How Not to Look Like an Outsider in Florida

There are certain things you should know about Floridians before you go to Florida.

First, let's define "Floridian."

A Floridian is someone who actually lives in Florida year round. People who live in Florida only in the winter are called snowbirds.

A Floridian is someone who moved to Florida before they turned sixty. If you move there after 60, you can own property, have a Florida drivers licence, and be a permanent resident, but you are NOT a Floridian. You are a retiree.

Magda from Something about Mary lived in Miami but was NOT a Floridian!

If you are under 60 and you moved to Florida because you made a ton of money, say, being a pro golfer, basketball player, or selling your book, and you want to avoid state income taxes, you are only a Floridian if you actually live in that big mansion in the gated community.

A person who was born and raised in Florida, but now lives elsewhere, is definitely a Floridian.

Every area of the country has its own way to identify the non-natives from the natives. New Yorkers can spot a local from a tourist in a New York minute. It's not just the way they hail a cab or cross the street, it's a certain attitude unique to New Yorkers.

Floridians are the same way. There are subtle ways to spot a true Floridian.

Here are three basic rules on how NOT to stand out as an outsider in Florida.

Best Travel Beauty Items

When I tell women that I always travel with just a carry-on, the first question they ask is, "What about all of your cosmetics?" I even had a husband tell me that if his wife was only allowed a carry-on, she would leave her clothes at home and fill the bag with beauty items!

This is the one area where I constantly have to use self restraint. Because beauty items are small, I'm always tempted to throw in "one more thing." I have to remind myself that unless I am going to a remote third world country, any place I go will have beauty items I can buy there. And it's so much fun to come home with special items that I find in another country!

I also had to come to the realization that traveling is about what you see, not about who sees YOU. Do you really want to spend an extra half hour attending to your makeup in the morning or do you want to see the Eiffel Tower?

Here are the basics that I always bring when I travel: (nothing larger than 3 oz, of course!)

What to Take On the Plane for an Overseas Flight

I travel a lot, and because I am obsessive about taking exactly the right things (but not too much!), many people ask me what I take on an overseas flight. I am a Carry-on Only kind of girl, so my carry-on is reserved for my clothes and the things I don't need to have readily available to me on the plane. The things I want to use during the flight go into a small, lightweight backpack that fits under my seat. My tiny travel purse fits inside, so I comply with the rule of only two allowable items on the plane, a carry-on and a personal item.

Here is the list of my "on the plane" must haves:

Trip Report: Milan, Venice, The Dolomites, and Lakes Garda, Como and Maggiore

We were two “over forty” friends who planned to see Northern Italy-Milan, Venice, the Dolomites, the Lakes Garda, Como, and Maggiore-over 15 days in 2011. 

Trip Report: Rome, Orvieto, and Florence with Eight Women 2013

I planned this trip for many months. Eight women traveling to Italy-- Rome, Orvieto, and Florence-- for a total of 10 days (including travel days) May 9-19, 2013.