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The 4 Biggest Culture Shocks You’ll Experience When Moving to Texas from Canada

July 9th, 2019

There are many reasons people move to Texas. Warm to hot weather for half of the year, and mild most of the rest may seem like enough to make you pack your bags today. Particularly following a long Canadian winter, eh?

Thanks to a substantial job market in energy, agriculture, healthcare, and defence, a thriving music scene, and affordable housing, Texas is growing, fast. The U.S. Census Bureau recently shared data showing that from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017, every day 1,000 people became Texans. Before you put on your cowboy boots and tip your cowboy hat, you may want to brace yourself for a few culture shocks when moving from the Great White North to the Lone Star State.

Bringing out the Big Guns

Texans are known for packing heat, and not just because it’s hot outside six months out of the year. Texans love their guns, hunting, and the second amendment. Hunting is a sport that comes only second to football (Go Cowboys!) with Texans hunting everything from deer to grouse. This can be a lot for a person who is from a heavily gun controlled country to get used to. According to CBS News, Texas is the 18th heaviest armed state with 12.8 guns on record per 1,000 residents. Something you need to remember here is that Texans aren’t required by law to register their firearms so this number is suspected to be much larger in reality.

Bigger Driving Rules in the Lone Star State

Texas is a huge state. It’s the second largest in the USA after Alaska, and things can be really spread out. To put things into perspective – Texas is geographically bigger than France. This paired with limited public transit options means unless you live very close to work, you’ll need to own a car and drive it often. Because of the need to drive, there’s going to be a lot of traffic. Drivers are known to change lanes often and tailgate those who are going too slowly. If you are a slow driver, or getting to know your commute route, better stick to the right (slow lanes). Since it’s legal to ride horses on many Texas roadways, you’ll need to make sure you know how to share the road with them. Much like Mounties, Texan police are known to ride horses. When you get lost and ask a Texan for directions, prepare to get distances in time, not kilometers or miles.

Deep Fried Everything

We’re fairly certain Super Sized Foods were invented in Texas. They say everything’s bigger in Texas and food is no exception, particularly when it comes to Tex Mex and Bar-B-Q. Prepare yourself for large portions and deep-fried cuisine. While you may not know what Texas Chicken Fried Steak is now (it’s not really chicken), odds are you’ll find out! Texas is known as one of the less health focused states, ranking 37th on a list compiled of the healthiest states. Healthier foods and vegetarian options are increasingly available in Texas, but you’re probably going to have to look harder to find them.

Texans are Patriotic Huggers

While Canadians are known for being polite and reserved, Texans are known for being friendly with a capital F. Southern hospitality is a real thing, with most Texans having a welcoming and friendly demeanour. What does this mean for most Canadians? Probably a lot more hugging, backslapping, waving and saying ‘Hello Y’all’ than would ever happen north of the border. Keep this in mind when meeting your neighbours and coworkers to avoid coming off as overly reserved or standoffish. While Canadians are more lowkey in displaying their love for the maple leaf, Texans love ‘Merica and are highly patriotic, so keep positive when talking about Texas and the USA to make faster friends.

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