What I Wish I Knew Before Moving To Las Vegas
1.There Are Mountains
I moved to Las Vegas from the Midwest, where our lives were consumed by outside activities. Camping, picnics, bonfires, dirt bikes, quads, sledding, etc. Upon my move, I sold all my gear. I only knew the Las Vegas that I saw on television, in the movies and the two times I had previously visited, in which I stayed on the strip. I had no idea that there is beautiful land driving distance away. If I had known about Mt.Charleston, or Brianhead, or Mt. Zion, I never would have sold my gear that I had already spent many years and a lot of money purchasing.
2. It's Still Hot Out After The Sun Goes Down
I was used to wearing pants and long sleeves until about noon because that's how long it took before the air warmed up. In the evening, once the sun went down, the sweatshirts and jeans went back on. There was no such thing as an evening swim unless you wanted to die of hypothermia. Here in Vegas, you can walk outside at 3 AM and it's still 90 degrees outside. Seven years later and I'm still bringing a sweater with me everywhere I go because I just can't seem to get used to it.
3. The Winters Here Aren't Very Wintery
I didn't expect a winter wonderland, but I expected a little bit more than what we get here. For starters, I feel absolutely ridiculous putting out any of my cute little snowmen decorations that I have. It just doesn't make sense. My favorite door decoration reads "Let it snow!" and that doesn't happen. It doesn't even get very cold here. Gloves aren't needed. Scarves, forget about them. And even wearing a coat during the day will make you overheat. I didn't need to lug 50 hoodies 2000 miles to my new home. I didn't need to purchase a $400 coat that I wear maybe 5 times a year here. And my ice scraper- ha! Absolutely no need. I don't think people here know who Jack Frost is. During Christmas, they put holiday lights on the cactus trees and palm trees because there are no evergreens. As if lights on cacti are supposed to give me that holiday feeling? It doesn't. I miss the real winters.
4. "Going Out" Happens Much Later
I suppose it's because this town is a 24-hour town that meeting up with friends happens much later than back home. Back home, we met up with our friends about 7:00. Here, everyone wants to meet up around 10 and then no one actually shows up until 11. I was used to going to bed at that time. The first time I was invited out to the club we were supposed to meet up at 10:30. I fell asleep and didn't make it there. The next time, we were supposed meet at 11. I showed up at 10:45, because in the Midwest it's not appropriate to be late. My group didn't show up until 11:30. Luckily the 'going out' phase of living here didn't last too long for me.
5. Traffic Laws Are Optional
I don't know if it's because it's such a melting pot of people living here, everyone from different states which maybe have different laws, but one would think some basic laws would always be followed. Such as, driving the speed limit. I'll be honest and say on the expressway I often find myself being a little heavy footed, but it's nothing like the rest of the drivers here - I feel like I'm going to die here! And motorcyclist drive as though they're invincible. Blinkers are a thing of the past and coming to a complete stop seems to be only a myth. And laws don't apply to pedestrians either, they're always crossing in the middle of the road instead of walking to a crosswalk. The other day there was a woman trying to cross an extremely busy intersection and she was literally 25 yards from the actual crosswalk. 25 yards! That's not far! It's not a surprise the amount of traffic fatalities there are in this city.
6. There Are Bugs. Ugly Bugs
We have a lot of bugs in the Midwest. Flies, spiders, mosquitoes, rollie pollies, ants, ladybugs, grasshoppers, too many to name. They're annoying, especially mosquitoes. But here in Vegas the bugs are big, and the bugs are creepy looking. And they move so quickly, you can't even see where they come from. You accidentally step on them outside because they run across the sidewalk like they're on a suicide mission. You'll be relaxing on your couch and then out of nowhere, there will be one of these ugly roach like things in the middle of the room. The worst is coming downstairs in the morning and finding one laying on its backside on the floor. You think it's dead. It's not! I don't even know what it's doing - taking a nap?
7. There Aren't Any Professional Sports
In the Midwest, sports are huge. We wear our supportive gear all year round and we're overly proud doing so, even if we don't have a winning team. We buy season tickets to everything- hockey, football, basketball, baseball - rarely do you miss a game. Las Vegas has a few teams, I guess they're minor league teams, or the one college team, but it's not the same. When you go to a Las Vegas 51's game, it feels like you're at an after school high school game. When you went to a hockey game, you had to walk through a casino to get there. The only way to get some kind of sense of sports community here is to go to a UNLV game, the one college team here. In the Midwest, we have so many colleges in each state, the games are explosive with competition. Here, it's just a game.
8. Everybody Speaks Spanish
I've been kicking myself for choosing to take French instead of Spanish in high school since I moved here. I had no idea the population of Hispanics here was so high. I come from a very cultured family, we're fluent in several Middle Eastern languages, but none of them matter here. Even the Asian population speaks Spanish here. I have dark features and often get mistaken for being Hispanic, they quickly figure it out when I don't acknowledge something that they've just said. I can't even imagine the number of people who have probably insulted me while I was standing right next to them.
9. The Girls Are Shady, So Are The Guys
Maybe it's something in the water here, but I don't like it. When I first moved here and was invited to hangout, at 11:00 PM no less, I was shocked by the behavior of some of the females. They showed me how to stand behind a guy while he's playing at a table, flirt a little, and quietly steal some of his chips. That was an early night for me as I decided then and there that I'd rather be home alone than stealing. In going out as a group, these friends will leave you in an instant if a guy offers them a free bottle of vodka or to come back to their suite. I have yet to find a friend, male or female, that works on the strip that seems honest.
10. It's Difficult To Make Life Long Friends Here
Las Vegas is a city of constant change- the casinos, the attractions and the people. A lot of people come out here for a few years of excitement and then move on to another state or go back to where they came from. They come here for opportunity in the nightlife and realize it's not what they thought, and quickly move on. Meeting people anywhere on the strip is pointless because they're all tourists and won't be staying. And going to events and activities by yourself is somewhat uncomfortable so it's a slow process. By the time you get to know someone and bond enough to call it a good friendship, one of you is ready to move on. Moving here alone was quite a challenge.