Today, January 25, 2022 is National Florida Day!
It was over 15 years ago that my family and I moved to this state. It's been 25 years since we left the state where my husband and I were born and grew up (Michigan). Prior to moving to Florida, we lived in Las Vegas.
Prior to moving to Florida, I had only been here one time. I was a teenager, around 19, when my grandparents invited me to join them on their yearly vacation. They vacationed in Daytona Beach every January for over 35 years. They had visited places all over the state, but they fell in love with the Daytona Beach area early on and it became a yearly vacation destination. I joined them on that vacation and spent three weeks in Daytona Beach, staying at a hotel on the beach. I loved it and thought the area was beautiful.
We decided to move back to the east side of the country simply because we thought we'd see our Michigan-based family more. They all said they would be happy to visit Florida, so we figured it would provide more opportunity for visits with our extended family.
It was easy for me to decide where I wanted to move to in Florida, because I still had the images of Daytona in my mind and that's what I wanted. However, we read about how great the Tampa area was, and we moved there first. We were only there for weeks, when we took a weekend trip over to Daytona Beach, and decide that was where we wanted to go.
We love Florida! The state has so much to offer, especially for people like us who love nature. We can hike and bike during the winter months and hit the springs during the warmer months. We can kayak and camp all year long. There's beaches all over the state to check out, too. There's so many activities for getting outdoors, which we love. We also feel the state is beautiful. Doesn't matter if we are at the beach, in the woods, or driving through the many rural areas of the state, there is beauty everywhere.
There are things we also love about this state beyond the outdoor activities, such as all the places we can visit within a short drive, we live where people vacation, and there are no state income taxes (Nevada doesn't have it either, but Michigan did). We love the weather most of the time, and realize the times when it is not great are there to remind us to be grateful for when it is lovely outside. We have also been successful with our careers here, and we have made great friends in this state.
I often think that many people who are natives here don't realize how great this state is (which can happen when you live anywhere). They have lived their whole life here and have nothing to compare it to or simply don't notice the things non-natives do. For example, I've met natives who have been to only 1-2 springs in their life, or have never hiked or biked anywhere, or have never kayaked. I think they are missing out on the best parts of the state. Of course, I refer them to my springs guide, bike trail guide, etc. :)
On this National Florida Day, I just wanted to share that I love this state and I'm looking forward to many more years in the Sunshine State!