A Midwestern Girl's Guide to Moving West
- Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way: Find a sunscreen you really, really, really like. Like, the kind that you'll fight with your SO over to use up the last little bit. For me, it was finding something mildly sweatproof in spray-on form. I also found a really lovely facial moisturizer with a good SPF. Just think of living in Arizona like living at the beach all the time: you get that awesome summery sunscreen smell without the humidity or hurricanes!
- Other obvious statement: Learn to love drinking water. I got a lovely adult sippy cup (it has a straw) at Le Target when I was buying a six-pack of my spray sunscreen. My office has water coolers all over the place, so it's really easy to keep refilling my bottle during the day. Another bonus: super hydrated = lots of pee breaks = mini walk breaks during the day. Win win win!
- Make sure you bring your sense of humor. If you move out West in the summer, like I did, you'll be hard pressed to find someone back home that won't crack the 'It's a dry heat...like your oven!' joke at least once or twice (a conversation). Flip side: you can giggle at all the AZ natives when they bust out legit winter jackets once the temp drops below 40 or 50. Tee hee...
- Marginally related to item #1: Find a good moisturizer. It feels like the atmosphere is just sucking the life out of my face some days. I use this stuff because it doesn't make me feel like an oil slick, it doesn't smell weird, and it works!
- Sad news: You should probably find new friends that live closer to you now, because everyone will assume you've dropped off the face of the planet once you've moved out of their time zone. Just kidding. A little. Kinda. But honestly, it does suck being so far away from all my old friends. And it also sucks a giant pile of poo that people take things like thank you notes, emails, and/or texts foregranted. I tried to combat this a little by sending out a spectacular Christmas card and being proactive with holiday texts, but...le sigh.It just happens, I guess. You should try to entice them to visit with a.) numerous Facebook/Instagram posts of all the gorgeous sunrises/sunsets you enjoy, b.) numerous Facebook/Instagram posts of all the awesome nature-y stuff you enjoy, and/or c.) a picture of you at the pool in mid-January. Pool-side tasty adult beverage optional :) [Aside: your friends better be the good kind with a sense of humor, or else they probably won't appreciate living in a dreary gray slushbox in January while you're enjoying 60s and sunshine. Use your best judgement on this one...]
- If you don't love Mexican food now, you will soon. Or else. The Canadian and I were going through a period during his hockey season where we were almost regulars at the Nico's Taco Shop that was a 5 minute walk from our apartment complex. Their carne asada burritos? So good...and also very acceptable as tacos, too! There are so many good places to eat! And horchata? Didn't know what it was six months ago, but if you offer me some now, I will not say no.
- And finally...love the outdoors! We bought an annual National Parks pass (best $80) and have been using it almost every month. The Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Saguaro, and Sabino Canyon trips have been great long weekend adventures (which will be recapped in upcoming posts...hopefully).
And now, time for audience participation :)
- If you've made a big move from one side of the country to another, what are some helpful tips you picked up during your first few months in your new state?
- Never been to Arizona? What burning questions do you have about The Grand Canyon State?
Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Manwich is sleeping off his catnip high, The Canadian is getting excited for the Jets/Coyotes game on NYE, and I'm in love with my new Garmin running watch!