Discovered by the Germans in 1904 and pretty much the closest thing to heaven on earth. The weather is perfect, the beaches are pristine, and the people are just plain awesome. For those of us who call San Diego home, we know these things to be true. If they aren’t true in your life, you might want to think about following our sandy footsteps. I give you…
1. You own more swimsuits than underwear.
When you live near the ocean, shopping for a swimsuit is a big deal. For over half of the year, they are pretty much all you will be wearing. While some turn to Target for a swimsuit, you are over having to hang on to your bottoms while you play in the surf. Swimsuits to San Diegans are like shoes to athletes. We are willing to spend the big bucks for something our livelihood depends on. They have to be comfortable, reliable, and just the right amount of sexy.
2. You are a burrito connoisseur.
You laugh under your breath as your friend from out of town tells you about this “awesome” burrito she just had. She has no idea what she is missing. Burritos are the soul food of southern California and something we are equally proud of and picky about. You eat forearm-sized burritos for breakfast, lunch and dinner without apology. Everyone who works at Robertos #23 knows your name. With the plethora of fine dining available, most aren’t too fancy to admit that their favorite food can be found at a 24 hour taco stand.
3. You are somewhat of an alcoholic.
San Diego is a special place on earth where it is never too early to have a drink. Weekend brunches aren’t complete without bottomless mimosas. After-work hang outs always include happy hour. With our weekdays full of mandatory Taco Tuesdays in Old Town, Wine Wednesdays in North Park and trivia nights in PB, forget leaving your drinking to the weekend. You may drink 5 out of 7 days a week, but so does everyone else. No one is judging.
4. You have gone to work still slightly drunk.
Following the fact that we all drink too much, sometimes those crazy, tequila bombing, too much dancing, skinny dipping in the ocean kind of nights follow us into the morning. You told your friend you had to work at 8:00 am, but somehow after your fourth shot of jager, you figured, it is their birthday and, what the heck, #YOLO.
You stumble out of bed the next morning, don’t really remember showering, have three cups of coffee, question your life choices while you are stuck in traffic on the 5, and suffer through the work day. It is those mornings that you swear you’ll never drink again. Riiiight.
5. You own three or four different kinds of boards and at least two things with wheels.
San Diegans like to play. We rollerblade, skateboard, longboard, surfboard, skim board, boogie board, wakeboard, wind surf, paddle board, road bike, beach cruise and so much more. If you open the garage of any active San Diego dweller, you will most likely find at least two or three of these items. Walking or driving some place is low on the list of preferred transportation. Being active is a way of life here and when you live in infinite summer, outside becomes your sanctuary.
6. You get sand in your…everything.
It’s constantly in your hair, your purse, your shower, and forget about ever being able to get it out of your car. You can never go to the beach without taking some of it home with you. Being slightly sandy is normal, and for most San Diegans, that is just the way we like it.
7. You aren’t from here.
For every ten people you meet, only one will actually be from San Diego. Whether you have lived here for five years or five months, you most definitely migrated here from somewhere else. Maybe you moved for a job, or for a significant other. Or you moved just to have a change or try something new. Whatever the reason was that brought you here, you have no desire to leave anytime soon. While San Diego has a very transient population, a solid sense of community still lives on. The culture becomes you, and whether you came from New York or South Africa, you are a San Diegan now, just like the rest of us.
8. You have or will eventually have long hair.
If you don’t now, at one point of your San Diego life, you will. The 1970s never left San Diego, which means that if you don’t have long hair and a mustache, you are in the minority, especially if you live in Ocean Beach. And don’t even worry about styling it. Salty, messy, bed-head is so in right now. Take everything you have heard about short hair being professional and throw it out the window. Successful entrepreneurs and business owners have waist-length dreads and fu manchus. We embrace the “long hair, don’t care” philosophy in San Diego and we wear it well.
9. You eat “healthy.”
Quinoa, acai, kale, dandelion, coconut oil, hemp and chia seeds are an essential part of your diet. Our burgers are grass fed, our pizzas are gluten-free and fish tacos are sustainably caught. We care about what we put in our bodies…for the most part. While our food may be clean, we eat a lot of it. We can say, “Yes, I’ll take the free-range chicken wings, chipotle flavor, with a side of sweet potato fries. Can I also get the organic IPA?” And we don’t feel bad about it. While we may not always be eating “healthy,” most of the time, we at least feel like we are.
10. You don’t go to the gym.
While in most cities, people looking to get ready for “bikini season” head to 24 Hour Fitness, you have a plethora of other places to get your fitness on. We sweat it out at hot yoga, beef up at crossfit, and gain endurance on 8-mile runs around Mission Bay. We push ourselves harder with SUP yoga, marathons, triathlons, and enjoy the occasional get-blasted-in-the-face-with-color-powder, 5K races. Fitness is fun in San Diego, which is why we are all so freaking beautiful.
11. You aren’t just a [fill in the blank].
Whether you are a bartender, a business leader, a teacher, a student, or a stay-at-home parent, it is not the only thing you do. You are a waitress with a successful hand-made jewelry business, a business leader who competes in weekend beach volleyball matches, or a stay-at-home parent with a catering business. San Diego is alive with opportunity and entrepreneurial spirit. Although it is a large city, it is a place where the hand-made, the home-made and the locally owned are most highly valued.
This place seriously rules.