February 26, 2024

People share the culture shock they experienced when moving from the East to the West Coast (or vice versa)

We recently asked the BuzzFeed community to share the culture shocks they experienced after moving between the East and West Coasts. This is what they had to say:

1. “I moved from New York City to Los Angeles. Having the same weather every day and having to drive everywhere was a culture shock. I had no idea what time of year it was as it was always 70 degrees. I also had my license in NYC, but hardly ever drove, except occasionally when I visited my hometown. I had to buy a car in California and I remember the first time it rained. I had lived in LA for about four to five months without rain, and then it started raining while I was driving on the freeway. I panicked and had to pull over because I had no idea how to turn on the wipers.”

Noppawat Tom Charoensinphon via Getty Images

2. “I grew up in New York, but moved to Hollywood in my late twenties (around 2007). It was a real culture shock. Street sweeping required you to keep moving your car around your street. Moreover, the houses, no matter how small and ugly, cost millions.”

3. “The quality of different types of food was surprising. The Mexican food here cannot be compared at all to what you find on the east coast.”

fcafotodigital via Getty Images

4. “I grew up in California and Oregon. During the pandemic, I moved to Atlanta to serve with Americorps. I was completely unprepared for how different it would be. It seemed like a different country. I got an apartment three kilometers from where I worked, expecting to cycle to work, but that turned out to be impossible because there were only highways in between.”

5. “People in California were really passive-aggressive and that was the way they used humor. Now that I live on the East Coast, people are much more direct and just tell you how they really feel.

6. “I moved from the Southeast coast to the Pacific Northwest. I’ve lived here for four years and still hate having to take off my shoes every time I enter someone’s house. In the South (at least the part I’m from), unless you’ve literally just walked through mud or snow, wiping your shoes on both the exterior and interior doormats when you enter is sufficient. There, if you don’t choose to take off your shoes, a host asking you to do so borders on insult. Here it is expected, period (and regardless of the weather). But often my feet are cold without shoes, it throws off my outfit, or I honestly just don’t feel comfortable going into someone else’s house barefoot or in socks. Four years later, I still hate that this is the norm here.”

Fiordaliso via Getty Images

7. “How small are some states. I remember getting on the train and twenty minutes later being in a completely different state. I’m from California and you can barely get to the Valley in 20 minutes.

8. “After twenty years in Pennsylvania, I moved to Southern California. I very quickly discovered a few things I never realized about being an East Coaster. Things I can appreciate and miss is that I am real and really mean what you say. Other things I’m glad I took from the West Coast is that I’m more relaxed.

9. “I grew up in California and Colorado and moved to the East Coast for college. It was a huge adjustment. When I travel on public transport people just don’t want to talk to me and I’m used to saying hello and good morning and talking to strangers. It felt very cold and unfriendly. Plus, I missed driving around in my own car and riding with friends. After college, I moved back to the sun, surf, and tacos on the west coast, and I’m so much happier.

U.Ozel.Images via Getty Images

10. “I moved from Oregon to Maryland for work. The first time I drove in Maryland was a nightmare. When I reached my destination, I sat in the parking lot and cried! Drivers on the East Coast, especially in the DMV area (DC/Maryland/Virginia), are insane! I have never been so tense while driving. Fearless drivers with no patience and no effort to let you know you need to move.”

11. “I’m a West Coaster in South Florida. The food is terrible. Most produce has to be trucked in and by the time it gets here the product is past its prime.”

martinedoucet via Getty Images

12. “I experienced culture shock when I moved from the East Coast to the West Coast. The fact that the cold winters didn’t fix my poor health was great! The people I met were so relaxed and the feeling of not being judged was a real pleasure. Music, exploring more than just work, and being jaded completely changed my personality for the better. West coast is still the best coast!”

13. “Although I didn’t travel all the way from coast to coast, I went from upstate New York to Arizona as a child. I went from four different seasons to maybe two. The biggest transition was going from a guaranteed white Christmas to seeing Christmas lights on our neighbors’ cacti and running around outside in short-sleeved shirts in the middle of winter.”

14. “I moved to Utah from the East Coast over a year ago and I’m still getting used to the fact that most places aren’t open on Sundays. Do you try to eat out on Sundays while running errands? Forget it, that’s not going to happen.”

Grace Cary via Getty Images

15. “I moved from Pennsylvania to Colorado and was shocked to hear that people needed to water their lawns.”

16. “I knew it was going to be hot in Southern California, but I wasn’t prepared for how brutal the desert heat is. In the Mid-Atlantic we are getting some relief from trees and rain. I really missed the forest and the good rain.”

17. “I recently moved from the Seattle area to Philadelphia, and the passion that Philly people have for their cheesesteaks is awe-inspiring. I didn’t know how to order ‘a steak’ so I asked for mayonnaise and… it just wasn’t a good scene.

18. “I miss some of the food we had in California, like In-N-Out and authentic Mexican food, but I don’t miss the traffic, the smog, and the closed houses.”

Jorge Villalba via Getty Images

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *