16 Things You’ll Miss About Living In The South When You Move Away

16 Things You’ll Miss About Living In The South When You Move Away

There’s something special about life below the Mason-Dixon line. Even confirmed Northerners who relocate to the South often find themselves falling in love with aspects of Southern living they never anticipated. If you’re considering a move, be prepared – you might just find yourself longing for these things once you’re gone.

1. That sweet Southern drawl

woman playing guitar sitting outside

Whether it’s a gentle Georgia drawl or a sassy Texan twang, there’s a charm to the Southern accent. The slower pace of speech, those stretched-out vowels… it’s like a warm sonic hug. Even if you mocked it at first, after living there, hearing that familiar accent will evoke a sense of comfort and nostalgia. We’re not making it up, either — the Southern accent has repeatedly topped the list of most attractive accents, TODAY reveals. There’s clearly something to it!

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2. The true definition of hospitality

family having dinner around the tableiStock

Southerners take hospitality to another level. Neighbors welcoming you with a homemade pie, near-strangers offering you a place to stay if your car breaks down – the warmth is genuine! Whether it’s sweet tea on the porch or an invitation to a community fish fry, you’ll feel welcomed and cared for in a way that’s increasingly rare in other regions.

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3. Fried chicken so good it makes you question your life choices

Bearded hipster in a plaid shirt with pointy mustache eating a chicken wing.

Sure, you can get fried chicken up North, but it’ll never hold a candle to the real deal — that’s not a Southern stereotype, it’s the real deal. A perfectly seasoned, crispy-skinned basket of Southern fried chicken, with proper sides like creamy mashed potatoes or collard greens… it’s a revelation! One bite, and you’ll realize your previous life was tragically devoid of authentic fried poultry perfection.

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4. The slower pace of life

The South has a way of gently encouraging you to slow down and savor the moment. It seeps into you – the unhurried conversations, the sweet tea sipped on the porch swing, the importance of front porch sittin’ as a legitimate pastime. Up North, you’ll miss that relaxed pace and the reminder that there’s more to life than rushing from one thing to the next.

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5. Sweet tea being available everywhere

Northerners might initially find this sugary concoction bizarre. But sweet tea grows on you fast! Its omnipresence – restaurants, gas stations, heck, even people’s fridges – is just part of the Southern experience. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself judging every restaurant based on whether their tea hits the spot and craving it during those bleak, ice-tea-deficient months after you move away.

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6. “Yes, ma’am” and “no, sir” becoming part of your vocabulary

Respect for elders is deeply ingrained in Southern culture. Even if you initially found those “ma’ams” and “sirs” a little over the top, it starts to rub off on you. There’s something endearing about those old-fashioned manners and the sense of courtesy they foster within a community. You’ll likely find yourself using them without even realizing it once you’re back up North.

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7. Experiencing all four seasons (and we mean real seasons)

Three quarter length of a young redhead man standing in his kitchen on a morning, he is holding a cup of herbal tea and looking out the window at his home in County Durham, England. He's wearing a casual top and shorts. Video also available for this scenario.

If you’re used to places where seasons are just a slight variation in temperature, prepare to be charmed by the South’s distinct rhythms. Flaming red and gold foliage in autumn, actual snowfall in winter, the explosion of blooms after a gentle spring, and long, sun-drenched summers that finally explain what everyone’s fussing about.

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8. The art of storytelling that turns even a trip to the grocery store into an epic tale

Southerners can spin a yarn unlike anyone else. A mundane story becomes a hilarious and captivating saga, full of colorful characters and unexpected twists. Their ability to see the extraordinary in the ordinary and embellish it just a tad will have you laughing, enthralled, and eventually craving that specific brand of engagingly long-winded storytelling you didn’t even know you appreciated.

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9. Biscuits — fluffy, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits

man and woman having lunch outside

Southerners take their biscuits seriously. Whether smothered in sausage gravy, dripping with honey, or the perfect vessel for fried chicken, these heavenly baked goods are practically a Southern food group. Up North, you’ll find yourself scouring menus in vain for those pillowy bundles of joy, never quite encountering anything that measures up.

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10. The unique language filled with colorful phrases

“Bless your heart,” “fixin’ to,” “prettier than a peach” – the South has its own quirky lexicon. Initially, it might sound like a foreign language, but these expressions grow on you, adding warmth and whimsy to everyday conversation. You’ll find yourself randomly dropping a “y’all” or two after moving, much to the bewilderment of those around you.

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11. Small-town charm where everybody knows your name

Cities are exciting, but there’s something heartwarming about living in a place where the grocery store cashier knows your regular order or the gas station attendant asks about your family. That sense of community and belonging can be hard to replicate in big, impersonal cities, leaving you unexpectedly nostalgic for the familiar faces of your Southern home.

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12. The way a summer thunderstorm feels like a spectacular event

Northern storms can be fierce, but there’s something special about a Southern thunderstorm. The dramatic buildup, the hot air sliced open by flashes of lightning, and the torrential downpour refreshing the thick summer air…it’s a thrilling multi-sensory experience you’ll miss when relocated somewhere with less theatrical weather patterns.

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13. Porches that are actually used

Front porches in the South aren’t just decorative, they’re an extension of the home. Whether it’s rocking chairs, porch swings, or sprawling screened-in porches, there’s an art to porch life – iced tea in hand, catching up with neighbors, or just watching the world go by. You might initially balk at a house with a prominent porch, but soon realize what an ideal spot it is for relaxing and connecting.

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14. The almost overwhelming beauty of nature

From moss-draped live oaks to fields of wildflowers, the South boasts a lushness that takes your breath away, Southern Living shares. The vibrant azaleas blooming in spring, the fireflies twinkling on summer nights, the Spanish moss swaying in the gentle breeze — these are moments of natural beauty that will etch themselves onto your memory, reminding you of the South’s unique magic long after you’ve moved away.

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15. Knowing how to throw a proper party

Southerners have hospitality down to a fine art, and it shines brightest at their get-togethers. Barbecue spreads, crawfish boils, church potlucks – they’re not just about the food (although that’s excellent too). It’s the sense of relaxed celebration, the warmth of the crowd, the lingering till way past a decent hour just because you’re having too good a time to leave. Those gatherings set a standard that will make other parties seem a bit lackluster by comparison.

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16. College football as a near-religious experience

men watching american football on couch

Even if you weren’t a sports fanatic before, Southern college football has a way of converting you. The tailgating scene, the sea of fans decked out in team colors, the infectious energy on game day…it’s less about sports and more about a shared passion that unites entire communities. You might initially scoff at the obsession, but secretly miss that electrifying spirit somewhere deep down once you’re surrounded by people with a lukewarm appreciation for the pigskin.

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Jeff graduated from NYU with a degree in Political Science and moved to Australia for a year before eventually settling back in Brooklyn with his yellow lab, Sunny, and his girlfriend, Mia. He works in IT during the day and writes at night. In the future, he hopes to publish his own novel.
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