No matter how far you venture from the Great Lakes States, there are several habits that just seem to stick. Whether you’ve relocated across the country or moved all the way across the world, it’s nearly impossible to ignore your Michigan roots. Here are 11 traits that prove you can take the Michigander out of Michigan, but you can never take Michigan out of the Michigander.
1. Using hands instead of actual maps.
You know the drill: someone asks you where you're from and you immediately point to a spot on your hand that designates your hometown. I mean, we’re pretty lucky to have a hand-shaped state! Even if you’re among out-of-state friends who will give you strange looks, it’s difficult to shake this habit.
2. Reaching for Vernors when a stomachache strikes.
Every true Michigander knows that there’s nothing better than Vernors ginger ale when a bout of nausea arises. We’re sure Pepto Bismol works for some, but we’ll always crave our favorite fizzy drink when we want to soothe our stomachs.
3. Feeling drawn toward the water.
Even if you’ve relocated to a landlocked state, you’ll never be able to rid yourself of the desire to be near Michigan’s Great Lakes. Whether your favorite beaches sit along Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, or Lake Superior, there’s certainly a spot in your home state that sticks with you no matter how far you stray.
4. Giving directions in minutes, not miles.
In most places, directions to a destination are provided in miles and not minutes. Here in Michigan, though, we often advise travelers to venture "ten minutes down the road." If you offer directions in this format outside of Michigan, though, you might get a few funny looks! But it’s yet another habit that we Michiganders stick by.
5. Ordering "pop" at every restaurant.
No matter how many times we say it, it remains true: that sweet, bubbly beverage is called pop! None of this "soda" stuff — and true Michiganders will find it nearly impossible to change their diction upon moving out of state.
6. Craving coney dogs, pasties, and Faygo.
You can place a Michigander in a city with all sorts of culinary delights, but you can never truly diminish those Michigan-centric cravings. Pasties, coney dogs, Faygo pop, Detroit-style pizza… the list continues. Even from thousands of miles away, Michigan-raised taste buds still long for the flavors of home.
7. Rooting for the Detroit Lions.
Perhaps you’ve moved to a city whose NFL team actually succeeds in reaching the Super Bowl from time to time. Well, good for that team — but a Michigander’s loyalty to the Lions is pretty tough to erase. The same goes for the Tigers, Red Wings, and Pistons… don’t even get us started on college sports teams!
8. Looking for "Michigan Left" turn lanes while driving.
If you learned to drive in the Great Lakes State, you likely grew accustomed to that classic "Michigan Left" that seems ever-present throughout the area. When you move to another part of the country, you might find yourself confused when these convenient turn lanes are nowhere to be found. Sigh. Life is hard.
9. Having an immediate negative reaction to any mention of Ohio.
Those of us who are lifelong Michiganders know that Ohio is simply the worst state ever. While much of this distaste is inspired by college football rivalries and shouldn’t necessarily be taken too seriously, there’s still a twinge of disgust whenever Ohio comes up in conversation. This habit is especially difficult to live with if you’re a Michigander who’s relocated to Ohio!
10. Always going out prepared for any sort of weather.
Perhaps you now live in a region of the world where the weather is predictable and steady. That doesn’t matter! We Michiganders are still quick to prepare for the ups and downs of weather here in the Great Lakes State. From snow in May to balmy days in the middle of January, we’ve seen it all — and we tend to dress in layers!
11. Longing for Michigan at least once per day.
No matter how far life takes you from the beautiful beaches and friendly faces of Michigan, it’s impossible to forget the place that made you who you are. We Michiganders are a proud bunch, and we’ll never lose sight of our roots. You can venture away from Michigan, but Michigan will certainly never leave you.
It’s your turn, fellow Michiganders: what are some unshakeable habits that you’ll never unlearn, no matter how far from home you venture? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.