Last Saturday I packed my car up tight like a Tetris game. Sunday morning I hugged all of my family members, and at 9am I got in my car and began driving with my dear mother in the passenger seat. I was able to strategically manage to squeeze most of my earthly belongings into my little blue Sonata– all except for the majority of my winter clothes, kitchen supplies, and a few small boxes of books (English major problems). Everything I was unable to fit into my car will be shipped to CO via the grand and reliable USPS.
On Sunday, the first stop my mom and I made was in Nashville, TN for lunch. Due to a good amount of restaurant research before hand, we were able to find a cafe to eat at that accommodated both of our dietary needs, something that can be a true struggle to anyone with or who knows someone who has food allergies. That Sunday evening, we had dinner at a similar restaurant in St. Louis and we spent the night in St. Charles, MO.
We spent around eight hours driving Sunday, which wasn’t too bad. Last summer I took a +12 hour road trip to Miami with friends, so the time on the road between Georgia and St. Louis, though exhausting, was extremely bearable. I’m very thankful that I had my mom with me for this trip to help me drive/keep me awake–if you know me well, you know I can fall asleep anywhere, so not falling asleep at the wheel was a definite goal (and one that was achieved, incase you were curious).
Because it was later in the day when we reached St. Louis, we did not have the opportunity to go to the Gateway Arch, but driving by it with the sun setting in the background was amazing. I wouldn’t mind going back to St. Louis again to see more of the city; the part of the city where we had dinner seemed to be more of an artsy area, and it gave me an interest to see more.
On day 2 of the road trip, we drove through Topeka, KS, and spent the night in a community right outside of the city. This outskirt town was one of the most bizarre places I have ever been to. The entire town (buildings, lampposts, telephone poles, streets, etc.) all seemed like a washed up sample of the ’60s. Something about it reminded me of the town of Spectre in Big Fish, only a little less creepy.
The next morning, Tuesday, we went back to Topeka for a bit, which did not share the same ’60s-vibe as its small suburb. Here we picked up some allergen free baked goods, including deliciously gooey brownies. These sweet treats helped make the drive much more entertaining.
On that same day, we went to the tiny town Wamego, KS which holds the one and only Oz Museum. The Wizard of Oz was my all-time favorite film as a child, I’m pretty sure I had it memorized, so my nerdy self had a little too much fun here.
That night, we stopped in Colby, KS, also known as “The Oasis on the Plains.” Here, “oasis” translates to: “small community and Walmart in the middle of nowhere.”
I was told by several people before embarking on this trip that Kansas was a miserable state to drive through, a state filled with only extreme heat and boring prairie. Though the heat part was true, I actually found Kansas to be quite a beautiful drive. I had never seen this type of land before, and I found the area in which I was surrounded to be beautiful, especially the Flint Hills. I did not manage to get any decent pictures of this area, as I was driving, but the prairie grass roaming along the hills is something I would encourage anyone to see. The rest of Kansas was also pretty–it was so flat compared to land in Georgia, and the wind turbines that covered a large part of the fields were amusing to see.
My mother and I arrived in Colorado on Wednesday, and I was able to get everything unpacked and settled that day. Three days were not needed to make the drive, but I’m so glad I was able to have the experiences I did with my mom on the trip. My mother stayed a few extra days to explore the area with me.
Yesterday, she told me that she wanted to see some “pretty Colorado scenery,” so I took her to a park I had visited with friends the last time I was here. Colorado is breathtaking, and I’m so happy that she got to experience some of its beauty while she was here! My goal this summer is to go to as many parks and hike as much as I can.
Today, I dropped my mom off at the Denver airport for her flight back to Atlanta. Driving back to my new home was sobering. It was a moment where this move began to sink in: I’m living 1,400 miles from my family, my friends, my pets, and everything that I know. I was driving away from my mom toward a place where I would now be starting a new adventure: my adult life.
Of course I’m sad: I’m leaving my family. Of course I’m nervous: I’m moving to a new state for a new job and I’ll be making new friends. If I didn’t experience any of these emotions I would be a little concerned for myself. I’m not an expert at moving across the country, but I feel that these emotions have to be somewhat normal.
Honestly though, these emotions are not overbearing. I thought they would be, but they aren’t. Despite having these feelings, I more so feel comfortable, and the only reason I can think of for as to why I mostly feel this way is that I’m doing what God wants me to do for now. I’ve already met amazing, kind, and welcoming friends. I’m staying in a room on a quiet street with weather that allows me to keep the windows open. I’m about to begin my dream of working with 115+ students everyday in a state I fell in love with the first time I visited, and I’m so overwhelmingly excited that I am in this place in my life.