39 Signs You’re a Californian at Heart
No matter where you live, your home state probably has a trademark or two. That special something that gives it flavor. It's hard to know exactly where you'll fit best, but if you like great weather, delicious Mexican food and epic ocean views, you might secretly be a Californian.
But before you book a one-way flight to Los Angeles or San Francisco, check out the signs that define the residents of this state.
You Get That SoCal and NorCal Are Basically Two Different States
To start us off, we want to address the fact that California's huge — so much so that Southern California and Northern California are quite different in terms of culture, climate and terrain. You won't find the massive redwoods of the north in the Los Angeles area in the same way you won't get the deserty Joshua Tree vibe up in the San Francisco Bay.
That said, there are still a lot of similarities between the two that define what it means to be a Californian.
And That Vastness Means You Can't Live Without Options
When It Comes to the Word "Cali," You Have Thoughts
Reddit user 211logos posted this a few years back, getting 240 upvotes and 58 replies, including one that said, "I hate 'Cali' with a passion. It just rubs me wrong."
Alright, we get it.
You Value Diversity
California is known for palm trees, sandy beaches, a Mediterranean climate and diversity. They're proud of all of those things, but that last one especially. Having people from so many cultures in one state means that Californians get to appreciate all of the unique qualities of each.
The best part? All the hole-in-the-wall restaurants with mind-blowing, authentic food from around the world.
Being Far Away From the Ocean Feels Claustrophobic
When you've lived by the ocean your entire life, the thought of not being near water gives you unspecified anxiety.
The feeling of being landlocked is something that Californians just can't get past.
You Have an Accent, but You Don’t Know You Have One
If you've seen the movie "Clueless" or any surfer film, you know what we're talking about.
You Adore Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods If You Have Money to Burn
Aldi's is still new to SoCal, and Trader Joe's is amazing anyway. Why would anyone go anywhere else?
That is unless you want to spend $30 on fancy vegan cheese at Whole Foods.
You Either Work Remotely or Don’t Mind a Long Commute
There's a running joke that it takes an hour to get to L.A. from L.A. Unfortunately, it's not a joke.
Same goes with San Francisco Bay Area traffic.
Frequenting Small, Family-Owned Businesses Is Your Thing
"Buying local" is definitely a popular idea in California, especially in the Bay Area.
In fact, San Francisco has one of the highest revenue growth rates for small businesses across the U.S.
You Know It’s Not I-405, It’s "The" 405
Californian drivers are known for one particular quirk: saying "the" before freeway names. They don't take I-91, they take the 91. There's a perfectly good reason for this.
Originally, the freeways had full names, like "the Redondo Beach Freeway." When the names were replaced with numbers, the habit of saying "the" at the beginning stuck.
You Know How to Surf, Snowboard and Skateboard
Maybe you can't do all three, but most Californians can do at least one.
(Or they've certainly tried.)
Your Idea of Business Casual Is Extra Casual
In NorCal, it's that classic tech look — skinny jeans, T-shirt and some very overpriced sneakers.
In SoCal, it's shorts and flip-flops. In fact...
You Wear Flip-Flops Everywhere
This is for those specifically from SoCal. But, why wouldn't you wear flip-flops consistently when it's 70 degrees Fahrenheit most of the time?
Plus, they're super convenient.
At the Risk of Offending the 'PC Police,' You Don't Believe 'Man,' 'Guys,' 'Bro' and 'Dude' Are Gendered Terms
See these two people? They are both dude. The skateboards they're on? Also dude. When I stubbed my toe this morning, guess what the coffee table was called? Dude. (A few other things, too, but dude was definitely in there.)
California culture is pretty chill, and everything and anything can be called bro or dude.
If You Have To Deal With a Natural Disaster, Earthquakes Would Be Your First Pick
You Know Better Than to Ask for a Ride to the Airport
Navigating the maze that is LAX or SFO is a nightmare.
If someone volunteers to pick you up, propose to them on the spot. They're the real deal.
'20 Minutes Away' Is Your Default Way of Explaining Distance
Riding the Bus Is a Foreign Concept
Of course, California has buses, but in Los Angeles, public transportation is less reliable, so most people drive their own cars. Same goes for San Diego.
And in San Francisco, those that have to take the MUNI line do so begrudgingly.
You're Very Serious About Food, Especially When It Comes to Mexican Cuisine and In-N-Out
You Get Annoyed When People Think It's Never Cold
Do you see this? The blanket of wet, gray fog? This is called June gloom, and it covers up a large chunk of the California coast for at least a month in late spring to early summer. In San Francisco, it lasts into August.
During this time period, temperatures drop into the 50s and 60s, which is freezing by most Californians' standards.
In Fact, You Set Your Thermostat to a Balmy 74 Degrees
Any Amount of Snow Delights You to No End
Do you see that? That patch of white on the ground that's probably mostly ice? In California, that's considered snow, and it's thrilling.
Yes, there's the Sierra Nevada mountain range that Californians flock to for the snow, but snowy days can be inconsistent and unpredictable. If you're a California and see any form of snow, the excitement is undeniable.
You Consider a Half-Inch of Rain a Big Winter Storm
If You’ve Done Yoga or Ingested a Green Drink in the Past 24 Hours, You’re Probably a Californian
You Have Intense Loyalty to at Least One Sports Team
In Los Angeles, you're a fan of the Rams, the Kings, the Lakers or the Dodgers, and in the Bay Area, it's the 49ers, Warriors, Giants or A's. And then there are all the San Dieog, San Jose and Sacramento teams to root for as well.
Whichever area you're from, Californians are serious about their sports.
You’re Not Afraid to Tell People How Great California Is
You Know That Los Angeles Is Just an Umbrella Term
People from Los Angeles aren't really from Los Angeles. They're from Long Beach, Santa Monica, Hollywood Hills, the Arts District, Redondo Beach and dozens of other highly specific regions within LA County.
Each one has its own vibe. People just say they're from Los Angeles because it's a recognizable name.
And the Same Applies for San Francisco and San Diego
You Have Friends in the Performing Arts...
Admittedly, if you dream of becoming an actor, Hollywood is the place to be. With that in mind, it's super common for people who grew up in the area to attend performing arts schools or pursue a career in film or television.
It's also very common for people to work as extras on movie sets just for some extra cash.
...Or the Tech Industry
Of course, in San Francisco, tech's the name of the game. Silicon Valley is home to Apple and Facebook and the thousands of startups trying to compete.
You really can't walk 5 feet without running into someone who works in tech, so if you live in NorCal or are from here, you're guaranteed to have a least a few friends in the industry.
Activewear Is Your Uniform for Life
If you consider leggings normal attire for not just working out but also going to the grocery store, meeting with your accountant and grabbing lunch with a friend, then congrats: You're an honorary Californian.
You Either Love Disneyland or Have Only Been Their Twice
There are seriously only two options here. Either you own an annual pass or don't care for it all that much.
The lines can get pretty intense, after all, and there are so many other things to do in California.
You Know the Best Camping Spots
California is the definition of nature's playgrounds, with hiking and camping options aplenty.
Whether you're heading to Lake Tahoe or Joshua's Tree, there's always a camping spot to be found that truly does allow you to escape the hustle and bustle of California's urban areas. And you'll only let a few special people know about "your" spot for this very reason.
Music Festivals and Unique Experiences Are a Staple of Your Summers
Coachella is a big deal in California, along with Outside Lands and countless other music-centered events. And Burning Man is basically a way of life in the Bay Area.
Summertime also brings rooftop movies, drive-in movies, concerts in the park and a number of pop-up museums.
You Love a Good Sunset and Know What the "Green Flash" Is
If you're extra lucky, you'll see the "Green Flash" right at the moment that the last bit of sun falls on the horizon.
It's considered good luck, and you'll hear some people cheering on the beach if they spot it.
You Own a Bike
Most people in SoCal have a bike rack on their cars and periodically haul their bike to the beach to ride along the strand, but it's certainly not a mode of transportation with all that traffic to wade through.
But in NorCal, bike culture is so strong that there are traffic lanes dedicated to them throughout San Francisco and Oakland. Plus, there are coffee shops and pubs dedicated to those living that bike lifestyle.
Whether or Not You're a Vegetarian, You Know Some Good Recipes for Your Guests Who Are
It sounds like a stereotype, but there are a lot of health-conscious Californians.
Almost everyone has some sort of diet restriction, whether they're vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free — you get it. Even if you don't have one, you better believe you better have some accommodating recipes to whip up the next time you have guests.
You Routinely Question Whether the Cost of Living Is Worth It
To move or not to move? That is the question on every Californian's mind, even though it's typically a fleeting thought.
Sure, the cost of living is steep, but what would they do without all the great things that have kept them living here?
In Fact, You're Not Sure How You'd Live Without Beach Days