Recently my intern, Jess Adducci, sat me down and confessed to me that she’s really struggled with her relationship with the state of Florida. I enjoyed her story so much that I asked her to write it all down as a blog. Enjoy her journey!
When I visited Orlando 10 years ago, I distinctly remember saying, “I could totally live here.” Of course, I was on vacation. When I moved to Orlando three years ago, I quickly realized that living in Florida is an entirely different story. It’s hot. All the time. It’s buggy. Orlando’s sort of sprawling so it takes awhile to get anywhere.
See, I’m from a small town outside of Memphis, TN. Everything important is a 10 minute drive away. There’s a public park within walking distance from my house. And if I wanted to get out into nature, I’d drive 15 minutes to a nearby lake and forest.
So Florida and I? We didn’t really become fast friends. I spent the first two years of my time here scrambling to get away from this state as quickly as possible. And it wasn’t a secret. A much repeated rant in my verbal ramblings was, “I hate Florida. Why would I want to live in state where everything’s trying to kill me?”
Then I got a production assistant gig and met a crazy film crew at Cape Canaveral National Seashore. They were with some show, how to Do florida, and we spent the day talking about everything there is to… well,do… in Florida. They took me to a great local restaurant and left me with a greater appreciation for the state.
When how to Do florida advertised for an internship position, I was hesitant. Florida and I had become uneasy acquaintances, but still nothing near friends. And now I was going to try and get with a TV show that does nothing but sing the accolades of the state of Florida? What if they found out how much I actually don’t like Florida? Then I noticed the description on the “Learn Florida” page on their website.
“This land is your land. This land is my land. And it’s a very flat land that is prone to hurricanes, lightning storms, shark and alligator attacks and everybody’s favorite: fire ants. Despite this, every year people flock to Florida and take up residency. Florida carries with it a hint of danger that gives the state a wild and untamed reputation to the outsider.”
It hooked me. I could tell… they see the good, the bad, and the ugly. They see the real Florida.
In my continued adventures with Chad Crawford and his dedicated film crew, I’ve met the kindest people, experienced adventures I never would have tried (within two weeks I had been on my first paddleboard and in my first canoe), and seen a side of Florida I never would have seen.
There’s a lot more to this state than I ever imagined. Beautiful, wild adventure unlike anywhere else. I suppose I’ll put up with the tourists and traffic awhile longer. Just send me on another exciting adventure with how to Do florida, and it’ll be worth it.