The hardest thing about defining a “Virginian” is coming up with just one thing. We are a diverse group with different regions, accents, traditions, and backgrounds – basically, we’re a crazy mix of a lot of different types and personalities. So, we’ve come up with a list of a few of the types you’re most likely to encounter here. Chances are, we all have a few or more of these things in our make-up, but I’d be surprised if you didn’t find yourself in at least one of these categories…
1. The Southern Belle
She’s always polite, she’s proper, and she’s as sweet as the tea she drinks. But be careful, she knows how to put you in your place with a smile and an “Oh honey. Bless your heart.”
2. The Virginia Gentleman
His mama taught him right. He opens the door for a lady, knows his manners, and can make a mean mint julep. He’s proud of his heritage and loves God, family, and country.
3. The Good Ol’ Boy...
You’re just as likely to find him hunting as you are to find him fishing. He wears camo because he likes it and his tastes are simple. But don’t be fooled, he’s a smart cookie and knows what he wants and is happy exactly where he is.
4. ...And Girl
She can drive a 4-wheeler better than most people can drive a car. She can shoot a can off a fence from 50-paces and clean a fish in 2 minutes flat. She’s not one you want to mess with, but definitely one you want to have on your side. She’s loyal to the ones she loves and her heart is as big as her truck.
5. The Outdoors(wo)man
There’s no mountain they can’t climb and no trail they haven’t explored. These folks can be found at the nearest REI or Blue Ridge Mountain Sports on any given weekend – but only long enough to stock up before getting back out there. Winter weather? No worries. That’s why they make sleeping bags with 20°F ratings – and lower.
6. The Runner (biker, swimmer, etc.)
When the rest of us are sitting on the couch on a Saturday morning trying to decide if our pajamas look enough like “real” clothes to go for a snack run, these guys are actually running. They’re always training for something and pushing themselves to beat their PR. They can be found behind jog strollers, on every trail and sidewalk, and in any weather. Their dedication is inspiring – and exhausting!
7. The Hippie
Tucked away in artsy little towns in the mountains like Floyd and Crozet or in cities like Richmond and regions like the Tidewater, these non-conformists aren’t afraid to do things their own way. They stay off the grid and live off the land as much as they can. They question the status quo and know that life’s too short to be stressed about the media. Stand up for what you believe and the rest will work itself out.
8. The Young Professional
Ok, we know it’s really called “yuppie”, but that sounds so negative. These young urban professionals work hard and play hard. They know that their role in the future is an important one and want to be at the heart of it all. Found in cities and suburbs, these folks keep the economy moving and the Volvo dealers in business.
9. The Prep
They wear the right clothes and went to the right school. I’m not pointing fingers, but you know who you are. No shame in looking sharp, these Virginians enjoy the finer things in life. They get a bad rap sometimes, but hey, love who you are and look good doing it!
10. The Festival Goer
These folks keep a tent in the back of their hybrid car – right next to the bongos and festival tent. They know the festival season like the back of their hand and all the tricks to making a weekend of music and friends.
11. The Transplant
They may not be native to Virginia – maybe they came for work, military, or family reasons, but they’ve come to love the state like their own. They embrace the history and traditions and love to get out and explore. In short, they make the most of it and help us to see all that we sometimes take for granted.
12. The Politico
You don’t live this close to the nation’s capital, or have a government as old as ours, without the people who make it run. These are the folks that get out there and campaign, know the facts, and work from the ground up to keep the system running. Virginians love their politics and while it may make for some heated dinner party conversation, we are lucky to have so many people that care about change.
13. The Secret Agent Man (and woman)
With military installments all over the state, the CIA and FBI headquarters, and a few places that I could tell you about but then I would have to kill you, we’ve got no shortage of secrets in the workplace. You probably know a few of these folks yourself – or maybe you know them, but didn’t know that you knew them. Hmmm.
14. The History Buff
Virginia is a living history state if ever there’s been one. The history buffs are the ones that keep it alive as re-enactors, tour guides, educators, and historical society movers and shakers. They’re the ones that remind us of just how amazing our state is from past to present.
15. The Organic Foodie
The farm-to-table innovators, the organic farmers, and the ones that keep farmers’ markets going in every town, city, and community. They believe that we are what we eat and we know how to make the most of the land. They help organize community and school gardens and teach us all about how much our native soil can provide.
16. The Artist
From muralists, sculptors, and painters to potters, glassblowers, and photgraphers, Virginia is full of breathtaking artwork. Thanks to the creative minds and talented hands of our artists, we have amazing artwork in every city and community around the state. These people have a gift to share with the world and I am grateful that they share it so freely!
17. The Technical Guru
With the majority of the world’s internet traffic rolling through Northern Virginia, they are the guys (and girls!) who keep it moving. The techies are a vital part of the economy and their genius is what keeps us connected. I may not understand what it is that they do, but I am certainly glad they do it!
18. The Music Junkies
Bluegrass, county, alt, and indie – the Virginia music scene is second to none. From hometown festivals to large venues, we have it all and the music junkies don’t miss a show. While the rest of us collect CDs and MP3s, they collect ticket stubs.
19. The Beach Bum (and I mean that as a compliment)
They always have sand in their shoes (when they’re wearing them) and they know it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere. With saltwater in their veins, there’s no where they’d rather be than on the Virginia shore – surf, sand, and sun isn’t just a way of life, it’s a state of mind.
20. The Hipster
Fans of the urban centers, these cool cats can also be found in your funkier small towns. They drink PBR with pride, read Vonnegut, rock the beard like a champ, wear retro with just the right touch of irony, and remind us of when we, too, were young and hip.
21. The Salt of the Earth
This is my personal favorite and the one that I think encompasses more people in Virginia than any other. These are the ones that have never met a stranger. The ones that will lend a helping hand any time you need it and always have a kind word. They are friendly, they are kind, they put their family first – and when you are a friend, you are family. These are the Virginians I know the best.
So…what type of Virginian are you? If we’ve missed your niche, be sure to tell us in the comments below!