26 Things That Happen When You Leave California

It's the place where you can outdoor wine taste year-round, ogle artwork beyond the walls of a museum and swim among sharks without getting hurt. In short, it's kind of heaven on Earth.

No wonder so many painful transitions occur when you leave California.

1. It's no longer possible to casually jaywalk -- the cars can and WILL run you over.

2. Your burrito no longer comes with fries inside it.

3. Avocados start tasting like either water or flavorless rocks.

4. You get all mesmerized by the fact that it's possible to drive to another state in less than eight hours.

5. You become the only person who knows what to do in an earthquake drill.
earthquake drill california

6. You're forced to eat burgers from places that aren't In-N-Out... and you feel like a horrible traitor for doing so.
shake shack

7. People still go out (and to school, and to work) when it's raining.

8. ...and the water at the beach feels positively Arctic.

9. But then in October, every plant turns SO BEAUTIFULLY ORANGE that you don't even care.

10. "The desert" now means the Sahara, not Palm Springs.

11. Hard liquor no longer gets its own aisle in the grocery store (in many unlucky places, at least).
spirits in grocery store

12. It's no longer possible to surf and ski in the same day.

13. The other humans don't understand when you tell them something was "gnarly" or that you're "stoked."

14. And you must explain that tsunami evacuation routes are real, actual things.
tsunami evacuation route california

15. You begin to forget that it's forbidden to say "Cali." You might even -- gasp! -- call it "Cali" in front of your new friends.

16. You must find other methods of self-validation, because nobody thinks you're cool for playing water polo anymore.

17. You have to buy your first coat.

18. You become shocked to learn that in high school and college, most people walked to class, ate lunch, and visited their lockers inside.

19. When someone says "blondie," you turn around, because you're the only one they could be referring to.

20. You wonder why the traffic people on the news don't use the word "sig alert" to describe freeway backups (or why people don't use the word "freeway" in general).
los angeles traffic

21. You can make up all kinds of stories about how you "surf all the time at home," and it's totally chill because nobody here has ever surfed anyway.

22. You discover the pains -- and joys -- of public transit.

23. You become expert at finding ways to drop being from California into conversation, because it gives you instant street cred.

24. It's no longer trendy to grocery shop in Lululemons and a sporty tank. Regular clothing is required.

25. Every song about California becomes, like, your personal anthem.

26. You realize you will never, ever find a chicken and waffles mashup as perfectly executed as Roscoe's. And THAT, my friends, is the saddest thing.
roscoes waffles

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