Transitioning from the South to the North… It’s a learning process.

If you know me, or if you have met me, you know I was born and raised a southerner. I was born in North Carolina and lived there most of my life until I moved to Atlanta in May of 2012. I’m used to warmer weather and super friendly people.

Then my boyfriend dragged me to the north. Just kidding Jarrett! I was happy to move with him to the arctic.

Ever since my travels to the north began a few years ago, I have noticed some very apparent differences. It’s not always a bad difference, but it is definitely a difference. There are definitely certain things southerners in general should know before making this transition:

Click image for source.
Click image for source.

1. The fast food options are different. I sincerely miss Bojangle’s, Sonic, Zaxby’s and a few other typical southeast fast food restaurants. Burger King and McDonald’s are, of course, still around. I really do miss southern-style restaurants in general.

2. Sweet tea does not really exist. If you go to a restaurant and ask for tea, nine times out of ten it will be unsweetened. I personally do not like sweet and low, but that is what you have to do to get sweet tea. There are alternatives though! My favorite is raspberry tea and orange tea that most places seem to have. Again, McDonald’s still has sweet tea up here, but I swear it tastes slightly different.

3. Southern-style restaurants up here are not really southern-style. They’re just not. It’s different. Some are a good attempt, but do not be fooled.

4. Everything and I mean everything is more expensive. From gas, to general grocery products, to typical household items and more… everything will cost you more.

5. A heavy coat is the first thing you should buy. I actually had to go to Indiana to even find a big winter coat since they were nonexistent in Atlanta, but you definitely need a BIG coat. As I’ve learned, it is not exactly about being fashionable because everyone will have one these large, bubble-like coats around you. Get a long, thick coat. It is absolutely essential.

Click image for source.
Click image for source.

6. While you’re at it, you need a good hat, gloves, socks and other layering items. The wind up here is ridiculous and the cold chills to the bone. I do not leave the house without gloves and a hat. Most heat escapes from your head as I’ve been told. One layer does not do it and you have to wear socks or pantyhose/tights with every single thing.

7. Some people, not all of them, are just not as friendly. They’re just not. There is not a whole lot of small talk and people are busy and in a hurry. A lot of conversations are concise and to the point. People do not seem to help each other out as much either. It takes a little getting used to.

8. You have to pay to park EVERYWHERE. Do not leave the house without some change or some cash. It’s unbelievable. No such thing as free parking. If you do not have cash to pay, you will get ticketed and have to pay more.

 

That’s what I have learned so far. I suppose it is a bit comical to read this if you were born and raised in the north, but it is a different type of place for a southern girl like me. Hopefully I will adjust soon!

22 thoughts on “Transitioning from the South to the North… It’s a learning process.

  1. I’m REALLY from the south (as in Trinidad, W.I.) and think that I’m genetically predisposed to heat! That said, since I’ve been living in Brooklyn since I was two, I’m somewhat acclimated. However, it was only after a two-year sojourn in South America as a volunteer that i felt most comfortable with winter weather. Go figure, right? In any case, Lauren, I hope that “soon” comes more quickly for you when it comes to adjusting – which invloves more than just the weather, of course. Congratulations again on landing the new job!

    1. Hi Kerwyn –

      You’re from a very different kind of south! The southern hemisphere haha. I hope my adjustment arrives soon too and thank you for the congrats! Thanks for reading and commenting as well.

      -LG

  2. I’m REALLY from the south (as in Trinidad, W.I.) and think that I’m genetically predisposed to heat! That said, since I’ve been living in Brooklyn since I was two, I’m somewhat acclimated. However, it was only after a two-year sojourn in South America as a volunteer that i felt most comfortable with winter weather. Go figure, right? In any case, Lauren, I hope that “soon” comes more quickly for you when it comes to adjusting – which invloves more than just the weather, of course. Congratulations again on landing the new job!

  3. I noticed some of those things from visiting NYC! It definitely would be SUPER different. Did you ever figure out what a bubbler is? I still don’t know… and do you really have to start your car 15 or so minutes before you go anywhere? I like being down here in my tropical island. Stay warm! lol

    1. I still don’t know what a bubbler is… they call buggy carts “carriages” here though. It’s definitely advised to warm your car up because it’s so freezing cold! There are a lot of opps up here though and I don’t know much about Texas. I heard Austin is pretty great!

      -LG

  4. I noticed some of those things from visiting NYC! It definitely would be SUPER different. Did you ever figure out what a bubbler is? I still don’t know… and do you really have to start your car 15 or so minutes before you go anywhere? I like being down here in my tropical island. Stay warm! lol

    1. I still don’t know what a bubbler is… they call buggy carts “carriages” here though. It’s definitely advised to warm your car up because it’s so freezing cold! There are a lot of opps up here though and I don’t know much about Texas. I heard Austin is pretty great!
      -LG

  5. No. 7 could not be more true. My family visited NYC when I was in high school and we spent hours trying to find out how to navigate the subway system. A girl came up to us and asked if we needed help. Sure enough she was a Texan too. Nothing like southern friendliness. Good luck in NYC!

      1. See, now you guys are just giving us New Yorkers bad press! Sure, some people aren’t as friendly as others – but can’t that be said everywhere? I’m betting you can think of a few southerners that seemed to have sucked one too many lemos in their lives! 😉

        As for the subway, it’s pretty extensive, and that can make it complicated. But with the link between our buses and subways, you can literally start in one part of the five boroughs and get to ANY OTHER part, most often on just one fare (and if you have an unlimited metrocard, you never have to worry about additional costs). I’ve been to few cities in the US (and indeed, other parts of the world) that can boast of such connectivty. So, a little confusion is a small price to pay for such an extensive system (and, once you get used to it, the confusion really IS little).

        Okay, I’m done. Back to our regularly-scheduled New York bashing! 😛

        1. You’re right, it really isn’t everyone! I do know a few nice New Yorkers and hoping to meet more people as I’m in the city more. I think overall, southerners are more hospitable though.

          I hope to really figure out the subway system at some point! I heard it just takes some getting used to.

          -LG

  6. No. 7 could not be more true. My family visited NYC when I was in high school and we spent hours trying to find out how to navigate the subway system. A girl came up to us and asked if we needed help. Sure enough she was a Texan too. Nothing like southern friendliness. Good luck in NYC!

      1. See, now you guys are just giving us New Yorkers bad press! Sure, some people aren’t as friendly as others – but can’t that be said everywhere? I’m betting you can think of a few southerners that seemed to have sucked one too many lemos in their lives! 😉
        As for the subway, it’s pretty extensive, and that can make it complicated. But with the link between our buses and subways, you can literally start in one part of the five boroughs and get to ANY OTHER part, most often on just one fare (and if you have an unlimited metrocard, you never have to worry about additional costs). I’ve been to few cities in the US (and indeed, other parts of the world) that can boast of such connectivty. So, a little confusion is a small price to pay for such an extensive system (and, once you get used to it, the confusion really IS little).
        Okay, I’m done. Back to our regularly-scheduled New York bashing! 😛

        1. You’re right, it really isn’t everyone! I do know a few nice New Yorkers and hoping to meet more people as I’m in the city more. I think overall, southerners are more hospitable though.
          I hope to really figure out the subway system at some point! I heard it just takes some getting used to.
          -LG

  7. Lauren–I made the opposite journey that you did. I live in New Hampshire (talk about cold!) for most of my life until I moved to N.C. in 2009. I just bought a home in Raleigh and will be working in the communication industry for UBM upon graduation from North Carolina State University this May.

    Here are a few things I have noticed that are different about the North and South.

    1. College Rivalries- In the North, no one seems to really care about college rivalries. We are to busy trying to stay warm. In the South, if you were the wrong college colors into a sports bar, it can be a very, very long night.

    2. Where is the lemonade- I swear it is the most difficult thing to find a good glass of refreshing, homemade lemonade in the South. Why? They is no room for it next to the 20 gallons of sweet tea being displayed.

    3. Seafood- In the north, you will find seafood coming out of every nook and cranny you look. In the south (unless you are on the coast), it is difficult to find it even at the grocery store.

  8. Lauren–I made the opposite journey that you did. I live in New Hampshire (talk about cold!) for most of my life until I moved to N.C. in 2009. I just bought a home in Raleigh and will be working in the communication industry for UBM upon graduation from North Carolina State University this May.
    Here are a few things I have noticed that are different about the North and South.
    1. College Rivalries- In the North, no one seems to really care about college rivalries. We are to busy trying to stay warm. In the South, if you were the wrong college colors into a sports bar, it can be a very, very long night.
    2. Where is the lemonade- I swear it is the most difficult thing to find a good glass of refreshing, homemade lemonade in the South. Why? They is no room for it next to the 20 gallons of sweet tea being displayed.
    3. Seafood- In the north, you will find seafood coming out of every nook and cranny you look. In the south (unless you are on the coast), it is difficult to find it even at the grocery store.

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