking to move to before quitting the job you’re at now.

Everywhere you live comes with a list of pros and cons, and the south is no different. It definitely has its perks and I totally miss living in that area of the country at times. What gets me through is reading my list of books set in the southern US. I highly recommend reading these if you’re planning on moving to the south!

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