Many people ask me if I’d like to return to the USA to live some day.
My answer is always a resounding, “Absolutely not!” with a vigorous head shake.
Why not? There are many reasons, but the most important are:
* The US political, economic and military conditions
* Other countries offer more interesting cultures & lifestyles
However, I have to admit that I might possibly consider living in Florida.
In fact, I actually do consider it sometimes. Here’s why:
Ever since I lived in Japan for six years and froze my A** off for 5 months/year in an unheated house and under-heated work places, I developed a strong adversity to cold weather. Instead, I’ve come to love the tropics.
I found out the hard way that my body thrives on heat, shuts down in cold. ‘Hot and humid’ is just perfect for me, with my preferred temperatures at 30C-35C (86-95F) daytime and not below 25C (75F) at night.
Florida is the only place in the US where I could live comfortably. Almost. Even Florida is well past my comfort zone in winter. Typical temperatures then are 20C (65-68F) daytime and 40s-50sF at night. During odd years it dips down close to freezing. Yeow!
Last year I spent winter in St Petersburg, Florida and felt pretty frosty for a month or so. Perhaps further south in Miami or the Keys it would be almost warm enough for me year-round?
Beaches and ocean
My idea of paradise consists of living at the ocean on a beautiful expanse of fluffy white sand. Since it is possible to live that way, I may as well!
Florida’s two extensive coasts are lined with gorgeous, long sweeping beaches sporting blindingly white powdery sand. Quite unfortunately, many of those beaches are way over-developed with hotels, apartment towers and tourist attractions. But others are still in a natural state.
I didn’t always know that Florida’s beaches are so spectacular. After traveling extensively through SE Asia, which is packed with astounding islands and beaches set in calm tropical seas, I thought no US beaches could possibly hold up. Last year I was pleasantly surprised to discover I was very much mistaken! Florida’s beaches are superb.
Easy access to the Caribbean and Central America
Flights from Florida to most Caribbean destinations are incredibly cheap, offering the best rates from anywhere in the USA. That only makes sense as Florida is so very close to the Caribbean islands.
Having such fast, cheap and easy access to the Caribbean is a huge bonus, considering how much I love traveling, tropical islands, scuba diving and alternate cultures.
Cheap domestic flights all over the USA
Florida is one of America’s most popular vacation destinations. People flock to Florida for holidays from all over the US as well as Europe and beyond. As a result, flights to Florida from just about every US city are quite inexpensive. The bonus for me if I lived in Florida would be that cheap flights to Florida also mean cheap flights from Florida to destinations all over the US. I’d be set for even more travel options.
Abundant and varied nature and outdoor living
Florida is blessed with many amazing natural habitats. Besides the world-class beaches, Florida has natural springs, mangrove forests, rivers, The Everglades, The Florida Keys and several state parks.
Outdoor sports and activities are almost unlimited: sailing, kayaking, canoeing, water boarding, water skiing, bicycling, suntanning, hiking, off-road cycling, camping, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming.
Great birds and trees
Florida’s fantastic weather and incredibly abundant water resources attract huge variety of birds, particularly water birds. Just about everywhere you go in Florida, you’ll see amazing water birds.
Florida also grows great trees, bushes and flowers. Besides decorative trees, there are orange, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon and lime trees. Fresh citrus fruit!
St Petersburg, Florida has held the title as ‘America’s #1 Mid-size City for the Arts’ since 2010. Besides the internationally acclaimed Dali Museum and Chihuly Glass Collection, St Pete has dozens of small art galleries, several annual arts festivals and the weekly Saturday morning market.
Miami and Key Largo, Florida also support huge local art communities.
Friendly, laid-back people
While I was living in Florida last year, I heard over and over again from visitors how surprised they were at the residents’ friendliness. Apparently Americans in other US cities aren’t so welcoming to visitors?
I never quite noticed Florida’s friendliness as anything particularly unusual or stand-out. While living in Japan for six years and then traveling the world for 14 years, I’ve been surrounded by polite, friendly, helpful and down-to-earth people. That just seems par for course to me. I guess I just melded into Florida life naturally.
It’s extremely unlikely that I’ll ever return to the United States to live, if and when I ever finish my ongoing world tour. There are just too many gorgeous, intriguing and tropical places out in the world to choose over the US. But if I ever were to change my mind, Florida is the only place I would settle down.
Do you or would you like to live in the USA? Why or why not?
If you could choose anywhere in the States to live, where would that be? Why?
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