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Debunking the Relocation Myths

Since I don’t want to be known as the “doom and gloom” on relocation, I wanted to debunk some of the myths that people associate with moving to Florida. I hope this clears the air on certain things, and it may even possibly leave you with more questions.. but that’s what the comments section is for, so, enjoy!

Myth #1 – Florida is ALWAYS Hot and Humid

I can now say after living here for 7 months that it indeed gets not only cool, but VERY cold. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was back in my winter coat that I swore I would never wear again.  So much to the point that I had my mom ship out mittens and a much needed warmer coat for Emily.  Yes, it gets hot during the summer here, and yes it gets humid, but as they say here “You don’t shovel heat.”

Myth #2- You’ll Miss the Snow

Ummmm, what? Miss the cold, and the “Let’s see who remembers how to drive on the icy roads?” kind of snow? Did I miss something? Yes, it is certainly pretty to look at when the first snow fall hits, or during Christmas time, but ask anyone dealing with it now… it just isn’t so pretty anymore. It is a wonderful thing to know that I don’t have to drive on those snowy roads anymore.

Myth #3- Living Close to Walt Disney World will make you sick of going

As someone who lives very close to one of the main gates, I can tell you that like everything else in life, it is all about moderation. I don’t go every day, I know you all think I do, but I don’t. Maybe 3-4 times a week, but that’s counting an hour in one park on a Monday then on a Thursday lunch with a friend. I purposely do it this way so it stays exciting and fresh or I may tire of it, and nobody wants that.  Meets with friends keep it fun and exciting as well.  Most locals make it into a side job, whether it be blogging, podcasts, books, or shows.  Life goes on, whether WDW is next door or not.

Myth #4- You will always be dealing with Tourists

As one who lives close to a Tourist highway here, I can tell you that when I am in my own neighborhood, I wouldn’t ever be able to tell whether I lived in FL or WI. It’s usually a safe neighborhood and even with vacation homes in the area, people are never there because they are spending time in the Parks.  It matters the time and season, during the summer I told you all how insane 192 was with tourists. But the minute fall hit, it was incredibly quiet and very enjoyable. You learn what to avoid, and what is more of a “local” area.  Once you have it down, you don’t have to deal with them unless you are putting yourself into the Parks, Sea World, etc…

Myth #5- It will never be as good as the home you left

I wanted to address this myth because I am living proof that you have to give yourself the time for a place to speak to your heart.  Anything new is scary and downright terrifying, and until you can break through that first month, then another, and so on… then it all seems to get clearer to you.  Some leave wonderful homes and places that they loved but seek a new adventure in life, while others leave hard memories behind, searching for a new life and new chapter for their lives. Whatever you come to FL for, give yourself enough time to make your FL home your new home. When I get discouraged, I have to remind myself WHY I wanted this adventure and calmly take a breath and speak to a close friend.

Myth #6-  Relocation anywhere is really expensive

Ok, it depends on where you are moving from and to. If we are talking specifically from somewhere in the U.S. to Florida, it can be an affordable plan if executed correctly. Save at least no less than a year’s worth of whatever you can save, then dictate money for your new place, the move itself, and wrapping up ends in your current place.  There are many ways to make it affordable which we have our own blog posting about.  Don’t get discouraged by the money, but embrace the challenge of making it all work.

Myth #7- Renting is Wasting Your Money

Yes, I have heard many say this and it always puzzles me. Why on earth would I buy a home when I haven’t even lived in the state yet? I don’t know what the cities and counties are like, so in my opinion renting is the smartest thing to do for the first year of relocation. Granted, most have to rent sight unseen, meaning we haven’t walked through the place, but you do your best to protect your investment in your security deposit and so on so you have your bases covered when you do get here.  If you don’t want to spend a ton, find something small and affordable so you can rent while at the same time save to buy a home.

Myth #8 – Living in Florida is Expensive

Again, it’s all on how you see it. I rented a duplex in WI, now we have a home. So I knew that renting a home here would cost more than a duplex, but thankfully it wasn’t drastically more. I do know the rent I pay is less than some apartments here, so I feel we have a great deal with a 3 bedroom home with a 2 car garage.  The groceries were a shock the first time I went to Publix, but again, that was Publix. The minute I went to Wal-Mart, it was just like prices from home at the WI Wal-Mart- so nothing new there. Gas prices always vary, no matter where you live, and our utilities seem about the same. Our water is incredibly cheap here, and our Cable bill is actually affordable here.  The only thing that you have to get used to paying for that you won’t at home is your WDW Annual passes, or for any theme park here. There is so much more to do here, so you will never be bored. Hence, so much to do means that much more money there is to be had for it.  Do what you can afford to do, but I feel that besides the theme parks, there isn’t that much difference in our cost of living from WI.

Myth #9- It isn’t Safe Here

Now, with WI there was crime, but in Appleton we had maybe a shooting once every 6 months. Green Bay, Milwaukee were the higher crime rate areas.  We live in a relatively safe neighborhood, I haven’t seen anything that has made me uneasy or scared yet. There are many safe areas, you just have to seek them out and get to know those around you. We have several who watch our neighborhood like hawks, so it’s smart to get into some type of neighborhood watch.  I feel WDW is safe, I have never felt scared there at all. I didn’t feel scared at all either at Sea World or Universal- now granted you don’t move to the theme parks, but there are many areas around these Parks that are safe.  Now, you don’t want to move to Pine Hills, or as they call it here, Crime Hills, but you can find places that are safe. With any place we have lived, we lock down very tightly.

Myth #10- You Can’t Go Home Again

I wrote about this before, but it has to be explained again. I have been home only once now since moving here, and I can tell you, you CAN go home again, but “home” will forever be changed. The people I visit there now mean more to me than ever because that is my only chance to see them.  The casual hellos at the Malls or the get togethers for girl chat turn into memories and moments that are forever precious to me.  I think people feel that if they relocate, that they will never be welcomed back to their old area if they return to visit, or perhaps even to live. As the old saying goes “If they behave that way, they were never your friends to begin with.”  Yes, some may be angry with you for moving, but it is the pain they hide that you won’t hear about until after you have left.  If you get home sick, be prepared to embrace it and go home for a hug and some love.  Moving is not a death sentence for your friends and family you leave behind, but merely a pause button until you see them again.

I hope this has helped some of you with your relocating plans here or wherever the wind may take you. The reality is that you won’t know how you will handle any of it until you get here. So as you pack your bags and your U-Hauls, pack your strength, your courage, and your will because THAT is what is going to  make or break your life here. I can’t wait to meet all my neighbors once you get here, God bless your day!

9 Comments »

  1. Great blog post! I am saving this one! We do plan to relocate, but the economy threw us quite a curve ball, so it will be much later than originally planned, but thats ok.

  2. Amen, Amy. The only thing I would add, with our experience, is to #8: Living in FL is still cheaper than California. 😉

    I especially know how much you feel like you’re having to repeat yourself on these points whenever you talk with your friends & family back home. If you don’t mind, I’m going to link to this post in MY blog, and maybe cite a few differences that affect us in our neck of the ‘Glades.

  3. I’m always feel better about my hopeful dreams when I read your posts, Amy. Looking out at the Madison snow (another 2″ last night) this morning and thinking about being able to open the windows all winter long in Florida just makes my heart ache.

  4. These are helpful tips. We are getting our 2-3 year plan in order, so this post is very helpful. I hope you don’t mind me e-mailing you in the near future with some questions/advice. You have been such a great resource for us so far. We seem to have a lot of the same values and it is so easy to relate to you and your family. I’m going to print this off to show my husband what “my friend Amy in Florida” said today. You make it all seem possible!

  5. A great article thank you. We will be relocated by the end of this month. It’s a little different for us as we have lived in Florida previously, up in the Panhandle, and my in-laws retired to a community south of Tampa. I will not miss the cold and snow. We will be renting for the first year as we agree with you that is not a waste of money, buying a house then wishing you had waited or finding a neighborhood/house you like better is an expensive mistake.

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