10 things I learned when I moved to a hotter climate.

Life in England was cold, life in a student house in the cliff top, Scottish town that is St Andrews was even colder. But 3 months ago I moved to Atlanta where it is definitely HOT. Like all the time.

And I’ve kind of gotten used to it.

So much so that when I went to New York last weekend and the forecast said 12 degrees, I couldn’t really work out what I should pack to wear. Does 12 degrees mean gloves and thick, puffer jacket or does it mean cut-off jeans and a jumper?

Needless to say I packed pretty much all of my wardrobe…impressive when you’ve only got hand luggage right?! But it might made me realise that I life in warm weather is different – and not always better.

So here are 10 things I’ve learned which may help you or, if you’re reading this is in the UK, just hate me.

  1. Be ok with sweating
    • You will sweat. A lot. It’s now just a fact of life. Get used to it. Wear loose clothing and maybe carry a fan.
  1. Exercise at your own risk
    • It will be wonderful I thought. You will be outside all the time and you will be able to run around till your heart’s content in the sunshine I thought. I was wrong it turns out. The quickest pace I mustered outside until a couple of weeks ago was a leisurely paced walk. Running is not fun in this heat, death, I feel, is a probable side effect.
  1. You can’t buy summer clothes
    • Even in the sweat-box that is Atlanta, shops seem to think that they need to abide by the normal seasonal clothing rotations. I want to buy some new denim shorts and a bikini not a fur jacket and full-length jeans thanks very much.
  1. People don’t know how good they’ve got it.
    • There is a pool – an Olympic length, beautiful, outdoor pool literally outside the front door of a thousand students on campus. Naturally the British contingent grabbed our deckchairs next to the pool approximately 5 times a week, gleefully snapchatting our friends at home to tell them that it was once again a ‘pool day’. The other students, it seemed, didn’t get the message. We were the pool’s most regular visitors. We dragged along our American friends had got bored of hearing our soliloquies on ‘the pool’ and ‘the weather’ and how damn lucky we all were.
  1. Take sunglasses everywhere
    • This might be my favourite thing about seeing the sun everyday. I built up a fine collection of sunglasses back home which I would plonk on top of my head every time a suggestion of sun was made. Here I don’t look like an idiot. Or maybe I do. But now I don’t care.
  1. The weather will get cooler
    • But what do you know…it’s still warmer than the entire previous decade in the UK so while the locals start wearing jumpers and jackets, you’ll still be wandering about in shorts looking like the foreigner you are.
  1. You will still not tan
    • Ok so this doesn’t apply to every British person. But for me, despite the daily dose of Vitamin D I have managed to darken my colour to the shade that most Americans still think is pasty and white. Oh well – there’s always fake tan right?
  1. Air conditioning is your enemy
    • So you move to a country where it’s 35 degrees outside and you proceed to wear your thinnest, coolest clothing which is all well and good until you step inside ANY BUILDING and you get frozen to death by the whirring, evil machines of cold. So you end up carrying a jumper (A JUMPER) round with you which doesn’t match your cute summer outfit and makes you look like a bit of an idiot.
  1. You will argue over the air conditioning
    • None of you really know what you’re talking about. You haven’t had a lifetime to get used to the cold, fake air which blows into your apartment constantly. Some of you will love it, some of you will hate it. You will have passive aggressive arguments over the best temperature. And some of you will open your windows – for warmth.
  1. But whatever happens you will not wish it away
    • I’ve seen the pictures from back home and it’s just as bad as I remember. People told me it wasn’t that bad. To stop complaining about the cold. But today I’m wearing shorts and my friends in Scotland…well let’s just say that they are far, far away from shorts.

Natalie Jones


Natalie helped to found Take On Life after getting injured and sick and feeling too far removed from the bikini bodies on Instagram. Her specialist subject in life is the Olympics and, even though her friends think it's a bit weird, she regularly re-watches her London 2012 DVDs!

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