Wisconsin September 30, 2017
13 Things Longtime Wisconsinites Wish They Could Tell Newcomers
We all already know that Wisconsin is awesome and we love living here. If you’ve lived here for any length of time, you’ve got a wealth of knowledge on the uniqueness of life in Wisconsin that would definitely be of help to newcomers – or that you wish someone told you before you grew up here.
Here are 13 things folks new to the state should know:
1. There's more to Wisconsin than Milwaukee (and Madison).
Sure, they're the two biggest cities, but there's miles and miles of awesomeness in the northern and western parts of the state if you just get out and explore them.
2. Pace yourself.
We make a lot of beer. Like a lot. More than you can really comprehend, honestly. We do brewery tours and peddle taverns and even paddle taverns. Don't be like a newly-minted 21-year-old and go wild. Pace yourself. It'll all still be there tomorrow.
3. You're going to fall in love with the Great Lakes.
Folks not from the area don't really know how to comprehend the Great Lakes. These aren't just any other lake and having access to them is a huge privilege that you shouldn't take for granted.
4. Learn how to drive in snow.
Despite the fact that it snows here for what feels like half the year, too many Wisconsinites seem to forget everything they learned in driver's education the moment the white stuff flies. Learn how your breaks react, keep your trunk full of all kinds of emergency supplies and leave yourself plenty of time to get where you're going. And remember that driving super slow can be as dangerous as speeding.
5. The Packers reign supreme.
Head outside or to the store on a fall Sunday afternoon and you might think you missed the Apocolypse for how empty everything. No worries, it's just the Packers playing. Packer gear in church, pre-empting literally everything on TV and planning your life around their schedule are all standard practice. You get used to it.
6. Yes, the cheese really is that good and you're about to be ruined for life.
Out-of-towners always like to think that the cheese can't be that good. They're wrong. You'll get used to getting better cheese from the gas station than most people have access to anywhere.
7. We're more than just farmland.
There's actually a ton of fascinating geography, geology and history in our landscapes and you should take the time to learn and explore them.
8. But even if we were just farmland, who cares? It's beautiful!
There's something soothing and comforting about driving through farmland and I swear you'll get used to the unique smell of dairy air!
9. And all that farmland gives us access to a huge variety of fresh produce, fresh dairy and fresh meat.
Honestly, people sleep on it, but we eat so, so well here.
10. The weather is kind of awful and super unpredicatable.
They warn you about the snow and the cold. It's Wisconsin, you know what you're getting yourself into. But no one talks about how it's often as hot and humid here as it is in the South. We suffer through both extremes and it's frankly rather unfair. Also take a sweatshirt or a jacket with you in spring, summer and fall and always take enough clothes to survive a blizzard in the winter.
11. Summers are spectacular.
Even though I complain about the humidity, summer in Wisconsin is a special, magical time filled with festivals, trips to the lake or cabin and basically enjoying every waking minute of our few months of reprieve.
12. There's always construction.
The projects last for years and by the time they finish up they just go back and start over again. Snow and salt are rough on the roads and we've got limited warm weather to deal with. Construction is a season and you'll learn to hate it along with the rest of us.
13. We're happy you're here!
Welcome to Wisconsin - it's a bit like being in a secret club where we have really great food and drink and aren't overcrowded because the "cool folks" think they're better than us.
What do you thing, longtime Wisconsinites? What would you like newcomers to know when they first move here? Add to the list by sharing your advice in the comments!