Is living in the Florida Keys for you?
When people ask where we live and we tell them in the Keys it’s always met with statements like “you’re so lucky!” or “I wish I lived there!” followed by a ton of questions so I thought it was about time for a series on moving to and living in the Keys. I’m guessing you’re here because you’re curious about it too. No worries, I’ll tell you everything about our experience in doing just that. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments or use the email link on our contact us page and I’ll do my best to answer them. I’d love to hear from you and help you on your journey to paradise!
The Keys are an absolutely wonderful place. There’s a reason they’re the subject of songs (Beach Boys anyone? Takes me back to 4th grade at the roller-rink ), movies (Key Largo), TV shows (I love Bloodline!) as well as the destination for thousands of vacationers every year. What’s not to love? We have gorgeous weather, postcard perfect views, terrific diving & snorkeling, fishing, boating, kayaking, bird watching & breathtaking sunsets. It’s a water lovers paradise!
If you don’t like any water activities you might want to stop reading here and research other places to live – the Keys revolve around the ocean and there’s not much else to do here.
It’s different than being on vacation
It’s so easy to fall in love with a place when you’re on vacation. The days are filled with your favorite activities, the weather’s great and the beers are cold. Living here is different than being on vacation. When you’re on vacation, you don’t have to worry about the logistics of everyday life. We’re not on vacation everyday and getting things done here probably isn’t as easy as it is where you currently live. This doesn’t bother me but it might bother you. That said, the minute we’re done working, we’re on vacation. Every weekend here is a mini-tropical vacation taking full advantage of everything the Keys has to offer!
It’s hot in the summer
Like very hot! I love hot weather so this doesn’t bother me, it makes for awesome days on the water and perfect evenings out but it might bother you. If you’ve never experienced the heat of a south Florida summer I suggest coming down in the summer before you move and spend at least one of those days simulating a normal day for you at home – run some errands, etc. Now that we’ve been here almost a full year I can say the tropics are definitely for me!
Be honest with yourself
Things that aren’t an issue while you’re on vacation might become an issue once you move. This is a personal exploration that only you can do and it only works if you’re completely honest with yourself. If you love the hustle and bustle of city life you probably won’t be happy here long term. We don’t have every store or restaurant you’d ever want at your fingertips. If the grocery store doesn’t have something you can’t check the other 10 to see if they do. These things don’t bother me. I always hated shopping, it drains my energy in a way little else does, but it might bother you and that’s okay. Being honest with yourself upfront will save you from regret later. The lack of choice extends to everything – doctors, vets, dentists, yoga studios, etc. The Keys are considered rural and as such options are limited.
Try before you buy (or even commit!)
I can’t stress this one enough! I wouldn’t buy property anywhere I haven’t lived for at least a year. We were lucky enough to be able to try it out for 10 weeks last winter. If a long term trial is an option for you, do it. The trial period was terrific and we learned a lot from it but it’s still different than living here. We didn’t have to find new doctors or register our cars for instance. And you know your old life is still there waiting for you which is a much different feeling than selling absolutely everything and making the move like we eventually did. A trial period isn’t perfect but it will tell you volumes more than a vacation in a hotel will. Live in a neighborhood, go about your daily errands, get to know the people and see if it’s for you.
Still want to live down here? Awesome! I have a bunch of posts coming up that will help you on your way. Subscribe by email on this page (right side bar), follow me on twitter or use your favorite RSS reader to read our posts as soon they’re posted.
Until next time …
Warm thoughts to all!