Things No One Tells You About Moving to Utah
I was born and raised in Colorado, so when I made the decision to move to Utah (after 6 months of blatant promptings and me saying “Crap no, there is no way I am moving to Utah”) I was worried the transition might be difficult. Here are some things I wish people had told me before I moved;
Fast Lane Drivers -
In drivers education here, I think they must teach everyone “When driving on the freeway, make sure to get in the far left lane. Accelerate to 5 miles under the speed limit, and then no matter what you do, do not get out of that lane until you reach your exit. Not even if there is a line of people behind you, riding your tail, flashing their lights and screaming profanity. They will eventually get fed up and pass you on the right. Make sure not to make eye contact with them as they pass. And after all the people have gone around you, don’t ever leave that left lane. Ever.”
Two Words, Fry Sauce -
Utah is the leading consumer of fry sauce, a combination of mayonnaise and ketchup. It will be given to you automatically at every restaurant you go to. If you ask for plain ketchup, the waiter will stare at you blankly for a moment, and then go and get it for you. It’s actually pretty good, once you try it.
Holy Crap, Look At Those Mountains!
I have lived here for three years, and daily I am still in awe of the sheer beauty of the mountains. Of course Colorado mountains are beautiful, but they got bigger gradually. Here, it’s flat valley and then BAM, giant mountains. Sorry CO, Utah has you beat on this one…
Holy Crap, Look At That Sunset!
The sunsets here are incredible. Not only do you look to the West and see the sky fill with the most amazing colors, but then you look to the East and see that the giant mountains are reflecting those colors, normally turning them an incredible pink color. Breathtaking every time.
If You Don’t Ski or Snowboard, Many People Will Consider You “Un-Dateable” -
Ok, so maybe this shouldn’t have been too far fetched for me since I am from Colorado, but I was shocked at the sheer numbers of men who considered it a deal breaker that this wasn’t one of my hobbies. If that’s something you love, more power to you, but if I’m going to fall down a hill and die, I want to do it for free.
The Streets Here Are Weird -
I swear, if I hear someone say one more time “It’s a grid system, it’s so easy!”.....
Yes, it’s a grid system, and for the most part it’s logical, except for the whole TH thing. What I mean is, here, everyone automatically takes off the last 00 of a street and replaces it with TH, but no one tells you that. Example, the address you are looking for is on 2700 South, BUT the people who are giving you directions tell you it’s on 27TH South. So you drive around looking for a 27th street, which doesn’t exist. You get frustrated and want to cry, but everyone else laughs because “It’s so easy, it’s a grid system!”......
Inversion Is A Four Letter Word -
I honestly don’t think I had ever heard the word “Inversion” before moving to Utah. Roughly defined, it is the dark pit of smog and unhappiness that will fall over an entire city for an entire month, normally between January and February. You will rarely see the sun, and a cloud will rest over the valley, trapping under it massive amounts of pollution. It gets so thick, you can practically taste it. The only escape is driving into the mountains for a day, and you can literally see the sky open up. Either that or……
Everyone Vacations In St. George -
I’m not sure what the magic allure is of this city, but it seems that everyone has a vacation home there, or knows someone who does and borrows it. People literally go there for every vacation or free weekend they have. Granted, I only know as much about this city as what can be seen from the freeway, but it must be the most amazing place ever!
College Rivalry -
I’m from Denver, where everyone is a Broncos fan. When I moved here I was shocked to find out; most people didn’t care about the Broncos (Hello??? Can we please be excited about Peyton Manning??), and instead, were all about college football. Especially, the great BYU vs University of Utah rivalry, or the “Holy War” as I hear it referred to. They take this very seriously and it seems to get passed down by generations.
And Don’t Get Me Started On Jazz Fans -
They are just a wee bit intense. I’ll leave it at that.
Not Everyone Is Mormon -
I think this is probably the biggest misconception about Utah. Most people I talk to assume the entire state is Mormons (I’m a Mormon, and the idea of being around other Mormons all the time was not appealing to me). Salt Lake City is actually a very culturally diverse place. Less than 50% of the population is LDS. Granted it is still the most populated religion here, it was nothing like what I expected. I have met people from pretty much every religion I can think of.
There Are A Lot of Gay People -
Now before you get all worked up about it, this is not something that bothers me in the least. I don’t care if people are gay or straight. My personal philosophy is “As long as you aren’t trying to have sex with me, I don’t care who you are having sex with”. But when I moved here I was surprised at how many people there were in the LGBT community. I read once that SLC is second in gay population to San Francisco. While I already don’t have the best gay-dar, this makes it particularly difficult to figure out who to flirt with.
Starbucks Closes At 7pm -
When it snows, there is nothing I like better than hot chocolate from Starbucks. Imagine my surprise to find out almost all of locations downtown close around 7pm. Coming from a place where most close at 10pm, this was a bit of an adjustment. And it isn’t just Starbucks, most places close by 9pm. Nightlife here tends to consist of restaurants and movies. Thankfully, I enjoy both.
The Great Salt Lake -
In my mind, I imagined it like an ocean. Blue and beautiful. In truth, its brown, and it smells weird. Due to the high salt content of the lake, the only thing that can live in it are brine shrimp. And where there’s brine shrimp, there are brine flies, everywhere. The lake is very shallow too (only about 14 feet). One cool thing, because of the salt, if you go in the water, you will float around like a cork, regardless of how much you weigh. It’s pretty cool, everyone should try it. Just make sure to shower after.
Utah Girl Names -
Utah people love their baby girl names. Not only do they love weird name, they absolutely love to take normal names and spell them in the strangest way possible. I have counted 15 ways to spell the name Brittany, yes really. If you want a good laugh, watch this video. It’s funny because it’s so true :)
You Will Fall In Love With Utah -
It might take some time, it took me a year before I admitted I live in Utah and it’s clear I’m not going anywhere anytime soon, but if you open yourself up to it, you will fall in love with Utah. But I will never get rid of my 303 area code :)