Thursday, April 15, 2010

Does the popular understanding of Florida match the reality?

First of all, we need to understand what the "popular understanding" of Florida is. In my perspective, "popular understanding" would mean what Florida is most known for. In the present case, when one thinks of Florida, it's almost certain that the first thing that pops into that person's mind is Disney World, beaches, always warm weather, best place to retire and/or take a vacation, etc. Florida, in this understanding, embodies the type of American values that are only advertised by tourist corporations such as Disney, Universal Studios, etc. This "understanding" is more related to the tourism aspect of Florida. Being a Florida resident for 8 years now, I see that Florida is more than these tourist-y conceptions. The reality, at least for me, is that Florida is a very basic state outside of the attractions. If it weren't for the attractions, Florida would not be as unique. There are regular towns and regular cities with regular folk. Sure, the beaches are beautiful, but they are, for the most part, developed in such a way that lend themselves to a more "tourist" hot-spot. In reality, Florida is a swamp land with gators and other creeping things. Don't get me wrong, Florida is beautiful; people are able to make the most of it. However, if people would just step outside of the Mickey Mouse and beach bubble and get to know the rest of Florida (natural forests, natural springs, zoos, parks), they'd realize it's not quite the "fantasy land" or "beach paradise" that it is always advertised to be.

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