1. The Great Lakes
It goes without saying that we Michiganders feel attached to our state’s gorgeous lakes. Whether you grew up along the shores of Lake Michigan or just a stone’s throw from Lake Superior, there’s something special about our freshwater wonderlands. No other body of water will ever compare.
2. Calling it "pop" without any weird looks
As soon as you venture outside of Michigan, you run the risk of being judged for your terminology of choice. Sure, here in Michigan, we can freely order "pop" at a restaurant without a second glance from the server. Ask for pop in New York, though, and you’ll be looked at like an alien.
3. Friendly waves
We’re not talking about waves at the beach! Here in Michigan, we take that "Midwestern niceness" pretty seriously. It’s not unusual to walk down the street of a small Michigan town and find yourself smiling at waving at perfect strangers every few seconds. This habit is a lot less common upon venturing far from home, which can be a bit jarring for Michiganders!
4. The freedom to bash Ohio State
Oh, Ohio State. Our distaste for you knows no bounds, and this sports-based hatred can even bring together Michigan and MSU fans. Unfortunately, when we relocate outside the Great Lakes State, OSU is just another college team. The worst-case scenario? Being forced to move to Ohio. Shudder!
5. Authentic coney dogs
Other locales can try to replicate them, but nothing beats an authentic Detroit coney dog from American or Lafayette. When that craving strikes, it’s difficult to fully satisfy it once you’ve moved out of Michigan -- and you might just find yourself driving all the way to the Motor City at dinnertime!
6. Familiar grocery stores
You certainly won’t find any Meijer stores on the west coast of the United States. While we Michiganders can adapt to new supermarkets if forced, nothing beats the familiarity of a Family Fare or other beloved shopping center. While some of our favorite stores can be found in other states, you’ll likely have to say goodbye to your Kroger Plus card upon moving far from Michigan.
7. The ability to go up north at a moment’s notice
If there’s one anti-stress coping mechanism that each and every Michigander adores, it’s heading up north. The phrase "up north" has a different meaning to each and every person, but its function is the same: to encourage togetherness and relaxation. Other states offer plenty of unique vacation destinations, but nothing compares to that fantastic family cottage.
8. Rooting for the underdog
There’s something painfully fun about being a Detroit Lions fan. This is not to say that we wouldn’t like to appear in a Super Bowl at some point, but we have to admit that we enjoy commiserating with our fellow Michiganders over the Lions’ many failures. When you move to a city whose team often takes home that championship trophy, you might just miss the days of the underdog.
9. Four seasons (in no particular order)
Sure, California’s year-long warmth and sunshine might sound appealing now, but there’s something special about fall and winter in the Great Lakes State. Of course, our four seasons can be a bit unpredictable (we’ve been known to experience snow in April), but you’ll find yourself longing for some weather variety after a year in a single-season climate.
10. Our state's natural splendor
There’s only one Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. While the world is overflowing with all sorts of gorgeous destinations, Michigan’s natural locales are some of the most uniquely beautiful in the universe. From Pictured Rocks to Kitch-iti-Kipi to Tahquamenon Falls, you’ll long for our peaceful outdoor attractions when you relocate.
11. Fellow Michiganders
At the end of the day, Michigan’s greatness comes from its people. After all, most of your family members and friends are from Michigan, and saying goodbye to them can be difficult. The good news, however, is that Michigan is always waiting to welcome you back with open arms -- no matter how far you stray.