10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Moving to Arizona

South Mountain, Phoenix AZ; Photo Credit: Doree Weller

South Mountain, Phoenix AZ; Photo Credit: Doree Weller

1.  Everything here wants to kill you.  Bugs, plant life, monsoons… everything.  Those cacti look cute and fuzzy, but they’re out to get you.  Scorpions are cool-looking, but pack an awful sting (though it probably won’t kill you).  Black widows and brown recluse spiders can cause some awful damage.  Everyone gets their home sprayed to kill bugs.

2.  No amount of lotion will keep your skin hydrated.  Learn to deal with it.  I’ve given up.

3.  Drink twice as much water as you think you want.  Seriously.  You’re always on the verge of dehydration here.

4.  The city would actually be a nice place to live.  It has more of a suburban than urban feel to it.  Especially in the older parts of town, it doesn’t look much like a city at all.

5.  No one knows anyone, and you won’t know your neighbors; everyone is from somewhere else.  I’ve had some neighbors try to be friendly, but it seems like everyone is always moving in and out.

6.  The sunsets are amazing.

7.  The hiking is great.

8.  The summers are HOT.  Yes, they’re dry, but nothing can prepare you for the take-your-breath-away heat.

9.  You can adjust to the heat.  Cover as much of your skin as possible, wear an undershirt in the summer (you sweat into it, which keeps you cooler), and drink more water than you think you possibly can hold.

10.  If you happen to find friends who are from Arizona, they will complain about having to drive more than 15 minutes to get anywhere.  I live 45 minutes away from everyone, and no one ever wants to visit.