Learning to Fly
September 30, 2019

Living in Florida

If you’re like me and millions of others who get gloomy as the season changes you probably thought about perhaps relocating to a warmer climate like Florida, starting a new life in the tropical sun. Well that’s exactly what I’ve done and wanted to share with you the beauties of doing so and perhaps some things you should be aware of but not let influence you from taking the plunge.

Beaches

I don’t know about you but I feel my best when I’m outdoors especially by the water. Well what better place then Florida which has 825 miles of panoramic beaches to choose from, so if you like to surf the waves, do some sport fishing, snorkeling, or simply want some quiet seclusion then this is the place for you. Most beaches are accessible by car so your don’t necessarily need a boat. There are tons of nature trails, springs, rivers, lakes and exotic animals to explore. It’s continued sunshine day in and day out make every outdoor activity worth while, not to mention we might be making daylight saving time year round through the “Sunshine Protection Act,” but still waiting on congressional approval, which would allow you to enjoy that extra hour or so outdoors before the sun sets. 

Financial

We all have to pay those taxes each and every year, which can really deplete your income especially if you are in a high income tax bracket. Well, Florida is one of only seven States that doesn’t collect on Individual Income tax which can save you thousands! It also does not collect a death Tax, which as sad as it sounds could also be a financial burden for many when there is a death in the family. This amazing state also offers the most Protective Provisions under the Homestead Laws as it protects an unlimited value up to 160 acres in a county and ½ acre within municipality. Very intriguing especially when you are coming from a State like New York, let alone Toronto which has double the taxes!!!

Lightning

It’s really epic to see ambient lightening here but please watch from inside as our lightening is utterly dangerous. Florida is not only known as the sunshine state but it’s notorious for thunderstorms and lightning strikes that results in fatalities. It’s quite a scenic and potent view which can make your windows jolt. Yet for a child it’s nonetheless a nuisance as their outdoor activity has to cease until it clears. Usually 30 minutes from the last bolt of lightening within 8 – 10 miles of your location, for each strike within this distance otherwise you need to re-start the time which to a child seem eternal, so have some books handy in your car for that exciting time that you have to wait till it’s clear. As Florida is considered the lightening capital with an average of 10 people being killed by lightening strikes annually and 40% seriously injured please take this seriously and follow this simple rule, “When it Roars, head Indoors!”

Gardening

I thrive on organic food but I question sometimes organic being really organic, so I take every opportunity to grow my own fruits and vegetables. I always thought I would be able to grow nutritious fruits and vegetables in Florida all year round and could hardly wait to start. As it turns out an actual successful growing season is between sometime in October and late Spring otherwise the summers are simply too hot, too rainy and our summertime thunderstorms are often referred to as “popcorn” storms as they can form right on top of you with little to no warning. Therefore, gardening opportunities are almost the same as up North just different times so perhaps freeze some of your produce and or make great fermented recepies out of your crop.

Bugs

Someone once told me that if I lived in a tropical place like Florida I will have to use pesticides as there are bugs all year round. Well if you don’t already know me, I DO NOT use any chemicals especially Pesticides so I had to prove them wrong. In order to do so I had to make sure none of my landscapers used any pesticides or sprays which for three years I have lived here I have never experienced any infestation, lawn damage due to pests or anything else other than a healthy lawn! Please note that 99% of insects are beneficial, yes we need them to sustain our natural ecosystem. So there is NO need for any pesticides as this will destroy many insects, deplete your soil of all its nutrients which you need if you want that Garden and most importantly is a health hazard to all animals including yourself and your pets. So if you have an unwanted weed, pull it or use direct vinegar which is completely safe and non toxic. You can do the same solution for unwanted pests which as I mentioned there are none. You will be amazed how you will have less weeds and less infestations as everything just balances itself out, no need to get involved, you’re not Mother Nature!

Sizzling Summer

You’re probably corelating summers with warm breezes, sunny skies and cooling off in the waters, well Florida summers would be similar just with triple the heat and humidity therefore it feels more like a tropical amazon and when you go to the waters to cool off, the temperature is more like bath water with the air humidity levels usually peaking in August. Also, since we have hardly any tourists and most residents leave to get away from the heat, many businesses shut down but on the other hand many lower their prices as there are fewer customers. So if you want to do business with any particular local company, summers would be the ideal time as many of them have hardly any work during this time. So if you are planning on some renovations or work you’ve been putting off, summer would be the ideal time to do these things.

Mold

Obviously there is no shortage of sunshine here with the most 10 hours of it in July making it the hottest month with an average temperature of 82 F (28 C). On top of this blazing sunshine we have humidity which can be oppressive and can welcome unwanted mold. Indoor humidity levels should be between 40% – 60% during the summers and the best ways you can keep humidity down in your home or workplace is to do the following measures.

  • Install fans in your home as this helps with air circulation and dries out any wet areas.
  • Place a few drops of tea tree oil on a cotton ball and place in each and every one of your vents as tea tree kills any mold particles
  • Let plenty of sun through by opening your curtains/blinds/or any other drapery as this will also dry out any wet or damp areas.
  • Lastly you can purchase a de-humidifier and place in any room that you find moist to remove any excess moisture in the air

Next time if you find yourself congested, sneezing or any other symptoms it may not be a cold but mold spores so inquire about mold testing to promote a comfortable work area especially living space.

Nevertheless, this beautiful Sunshine State is always shining, vibrant and most of all does not require ANY snow plowing. Our culture is similar to the rest of America but as a coastal state.  It’s been influenced by immigrant populations such as myself who come from Europe and Latin America which I’m sure you will call home once you take the plunge as we welcome you.

 

 

 

 

Joanna Heath
Joanna Heath
Joanna Heath is a diverse actor & model currently residing in Florida

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