"Aspire not to have more, but to be more"

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Three weeks & still "unpacking"

Since our Kickstarter campaign ended., I've had a little more down time which has given me time to reflect on my journey to the West Coast, about 3 weeks ago. I know I still have a lot of "unpacking" (literally and figuratively)  to do, but beginning my new life here on the West Coast is definitely something I've needed.

I don't think I realized how comfortable I had gotten in my life back home until just recently. I know I may have mentioned this in an earlier post (and I apologize if I did), but I needed this jostling , this new beginning. I remember the night I accepted my job out here for Earth Starter -- I was on the phone with Phil; I was in the parking lot of Harris Teeter across the street from the neighborhood and I was a little scared, and couldn't actually believe I agreed to take such a leap of faith - solo. I could barely sleep the nights leading up to my journey west, and the only time I have cried since I left home were when I entered into West Virginia (leaving Maryland) and when I watched "The Guardian" last night (haha!). Maybe I'm keeping emotions bottled up, but I don't think so.. I think I've finally gotten the independence that I've desired for so long. Yes, I had a lot of independence when I was at Maryland, but once I moved home after graduation I think I returned to the "comfortable" lifestyle that I had been living in since I was born. I still have no regrets for moving out here to California. Yes, I do miss my family and friends, but it's different...when I went off to college in Ohio or when my friends would go off to school goodbyes would suck, but when I left home to move West I was happy and anxious to begin this new chapter in my life. There are definitely challenges every day - like budgeting time for my runs, paying my phone bill, car & student loans, making sure I have enough money for food and "me" time... but I've been able to manage. I'm so thankful that I have such a rewarding job - I really enjoy the work that I'm doing and it's only going to get better with time. Thank you to everyone back home for your continued support!

I've finally gone through my notes from my cross country trip. In a span of 7 days I drove over 5,000 miles, through 13 states. The shortest route from home to where I am now was 2,795 miles, but I chose the longer, more southern route. I'm so glad I stopped in New Orleans on the way! I spent over $600 on gas, and have now been to 32 states. Utah has the prettiest license plates, and Bryce Canyon is still my favorite place of my entire trip. Texas was a really big state...loved the openness, maybe I'll move there when I'm old?  Some other towns I enjoyed were Harlingen, Memphis, and Cuervo, Texas. Next time I drive cross country, I definitely want to drive more of Route 66. I would recommend the Southern Route to everyone and I would do it again and again and again!  I feel like I could probably ramble on forever about my trip.. and in future posts I will... but here is it in short:

When someone asks me about my trip, this is what I tell them:
Charleston, Nashville, Birmingham, New Orleans, Houston, Mexico, Austin, Crawford, Albuquerque, Four Corners, Bryce Canyon, Mesquite (Whoops!), Zion, North Rim, Las Vegas, San Francisco

Tips for traveling cross country 
  1. Pack a separate bag of all of the clothes / everything you'll need for the week. Makes it SO much easier when you're stopping at a hotel for the night
  2. Time your bathroom and food stops for when you need gas. I was able to go almost half a tank without going to the bathroom... so I'd stop for lunch & bathroom & gas, if possible. If not, I would just stop for the bathroom & food. Tried to make my stops worth my time! I also discovered how indecisive I am when it comes to trying to find a place to eat food. Was kind of leary about stopping at a ma and pa place because I didn't want to just eat fried food the whole way across the country
  3. Pack a case of water - I went through a whole case of water and then some over the whole week... I'd recommend also keeping snacks in the passaanger seat ... but make sure they are healthy. Have some good snacks too :) Oreos are the best! Easy grab foods :)

Observations

  • Gas really isn't that much more expensive than home. It's about $3.90. What's it like back at home?
  • Strawberries are not in season here
  • Driving ... heard songs that reminded me of times past.. not necessarily a bad thing , but man, wish I could just erase some memories
  • California really isn't that much different than the East Coast ... Safeway & Trader Joes are huge out here and Oakland is just as bad as Baltimore (hon!)...there is definitely a variety of places to eat out at and the food is DELICIOUS, I guess it's because SF is a big city so it's probably pretty comparable to DC
Well that's all for now... until next time, ta ta for now!

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