When I graduated from college, I was determined to move to Florida.
I was eager to leave behind the snow and cold.
I looked for an area that would eliminate the need to own a snow shovel, ice scraper or wool coat. Tampa was the ideal choice. Even in the winter, the temperature rarely falls below fifty degrees. With an average of 361 days of sunshine per year, there is always blue skies and warm weather. Unfortunately, achieving my degree left me in a great deal of debt. I had lots of student loans to pay back. I sold most of my possessions, scraped together what little money I had and made the eighteen hour drive to Tampa. I had found a very cheap apartment to rent online. I moved in at the end of June, when the outside temperature was in the mid nineties with high humidity. By the time I hauled my stuff up the stairs, I was drenched in sweat. I discovered one window air conditioner for the entire apartment. Although there wasn’t very limited square footage, that small and extremely old cooling unit couldn’t keep up. Plus, none of the windows or door were air tight. Hot air and bugs easily got inside. I dealt with a non stop parade of cockroaches and issues with mold and mildew growth. My freezer wasn’t cold enough to keep ice cubes frozen. There was only enough hot water for an eight-minute shower, and if I tried to run any appliance at the same time as the microwave, I blew a fuse. While living in that awful apartment was not a pleasant experience, I fell in love with the local area right away. I have since moved into much nicer accommodations, and I have remained in Tampa.