Many Arizonans are transplants, and natives can be pretty hesitant to embrace newbies. After all, not a lot of people can stick the weather out all year around, and we have our fair share of snowbirds: people who come to exploit the perfect winters and jump ship when the days start to swelter. But then there are those who make the cut and become true Arizonans. Here are 13 signs you’ve become one of us.
1. You own a pair of Justin Roper boots. In ostrich.
2. Your bathing suits or swim trunks outnumber your winter gear by a factor of 10. Same with your flip flops over your closed-toe shoes.
3. You’ve forgotten how to maneuver a vehicle in the snow and rain. And you don’t care.
4. You love that the highway speed limit is 75, and go 90 with the rest of us, deftly avoiding motorhomes and trucks piled to the sky with mattresses.
5. You don’t need to go back to the Grand Canyon, but you know you have to when your grandparents/aunts/uncles/friends from back home come to visit. And you’re okay with that.
6. You know where all the good swimming holes and hot springs are.
7. You defend the state when you travel, noting that it’s not all desert and that there is indeed water — and snow.
8. Your new hobbies might include mushroom hunting, target practice, protesting, astronomy, mudding, or swimming in January.
9. You get your teeth cleaned in Nogales — or better yet, Naco.
10. You wouldn’t tell your parents, but you’ve tried chewing tobacco and peyote. And you kind of liked one of them.
11. For medical care, you might see a spiritual healer in Sedona before a Western doctor, or consult a psychic before a psychiatrist. You’re looking forward to working with a Native American shaman on your anxiety issues because you have so much respect for the traditional ways of life.
12. You know what’s up with Arizona’s wine scene, and it isn’t kidding around. Three AVAs and Maynard from Tool? The syrah is where it’s at.
13. You traded in your sedan for a Jeep or a four-wheel-drive truck within six months of moving here. You might still have hesitations about buying a gigantic truck, and that’s probably a good thing. You don’t need to tow a horse trailer or anything. Yet.