Think life's a beach? Try growing up on an island like I did. It may make you rethink your goal to "live where other people vacation" and here are a few reasons why.
Ahhh, tourons. Crowding the beaches every summer and consistently ruining any form of peace and quiet at the pool. Sure, tourists keep the town's economy alive, but that doesn't give you the green light to wear socks and sandals.
2. People Get The Wrong Impression
"Oh, you live in [insert resort town here]? Do you live in a hotel? Are you like always barefoot? Does everyone just drive golf carts?" These are all very real, serious questions that I've been asked by tourists. Funnily enough, just because I'm from a resort town, doesn't mean that I actually live in a resort.
3. Don't You Wonder What Snow Is Like?
You already know the answer to that. We're from an ISLAND. Anytime temperatures dip below 65 degrees, it's sweatshirt weather. You vacation where we live, and I'm sorry, but that doesn't mean we have an inclination to return the favor.
4. Sometimes, The Sun Sucks
Remember the sun guilt we talked about here? Well, it's true for really anyone living on an island. Even if you've lived on island for a long time, you'll still get so sunburnt that you can't even sleep (this happens way too often) and yet you still join your friends to lay out the next day. If you haven't learned when it's time to reapply sunscreen, you're left with little room to whine as a local.
5. Everyone Is Peter Pan
Tourist destinations offer occupations that aren't your typical 9-5 work day. Adults in the working world have the opportunity to soak up the sun during the day while still earning a living, especially in the hospitality industry. That guy you're playing beach volleyball with during the day? He also moonlights as a bartender. Vacation hot spots are places people go to escape "real life," so it makes it that much easier to never really grow up.
6. Road Rules (Seemingly) Don't Apply
Witnessing tourists drive on your home turf is pure comedy. You'll see confused out of towners come to a screeching halt in the middle of the highway over a misread sign, or go 20 mph in a 45 because "they're on island time." A personal favorite is seeing tourists attempt one of the many traffic circles and abandoning all real-life traffic laws.
7. Islands Are Essentially Retirement Communities
A prime example of what it means to grow up in a vacation hot spot: When someone asked my 11-year-old brother what he wanted to do when he grew up, he looked the person straight in the eye and said "Retired." When "retired" is the "current occupation" of everyone on your street, why would you ever want a real job?
8. Life Is A Giant Golf Course
Everyone loves a little physical activity while on vacation, especially island favorites like golf, tennis or going to the beach. For locals, going to the beach is a way of life, you got your first set of clubs AND your first tennis tennis racket as soon as you could hold them, so those activities aren't all that interesting. When mini golf is available all year long, it kind of loses something.
9. You Have To Give Directions To Every. Single. Human.
As a local kid, after the millionth tourist family asks for directions to the beach, one would simply point in the general direction, giving very little. Now, as an adult tourist in other cities, I can feel all of that bad karma catching up to me. I'm the touron now.
10. You'll Never Trust Seafood Anywhere Else
The seafood in a tourist destination is often pretty delicious and ruined whenever you eat seafood away from home. What ocean is this seafood from? Isn't snow crab out of season? Where are they casting the shrimp nets? Am I the most pretentious person at this restaurant? It's an unfair advantage to grow up with vacation food readily available.
11. Laying Out Becomes A Problem
At home, "laying out" means parking it next to a pool overlooking the ocean, or walking on the beach to catch some rays. Once you're used to laying out near the waves, spreading your towel out on the GRASS in college just won't cut it. To make it worse, none of your friends from up North will have an OUNCE of sympathy when you complain about your itchy patch of land-- they're too busy being grateful that it's warm out.
12. But Being Pale Is The Bigger Problem
"Wait, you're from the ISLAND?? But you're SO PALE!" Regardless of where you grew up, genetics are genetics. Even if you're a lifeguard at the neighborhood pool, the inability to tan is real (and a painful joke.) A self-deprecating Twilight quip about "looking like a vampire" while reapplying some SPF 50 will generally quiet the critics.
13. None of It Matters
The real problem about living on an island? Absolutely nothing. Which makes it easy to forget the things that suck, and that seeing tourists drive in the wrong direction on the highway is actually pretty funny. Sure, all your friends might snicker when you say you're "going back to the island" because it's the best accidental LOST reference you could ever make, but you'd have to be the biggest brat in the world not to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you 24/7.
Follow Carly Ledbetter on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ledbettercarly