Moving to Miami, from London, I had no idea what was awaiting me. I had only visited three short times, but like so many other instances in my life I knew I had to take this chance and just do it, nothing was going to hold me back! Over a year later and I absolutely regret nothing about this choice. Not. One. Time.
Miami is truly a city like no other, it speaks to me and it feels like home! I'm from a small town in Germany and I've lived in lively places like Los Angeles and London, my former job also allowed me to travel all over the world, but Miami is just my place. Not to say other cities are less great, but you know when you go somewhere or you meet someone and there is that instant connection? Suddenly you know you were meant to be at that place or with that person? That's a lot like how my love affair with Miami began.
From the culture (more on that in my top 5) to the world-renowned Art Deco District, the food (I can personally attest I have become an absolute foodie since moving here), the transient people that call Miami home at some point in the year, each with their own unique story, and lastly, this one's kind of a no-brainer, but the WEATHER! How can constant sunshine not make you a happier person?!
However there are a few tips/guidelines to be aware of if you want to consider yourself a "Miamian". Some of these I've learned all too well in my 1 1/2 years of living in the Magic City.
Here are my top 5:
1. You live where others vacation. Even though the temperature is constantly high and the beach is only a few minutes away, contrary to my friends' belief, I don't actually sunbathe every day and sip margaritas while watching the sunset. We might live here, but we have jobs too. I know it might sound crazy but I actually haven't had a day at the beach in months.
2. There is Air Conditioning EVERYWHERE. I mean every place you walk into is like stepping into an icebox. The AC is so cold in some places that when I first moved here I got a cold just from sitting in a restaurant, and don't even get me started on movie theaters and shopping malls. Until you get used to it, which took me more than a year, make sure to bring extra layers!
3. The phenomenon known as "Miami Time". If there's one thing that absolutely drove me craaazy in the beginning was everyone was always late. No matter if it was a casual coffee date or a meeting with a realtor. People are consistently forty-five minutes to an hour late even in the most professional of settings. Me being German I spent most of my life around incredibly punctual people, let me put it to you this way, if you were thirty minutes early you were late! Even more-so during my time in London when I worked in the airline industry even a few minutes delay meant not being able to work a flight that day. I no longer see it as a form of disrespect but the clock does tick a bit differently here. I admit, its rubbed off on me a little, it's kinda nice not being stressed all the time, worrying about if you're running behind.
4. Hurricane season runs about half the year here and I remember when I saw my first Hurricane warning on TV I freaked out. My boyfriend was so calm and was more worried about getting liquor than water and canned goods. You see, Miamians have Hurricane Parties. Yes, you read that correctly. That's because hurricanes generally never hit Miami but they do get their fair share of close calls so they tend to not panic, but me oh I was panicking! The one I'm talking about in particular, Hurricane Matthew, didn't end up hitting Miami however when Hurricane Irma came around this year now THAT WAS A WHOLE OTHER STORY. I wrote about my first ever category 4 hurricane experience here.
5. Cafecitos(Cuban coffee) are drunk like water here. It's a small but extremely potent and sweet shot of Cuban Coffee sold for not more than a dollar. Let me tell you this stuff is like liquid crack. As a first timer drinking it I was convinced there was some kind of drug in there, but it's actually just three times stronger than American coffee. The only thing I can compare it to is the difference in strength of original German beer to American beer- a BIG difference.