1. You gain 5­-10 pounds just by existing.

Everything is bigger in Texas. People, food portions, speed limits, drink sizes, even our hearts. As Michael Caine famously said, Texans are “all very big and carry a lot of guns. People just listen [to us].”

2. Dairy Queens and Buc­ee’s are everywhere.

Because where else can you get a corn dog when you’re driving to Lubbock at 2 AM? Oh… anywhere. We’ve got other notable roadside stops: Czech Stop Bakery in West, The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo.

3. Trump signs may not be everywhere, but “I’m With Her” ones are an endangered species.

It says something about Trump, Romney, and McCain that Texas has been less red each election cycle. We’re far from even remotely identifying as democrats, but there’s something to be said for driving from the airport, looking at the signs on front lawns, and knowing you’re back in Texas.

4. Our beer actually starts tasting good.

When you’re in South Korea, you drink soju, makgeolli, and Cass because there are no other affordable options. When you’re in Texas, it may take longer to find the good brews, but they exist: everyone drinks Shiner Bock, but Independence Brewing Company and Real Ale Brewing Company are fine choices for craft beer.

5. Dr. Pepper is in every vending machine, every soda fountain.

Coke is everywhere too, but Texans know what soft drink we prefer. It wasn’t many years ago it was next to impossible to get DP outside the state, let alone the country. Now you can find it in vending machines in Tokyo.

6. The cold begins to bother you.

… and by cold, I mean anything under 70 degrees. We spend the whole summer adjusting to 100+ temperatures and seldom get any snow or ice.

7. You start to realize it takes time to go anywhere.

It’s not just traffic on the interstates, it’s the massive distance between cities. 200 miles from Dallas to Austin. That’s four Rhode Islands.

8. People are more envious of your travels.

They never left, because really: Who would leave Texas? Granted, we’ve got ten ecosystems and millions of friendly people, but we all imagine the world outside our borders… Probably filled with people not packing heat.

9. You had forgotten how good Tex­Mex can be.

Yes, it’s greasy. Yes, it’s uncertain to shorten your life if eaten every day. On the other hand, who wants to live in a world without Torchy’s Tacos?

10. You’re always going to defend Texas, even if we do wrong.

There are always going to be things we hate, things we miss, things we avoid. But at our core, we’re still Texans, and we look out for our own.

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