There’s nothing like an in-state vacation here in Michigan, but most of us enjoy a journey away from home every once in a while. While every destination and traveler is unique, there are a few thoughts that strike most Michiganders during out-of-state travels. Here are twelve of our favorites.
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1. "What is this ‘soda’ you speak of?"
If you leave the Midwest, we can’t promise that people will understand what you mean when you ask for "pop." We know, we know — to each his own — but when it comes to our beloved pop, we aren’t going to budge on its name! "Soda" just doesn’t sound right.
2. "So THIS is what it feels like to drive on something other than potholes."
We never said life in Michigan was perfect, and our state’s abundance of potholes is a prime example of this fact. When Michiganders venture out of the state, it can be a pleasant surprise to experience the smoother pavement of other regions.
3. "Why aren’t people waving back at me?"
Michigan friendliness is real. If you’re a Michigander traveling through New York City, California, or some other non-Midwestern locale, you might find yourself a bit confused when strangers don’t immediately take to your friendly demeanor. Don’t let that stop you from smiling, though: a little kindness never hurt anyone!
4. "How am I supposed to make a Meijer run without a Meijer?"
We Michiganders have a strange dependence on Meijer. There’s just something about those familiar products, that distinctive layout, and that convenient 24-hour availability. While other grocery stores are typically easy to find while traveling, there’s nothing quite like a "Meijer run."
5. "My stomach hurts. Where’s the Vernors?"
When a Michigander feels sick, there’s no better medicine than a sip of Vernors ginger ale. Our bodies crave the soothing taste of Vernors when we find ourselves with a bout of nausea, and it can be difficult to satisfy this need while traveling outside of Michigan.
6. "I miss the lake."
If you’re traveling through an inland state with no access to the water, it’s easy to feel a bit trapped. We Michiganders are deeply connected to our Great Lakes, and it’s nearly impossible not to miss the waterfront during our out-of-state getaways.
7. "Saltwater has nothing on freshwater."
Perhaps you’re visiting one of our country’s gorgeous ocean coastlines. Sure, these massive bodies of water offer a distinct beauty and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the water, but there’s just nothing like swimming in a freshwater lake. Michiganders are accustomed to swimming in shark-free waters with no sticky, salty residue after — and we’ll always prefer it to the ocean.
8. "I can’t believe I saw a Pure Michigan commercial here!"
There’s no better feeling than seeing a Pure Michigan commercial or advertisement hundreds of miles from home. From the East Coast to the Pacific Northwest, you might be surprised at how extensive our state’s tourism campaign is — and we Michiganders are always thrilled to be reminded of home during our travels.
9. "Why are people giving me directions in miles instead of minutes?"
It turns out that many non-Michiganders offer up directions based on mileage instead of driving time. Here in the Great Lakes State, we’ll typically tell you that it’s "about ten minutes away." So it can be a bit confusing to adjust to a statement like, "It’s about fifteen miles down the road." Sigh.
10. "I can’t make a Michigan Left here?!"
We’re well aware that each state has its own driving rules and habits, but sometimes we just long for the ability to make a Michigan Left! Don’t worry, we’ll obey your state’s traffic laws: but we’ll be glad to return home and use our favorite turning techniques once again.
11. "Which station is the Tigers game on?"
This can also be applied to Lions, Pistons, or Red Wings games. Whether you’re searching the channels on a hotel television or switching through the radio stations in your car, nothing is more frustrating than realizing that your favorite sporting event might not be available when you’re traveling far from Michigan.
12. "This state is pretty… but it’s not MICHIGAN pretty."
Don’t get us wrong: we Michiganders are proud to be part of a vast and gorgeous country. We’re thrilled when we’re able to explore new regions of the United States, and some of us have even relocated to these areas. But at the end of the day, nothing beats the beauty of Michigan — and we’ll always be grateful to return home.
What did we forget? Are there any other undeniable thoughts you and your loved ones experience while traveling out of Michigan? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.