Lafayette is often touted as an amazing place to settle down and raise a family, but things aren't always what they seem.
On the surface level, it almost seems like a no brainer when it comes to moving to "the happiest city in America," but if you or someone you know are thinking of moving to the Hub City make it your business to read this before making your final decision.
A Wild Party Can Break Out At Any Given Moment
If you plan on moving to Lafayette, you're going to have to be ready to party at a moment's notice. Do you realize how exhausting that can be? There is literally at least one celebration or major event every weekend, and most of them are absolutely FREE! Not only will people celebrate for an entire weekend, they have even been known to party during natural disasters like hurricanes! If that doesn't scare you, then prepare to be approached by complete strangers—from tailgates to funerals—who will offer you amazing food and drinks, almost as if you were part of their actual family or something. Crazy, right? Don't say I didn't warn you.
With over 100 local restaurants that stay busy year round, Lafayette knows a thing or two about flavor—and here's the catch: EVERYTHING tastes good! If you're moving here from out of state, you may have heard of Tony Chachere's and Tabasco Hot Sauce. Yeah—they make that here, and a lot of folks still prefer using their own custom seasoning and spices passed down with old family recipes. Still not concerned? You think you have the will power to just look past all of the deliciousness that Lafayette has to offer? Well, just wait until you come into contact with pepper jack boudin balls, Meche's donuts, a Pop's "Hot Hot" Poboy, fresh Gulf seafood, a Festival bread bowl, or the only Popeye's buffet left in the world. If you still move here after hearing all of that, consider your diet dead on arrival.
You Won't Understand Anything Anyone Is Saying
Lafayette is proud of its French heritage, and the culture doesn't stop at the food and the music. From the street names you see on the signs to the lyrics of the local Cajun music heard throughout the numerous dancehalls, the french speaking community in Lafayette is alive and well. And if the broken french doesn't confuse you up, the thick Cajun accent will. Lafayette and it's surrounding Acadiana area is home to one of the most unique accents around, and if you aren't familiar with it, it's easy to get tripped up. Basically, if you can't pronounce Atchafalaya at first glance, you're in for some trouble. Why move to a place where you'll always be confused, right? I mean, if you wanted to hear french you could always just move to France. Or Canada. Canada is way cheaper.
It's Way Too Easy To Get A Drink
If you have the slightest issue with balancing work and fun, then prepare for your productivity to go right down the drain. Maybe you're the type of person who can never have "just one drink." Well, here comes another huge red flag. Lafayette is a place where you can literally grab a drink on just about every corner. I'm not kidding, just Legend's alone has like 18 locations within the city limits. We even have DRIVE-THRU drinks (did I mention they taste amazing?) and if that wasn't bad enough, you'll never meet a stranger at any of these bars—so you'll definitely be staying a while. Here's the biggest kicker, it's not unorthodox for Lafayette to parlay business functions into social drinking occasions. So if being productive is your thing, moving to Lafayette will certainly be a major challenge.
It's Always Noisy Downtown
Whether it's a huge event in one of our open air parks, or the sound of John The Revelator's trombone you can scratch any peaceful downtown walks off your list. Jefferson Street is usually packed with people, bouncing in and out of the district's numerous local restaurants and bars. From Art Walk and Downtown Alive to Patty in the Parc and Festival International, there is always a good chance that your peace and quiet will be interrupted by some Grammy-award winning musician and the jubilant crowds they attract.
Absolutely No One Is In A Hurry
If you're coming from the hustle and bustle of a big city, you're going to feel like you're walking in an eternal puddle of molasses the minute you touch down in Lafayette. We take things slower here, and we don't really sweat the small things—or anything at all for that matter. We like to enjoy good conversations. I'm talking about the kind of conversations that can go on for hours until the sun goes down or the lights go out. We're never really in a rush and most of the folks here are laid back and easy going. People have even been known to go to lunch on a Friday and just never go back to work—and their bosses are totally cool with it!! Can you imagine what kind of frustration you will face if you're not used to a pace of life that allows you to just take everything in and appreciate the life that surrounds you? Can you really handle a LaFonda lunch that starts at Noon and ends with Happy Hour?
People Will Throw Plastic At You And Beg For Your Chickens
If you aren't terrified of moving here yet based on all the things I've told you so far, this may be the deal breaker. There is a regional celebration here that happens once a year called Mardi Gras. The city closes down the streets and put up "barricades" that make it seemingly impossible to navigate around certain parts of the city—all so these "krewes" (remember what I said about not understanding anyone, right?) can "parade" down the street in a line and throw things at you. These "things" are usually these cheap worthless plastic beads. What's even worse is the "traditional Mardi Gras" where people in these super creepy costumes and masks actually show up at your front door and ask you for ingredients for their "communal gumbo." A prize ingredient is a chicken, and these savages actually prefer for them to be thrown in the air so they can chase it down on your property and in nearby fields. Can you even begin to imagine how much of a mess that would be?
Recently, Minnesota residents were not happy about finding "red swamp crayfish" in their waters. Well, I'm here to tell you that not only do people actually farm them here, but they consider them to be a delicacy and they line up for these mudbugs like they're going out of style. These crawfish send the locals into a frenzy and when they're in season, heading to a restaurant to enjoy them hot and boiled is a very popular social outing. If that doesn't make your skin crawl, some people actually buy these bugs ALIVE, and then fire up a crawfish pot to a zillion degrees and boil them in seasoned water to their red hot delicious death. After they are cooked, they line a table with old newspaper and dump the entire pot out and the locals feast on them in packs like lions on a carcass in the wild.
You Will Need A Boat To See All The Best Parts
The most beautiful parts of the areas that surround Lafayette require a boat to really appreciate them. Do you know how much a boat costs? Also, once you spend the extra money on a boat you'll have to learn to navigate it—and if you think that's tough, remember that it's not uncommon to see alligators just hanging out, even on the University of Louisiana campus. The fishing, kayaking, beautiful wildlife and scenery is pretty awesome, but you'll have to figure out that whole boat situation. And then you will have to figure out how to navigate it. Good luck with all that.
Because It's Simply Too Good To Be True
The best entertainment is absolutely free. Everything tastes good. There is no "real" winter or terrible snow to deal with. The people are beautiful and incredibly nice to the point where they will invite complete strangers into their home and feed them until they can't possibly take another bite. Your neighbors will fall over themselves to lend a helping hand and people generally give more than they take. Also, I'm totally not exaggerating when I say they literally celebrate everything. Seriously, what is this place—and more importantly, what's the catch?
I can't imagine anyone how anyone would want to move here after everything that I've listed, but if you still choose to make Lafayette, LA your home, don't say I didn't warn you ;)