What you should know about Arizona before you move here

What you should know about Arizona before you move here

Gilbert, Arizona by Mary McIntosh

I had never been to Arizona before 1988.  I chose to go to ASU because I heard it was fun, and my best friend wanted to go there too. ( No, not the school, not anything “important”)  I was raised in Hawaii…graduated high school…chose to go to ASU.  My experience off the island of Oahu was limited, to say the least.  I didn’t look into desert living before I got here…how did you do that anyway before Google?  I arrived in August, for the fall semester.  I had never considered what Arizona would be like, how would it be different besides not having the beaches?    (Do you ever think back on major life decisions and realize how little information you had when you made them?)

28 years later I am still here.  Here are a few things I have learned about living in Arizona.


The heat can be deadly…for real.   One reason is you don’t sweat.  Well..that is not quite true…but what is true is that you don’t see or notice yourself sweating as much as you do in more humid climates.  The air is so dry your sweat disappears…and you might not realize how much water you are losing.  Kids…in their quest for fun lose water just as quickly…and maybe more so when they are being active…even swimming.  You need to take the heat seriously. Heat exhaustion can happen to anyone, and it can also progress to the potentially deadly heat stroke.  My son had heat exhaustion as a healthy 12 year old after spending about four hours at a public pool, swimming, diving , going down the slides.  He didn’t spend enough time out of the sun and re-hydrating…which was my fault since I was with him.   Mom guilt!!  Day to day life in the summer months you learn to do outside activities once the sun has gone down…or before it comes up.  Parking in a garage, covered parking, parking under a tree….all of them…priceless.   The heat is never worse than getting in to your car after your car has been sitting in the sun…for any length of time.  If you leave your iPhone in the car…even for a few minutes, you won’t be able to use it for a while!  Leather seats, steering wheels, can literally burn your skin if they have been in the sun…so you end up throwing towels over your fancy leather seats if your car will be sitting in the sun.  Usually people go from one air conditioned place to another May-September…but golfing gets really inexpensive!


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