East Coast to West Coaster
As someone who moved from the hustle of Washington D.C. to easygoing Denver, I know there is a bit of a difference in culture, especially moving across the United States. When living in Colorado, and visiting family that live on the East Coast frequently, I’ve realized that each region has their own culture, style, and environment that is uniquely their own. While one is not better than the other, here are some differences I’ve noticed between the Eastern and Western regions of the United States.
- Weather. Wow, when they say 300 days of sunshine, they really mean it! Colorado has some of the most beautiful weather I’ve ever seen. It can still be pretty unpredictable, as I’ve seen snow in May and 70-degree weather in December. There is also a lack of humidity in Colorado, which seems to be ever present in the East. The East Coast, however, has something that I dearly miss here in Colorado: seasons. There is something so beautiful in watching the landscape transform from spring to summer, or from summer to fall. You get all the shifting colors of the leaves and the gradual warming and cooling of the temperature. In Colorado, we seem to have two seasons: summer and winter, and no in between. One day it’s winter, and then boom, summer weather. Both regions are a completely different climate that offers a wonderful lifestyle, and a great place to live.
- Pace/Culture. Blink, and you’ll miss it. That’s what it’s like on the East coast, a constant stream of activity and life flowing all around you. From the way people walk, drive, and even speak, you witness a sense of heightened energy all around you. It creates such a unique atmosphere that I have never really encountered anywhere else. That said, I was born into that type of environment, and I can understand how overwhelming it can be to others unfamiliar with it. In my opinion, the Western region of the United States is much more laid back and easygoing, slowing life down and really taking the time to appreciate things. It’s a much more relaxed atmosphere and gives the culture a sort of casual value of the world. It’s really interesting to see that even though both coasts are part of one country, the lifestyle can be so different.
- Environment. One thing that is always talked about in Colorado: the natural beauty. From the gorgeous mountains to rolling hills, Colorado is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful states in America. While we do have open views and never ending skies, there is something that we don’t have: neighbors. The nearest major city to Denver is Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is 447 miles away and a roughly six-and-a-half-hour drive. So, while we do have our beautiful landscape, it comes with the price of being quite far away from other cities. In the Eastern region of the United States, there are about six cities that you could get to in that six-and-a-half drive alone. There is a higher percentage of people who live in cities and the suburbs around them in the East than you see in the West. There are abundant culture and experiences to see on the East Coast, and if you can’t find something in one city, just take a quick drive up to the next one. The two environments are very different, but they each offer a unique atmosphere in which to live.
The Eastern and Western Coasts are both unique and special in their own ways. I love both regions, and they each have their own place in my heart. I’m not saying that either coast is better than the other because that would be like comparing apples to oranges. They are different from each other, but that’s what makes them a great place to live.
Written by Regan Cadieux. Survived and thrived after the cross-country move from VA to CO. Left photo is her former home in Fairfax, VA.