Expectation vs. Reality: Living in Southern California

Hello loves! Wow, life has been seriously so hectic lately. Like, busier than I’ve been in a long time. On one hand, it feels so good to have a routine again and on the other, I’ve been simply exhausted and sore from being on my feet all day. I’ve also been applying and interviewing for lots of companies from graphic design to social media. Post grad life has truly been a whirl wind and a roller coaster to say the least, so I’m just trying to keep my head above water right now. It’s all good things, but it feels even better to sit down and write a blog post. So for today, I thought I’d do an expectation vs. reality post! Which I’ve never done before, but it will be completely California themed. I’ll be debunking all the myths about living in Southern California and confirming anything I believe to be true. Straight from the mind of a Californian!

Expectation: Let’s start with something that has taken LA, Orange County, and San Diego restaurants by storm. Californians eat avocado everyday, without fail. They are all OBSESSED with it! 

Reality: While avocados are delicious and good for your body, not all of us have fallen head over heels for the fruit. I’m a person who enjoys the occasional avocado toast (complete with an egg and salsa) but I’m actually slightly allergic to avocados. I know others who are from California who seem to have the same intolerance. I’m actually super bummed I have this issue, because they are filled with healthy fats for your bod. So unfortunately, not all of us Californians have an avocado addiction.

Expectation: Oh, you’re from California! Do you surf?? 

Reality: True and false! Well, probably mostly false, depending where you’re from. I grew up with most of my friends spending mornings or entire days at the beach surfing. Especially in the summer, the water is filled with surfers at my home beach. It’s something I love most about my city! However, if you’re asking someone who lives more inland, they might not have ever surfed in their life. Most of the state is not near an ocean, so most likely the majority of Californians will not label themselves as surfers. It is a very frequently asked question, but simply depends on who you’re asking.

Expectation: California can totally be shortened to “Cali.”

Reality: I’ll keep this one short and sweet. You will never ever hear a Californian say “Cali.” It is simply a big old nope for us, LOL.


Expectation: People from California always put the word “the” in front of freeway numbers.

Reality: Absolutely, undeniably true! I’m not exactly sure why we do this, but it would sound weird if you didn’t say this in California. Very frequently I end up saying, “I’m taking the 5” or, “You have to take the 405.” I take these freeways everywhere! Down to San Diego, to Los Angeles, and even to work everyday. It’s a part of life here in Southern California, and I don’t know what we’d do without the 5, 405, 101, or even the 73.

Expectation: In N Out is every Californian’s favorite fast food location! 

Reality: This is a definite myth for me. While many people come to California for the beaches, the sun, and In N Out, I’m actually not the biggest fan of the restaurant! I usually get their grilled cheese sandwich, once in a while with french fries or a chocolate shake. These are very rare occasions though. In N Out usually has an extremely long line, no matter what time of the day you’re going. While the food is by no means bad, its simply not the place I’d chose if I had to eat fast food. Personally, I’d way rather have Taco Bell! Anyone with me on that? I do love that In N Out  is a Christian company though; they have little Bible verses on the bottom of their cups! Check it out next time you drive through!

Expectation: California always gets hit by earthquakes, it’s so scary to live there! The state will break off the continent one day!

Reality: We definitely experience the occasional earthquake. I’ve lived through a few in my lifetime that have been a bit scary, knocking down ceiling tiles and small objects. I remember being in my English Honors class during high school, which was on the second story of the building. Everything shook and we experienced a rolling feeling. That’s another thing: there are many different types of earthquakes that are more damaging than others. Luckily, I’ve never lived through something extremely devastating and the aftershocks are usually not as bad. I don’t feel it’s a valid reason to not live here though, since earthquakes are pretty rare. While “The Big One” is set to happen some time in the future, I don’t think we should live our lives in fear of something we can’t control. If you move to SoCal and experience an earthquake, you will be totally fine!

I hope you guys enjoyed this little expectation vs. reality post! It was super fun to reflect on my life here in Southern California and debunk some stereotypes of Californians. I feel very lucky to have grown up here and it’s definitely where I want to raise a family one day. Let me know if there’s any other expectations about living in California you’re curious about, I’d love to answer more down in the comments! See you there!


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  1. DLT
    July 16, 2018 / 9:32 am

    You know I totally love this post! And I’m sooo glad you debunked the “Cali” myth! Every time I read that or hear someone say it, I cringe 🙉

    Really enjoy your blog 💕

    • July 16, 2018 / 12:55 pm

      hahaha omg the cringing is so real! thanks so much for stopping by and i’m glad you’re enjoying it!💕

  2. July 16, 2018 / 10:05 am

    This was a fun post to read. Thanks for sharing

    • July 16, 2018 / 12:55 pm

      thanks so much for reading!!

  3. July 16, 2018 / 6:05 pm

    My sister lived in Oceanside for a bit and absolutely loved it there! She said she wanted to learn how to surf, but didn’t end up staying long enough haha

    • July 16, 2018 / 9:13 pm

      oceanside is beautiful! not too far from where i grew up! surfing is super fun but definitely takes lots of practice to pick up!

  4. July 16, 2018 / 6:26 pm

    I love this post! I have always wanted to visit California and this is such a helpful little insight!

    • July 16, 2018 / 9:12 pm

      oh yay i’m glad it helped you out! it really is a special place but with lots of hilarious stereotypes😂

  5. July 17, 2018 / 10:23 am

    Hahaha this is so interesting to know! and wow In n Out is so freaking popular eh? Its always been this mystical unicorn for anyone outside of California but inside it too? That’s so cool.

    • July 17, 2018 / 3:37 pm

      haha yeah most people i know love in n out! personally i think there’s better fast food places. mcdonald’s fries are WAY better for example!

  6. July 19, 2018 / 1:06 pm

    This was such a fun post to read!! Definitely busted some misconceptions about California that I had xx

    • July 19, 2018 / 4:39 pm

      so happy you liked it!! it was super fun to write and reflect on where i live! lol

  7. July 20, 2018 / 6:23 pm

    Love, love, love this post! I’ve been traveling a lot to California for work and love seeing what a local has to say. I never realized the “the” for all the freeway numbers but now I can totally see it.

    xo Logan

    • July 22, 2018 / 9:29 am

      thank you so much! and yeah we definitely have our little quirks, lol. glad you enjoyed the post!

  8. July 21, 2018 / 7:42 am

    Enjoyed reading this post

    • July 22, 2018 / 9:28 am

      thanks so much!

  9. July 22, 2018 / 2:45 am

    This is such a good post idea! Would you mind if I did a similar one for where I live, as long as I link to your post? xx

    • July 22, 2018 / 9:26 am

      of course! i’m so happy you were inspired by it. I’d love to read your post, so let me know when its up!

  10. September 27, 2018 / 3:13 pm

    Love this! As a Huntington Beach girl, I couldn’t agree more!

    • September 29, 2018 / 4:27 pm

      So glad you agree! I was just in Huntington last night at the Bungalow!

      • September 29, 2018 / 5:08 pm

        Oh ya! That was my spot before I moved! Love it there.

        • September 29, 2018 / 5:08 pm

          it was such a unique place for sure!

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