Moving in general is one of the most stressful times in a person’s life, so moving to a new state can be maddening. You have no idea how I wish someone just handed us a list of what we really needed to know. Now that we have lived here a number of years we kind of know what to expect. But that first year was tough because there were so many new things to figure out. So I put together a short list of things I feel everyone should know when they move to North Carolina. Hope it helps!
1. Get Ready to Study:
You’re going to need to study. Wait! What? Study? Yup, in order to get a North Carolina driver’s license you need to take the NC written test. Even if you have a license already, and even if you have been driving since you were 16. It does not matter. Don’t believe me? Visit wwww.ncdot.gov/dmv.
2. And Speaking of Roads:
If you ever forgot what road you were just on? Don’t worry…the name probably changed before you remembered it. There is a road near Charlotte that starts out as Odell School Road, but as you travel South it changes to Derita, then it changes back to Odell School Road! When we first moved here this drove me absolutely crazy, especially since we didn’t have a GPS back then. We were constantly studying maps to not get lost. Yes…more studying.
3. Don’t Put Those Summer Clothes Away Just Yet:
Up North we had our winter clothes and our summer clothes, and every 6 months we would rotate. Now we don’t bother because we basically need it all….and sometimes all in one day. Temperatures around here can swing by more than 50 degrees, depending on the time of year. Day times are usually warmest, while it can get pretty chilly once the sun goes down. Just remember layers are the best way to go.
4. Having a Backyard Barbecue is Not What you Think:
Turns out cooking food on your actual barbecue is not considered a barbecue…around here that is called “grilling out”. North Carolina BBQ simply put is cooking pork with sauce, but it is so much more, mainly because there are different types of barbecue. The 2 main types are Eastern North Carolina BBQ and Western (sometimes called Lexington) North Carolina BBQ, not to be confused with the town of Barbecue, North Carolina. There are hundreds of barbecue places all over the state so I suggest you try some of them out and make your own judgement. Kind of how pizza is up north, barbecue is an extremely important part of the heritage of North Carolina and can even at times be a politically charged subject.
5. You Would Never Know That NC Used to be a Dry State:
People around here love their beer, especially craft beer. There are more craft breweries in North Carolina than in any other state in the American South. With almost 300 breweries and brewpubs scattered throughout the state you’re bound to find a brew flavor that you love. The ironic part is NC was the first state in the South to ban alcohol during the early 1900s, and that NASCAR was created by bootleggers during prohibition. Go figure!
6. What Does it Really Mean to Bless Someone’s Heart?
You’ll hear it a lot around here and think it so sweet. I mean having someone bless your heart seems like such a genuine and nice sentiment, right? But if it sounds surprisingly more like pity than empathy you’re right. Because in reality it is actually more passive-aggressive than sweet. So, remember if a North Carolinian “blesses your heart” they’re most likely just feeling a little sorry for you.
7. A Few Snow Flurries are Equal to an Apocalypse:
As soon as the forecast hits everyone panics. Bread and milk become a scarcity and school kids pray for a day off. Better get ready to eat a lot of French toast while watching just a few flakes fall. Snow days around here don’t happen that often but when they do it’s all everyone talks about…before, during and after the “storm”. And it’s not just schools that shut down…medical practices, offices and some restaurants do too. Coming from the north where nothing shuts down it’s actually quite entertaining. I have to admit I kind of like it, it’s similar to having a surprise personal day where you can do anything you want.
Well, that is my list of just some the things I wish I knew before we moved here. There are so many more but I would run out of space. Got any you would like to add? If you’re a relocated yankee I’m sure you have a list too and I would love to hear it. Please contact me and let me know. I look forward to hearing from you!