This doesn’t just apply to me, but anyone who wonders what it would be like to live in a completely different atmosphere. We are all comfortable with what we know, where we live, who we hangout with and what restaurants we like to eat at. The thought of going somewhere else to leave behind what we already enjoy seems bizarre because, why would we want to be any place else? Let me tell you that leaving things behind that you love is one of the best things you can do because you realize how much you have been missing out on. I have an on-going list of things I gained from living in WV, but here are three that have most importance to me.
1. It Toned Down the Long Islander in Me
All though I did live in Mississippi, Texas, and Florida at a young age, New York is where I was born and spent the majority of my life. Long Island, one of the best places to live with amazing food and beautiful beaches, was always home to me. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else and once I moved to WV for college, It completely changed my mind. Not only did I fall in love with this new culture I had never seen, but my attitude and way of thinking changed dramatically. You learn to tawk a certain way and grow up knowing that Lawn Guy Land is awwwsome and anyone else who thinks otherwise can fuggetaboutit. We walk fast, drive fast, eat fast and talk fast because for some reason it is just a part of our culture and everyone accepts it. Once I saw how down to earth, slow, easy-going and kind people were in West Virginia, I realized you have to take things slow to truly appreciate your surroundings. Southern hospitality was something I was shown for the first time and it has opened my mind to others and their cultures. My fast-paced walk and attitude was not always accepted there and I knew it had to be taken down a notch.
2. It Gave Me My Love For Country Music
This is coming from someone who once HATED country music and couldn’t stand to let my ears hear it. I used to make fun of their accents and how they only sung about getting their tractor stuck in the mud. Well, in WV, you better LOVE country music because it will be on everyone’s playlist at any party, bar or event you go to. And I am so glad it was. Country music has become my favorite genre and I can’t go a day without listening to it. I realized it was something everyone had in common. It reminds me of day drinking in the sun on porches with my best friends, hearing it at happy hour and watching everyone sing the words and being in any place where the atmosphere was just always 10x better when it was on. Not only is country music catchy and gives you a feel-good vibe but it also teaches you how to appreciate life and absorb everything that’s good about it. Luke Bryan, you can crash my party anytime.
3. It Made Me Realize I Can Be Happy Anywhere
Not only did I find a love for mountains, blue and gold, country music and southern hospitality but I also realized I could live anywhere and be happy. From such an amazing experience I gained from living somewhere the opposite of what I was used to, why wouldn’t I be able to live anywhere else? Open-mindedness, appreciation, creativity and optimistic vibes are all a result of living in WV and I will forever be grateful for that. I can totally see myself living in Georgia in the middle of nowhere, exploring the cold winter of Wisconsin, seeing surfers glide along the waves in California, and seeing the snow-covered mountains of Utah. Don’t be afraid to go somewhere out of your limits because you may be gaining more than you ever thought you would.
You’ll always remember where you came from, you’ll always know that your town has the best Friday night spot and best breakfast place on Sunday’s, and your accent, no matter where you are from, will always come out full force after having a couple drinks. But that’s why traveling and meeting new people is a huge part of life because you take a little piece of you wherever you go and change lives everyday without even knowing it.
I’ll go anywhere, West Virginia, baby I don’t care.