5 Differences I Noticed After Moving From Massachusetts to Florida

These two states could not be more opposite.

Nicole Kenney

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Photo by Lance Asper on Unsplash

Last month, I packed up my car with my boyfriend and started the 1,300-mile trek to the happiest place on Earth: Disney World. Now here’s the catch, I wasn’t driving to Disney to go on vacation, but instead to work here.

I enrolled in the Disney College Program in January 2023, a program facilitated by Disney that gives college students and recent grads the chance to work at the resort in a variety of roles across their theme parks and hotels.

Since I graduated last spring with no prospective opportunities in sight, I decided to take the plunge and work for a cartoon mouse.

While the Walt Disney World Resort can be considered to be in its own “bubble” in Florida, there is still an exorbitant amount of differences that have left me in a bit of a culture shock.

That being said, these are some of the biggest differences I’ve noticed after moving from way up north to way down south.

1. Traffic Lights Last Longer

I spent many mornings hurrying around my apartment to make it to work on time. While my job was only a 12-minute commute, it somehow still took me up to 30 minutes some days to get there. And this was solely because of the traffic lights.

The green lights are long, but the red lights are longer.

Due to the traffic infrastructure in Florida, many of the main roads off the highway still very much feel like a highway. The roads can have three, four, or sometimes up to five lanes of traffic going one way. Since there are more cars that have to travel through these intersections, the lights take much longer to switch off.

2. Plastic Galore

In recent years in Massachusetts, 159 towns and cities have banned plastic bags in stores. But in Florida, almost no changes have been made.

Grocery stores, and stores in general, still distribute plastic bags to consumers. And while the difference between carrying a paper or a plastic bag doesn’t bother me, it seems unnecessary at times.

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Nicole Kenney

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