The Old North State.
The Tarheel State.
America’s Most Military Friendly State.
A Better Place to Be.
First in Flight.
First in Freedom.
The Land of the Sky.
Esse quam videri.
That last one is latin and it translates as “To be, rather than to seem” and it is the state motto of North Carolina. All those other catchy nicknames and slogans before it? You guessed it – all North Carolina…in one form or another. The “Old North State” nickname comes from 1710 when the Carolina colony was split in two. Tarheel State? That nickname traces its origins back to a period in time (roughly 1720 to 1870) when North Carolina led the world in the production of naval stores INCLUDING tar.
It is home to the largest military installation in the world, Fort Bragg (which boasts a population of more than a quarter million people), and a number of Marine, Air Force, Navy and other installations – so naturally it is America’s most military friendly state.
North Carolina was the first state (colony) to stand up against the British – First in Freedom.
And, despite Ohio’s ongoing rivalry on this next point, North Carolina is the state where the aviation industry was born – at Kill Devil Hills near Kittyhawk, where the Wright Brothers took flight in the first ever powered flying machine (The Wright Brothers did all their engineering and design work in the bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio and then shipped everything to Kill Devil Hills for the favorable gliding conditions and soft sand for crashing into – the rivalry goes on to this day). – First in Flight.
So, why the history lesson on North Carolina’s many slogans and nicknames? Well – because we live here now. That’s right, we uprooted WanderTogether and loaded into a moving van, crossed a beleaguered nation, and planted new roots in a state about as far away and different from our home in Idaho as we could find. As much as I would like to say such a move was made simply to chase down barbecue and a warm Atlantic coastline – I can’t. We moved here because this is where I work now. And we love it.
The move itself was one in a series of hops, skips and jumps – but we are here now. We’ve bought a home, the kids are in their new school, and we’ve begun exploring. As we get our breath and wits about us we’re setting our sights on the local area – it’s time to explore this new home state and see what all it has to offer.