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Relocating to the West Coast? Here’s What You Can Expect

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Interstate Moving Professionals

Posted On : Oct 10, 2014

If you are a lifelong East Coast resident, it can be quite a shock to take a trip even just to visit the West Coast. Sure, the two coasts are thousands of miles apart, but it’s sometimes shocking how two regions of the same country can be so dissimilar in culture. But there’s no need to call your long-distance moving company and cancel your plans. If you just take a few differences into account, you’ll acclimate to the changes in no time.

  1. Prepare for the time zone difference. You might say “it’s only a 3-hour difference” and you’d be right: it’s barely enough of a time difference to trigger jetlag in bicoastal folks. But once you’re settled in to your West Coast home, you’ll start to readjust to the little differences. If you’re a football fan, prepare to start enjoying games as early as 10:00 AM on Sundays.
  2. Start getting used to hearing “the” in front of highway names. If you’ve ever heard someone refer to I-95 in New York with the more stately term “The 95” you’ve just met someone who is clearly from the West Coast. Add the article yourself if you want to blend in, or be proudly defiant and tell people you took “I-405” to get across town.
  3. Expect people to be much more laid back. Withoutresorting to a stereotype contest between a fictional California surfer dude and a fast-talking New Yorker, it is true that people on the West Coast generally seem to be more relaxed and easygoing. Depending on your personality, this might be a refreshing change or incredibly irritating at first. But eventually, the warm weather and open spaces might help you relax as well.
  4. Think of other small talk subjects besides the weather. In New York, Boston, or Philadelphia, it’s always possible to remark to a stranger about how humid, cold, or snowy the weather has been lately. (The rare perfect, sunny,72-degreeday can also be worthy of discussion.) On the West Coast, especially in Southern California, the weather is so consistently beautiful that it’s just not something worthy of discussion. Even Seattle and Portland, while rainier, have more mild conditions in the summer and winter.
  5. Learn how to drive. Ifyou’re moving from New York to Los Angeles, be prepared to go from one of the world’s most extensive public transportation systems to one that is practically non-existent. This is beginning to change, but currently driving yourself, calling a cab, or riding a bus are really the only practical ways to get around town in LA. (Note: This one really only applies to LA, as Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco each have pretty decent public transit systems.)
  6. Enjoy fresher food. It’s true that some of the best restaurants are in New York, but there’s no disputing that California is America’s garden. People are starting to move more towards locally-produced food, but that didn’t stop California from producing 15% of the nation’s crops in 2012.
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