On Aug. 24, 2010, I sent out my last email as a newspaper reporter. It was addressed to a mass amount of contacts, telling them I’d resigned my job. And with that, I gathered the last of my personal belongings from my work desk and walked away from a decade in journalism. I went home, made a list of things to get done, and proceeded to conquer that list in 107-degree weather. Four days later, I got in my car and began driving.
Over the course of the next two weeks, I drove up the California and Oregon coast.
I visited Portland for the first time, and fell in love with the city.
I went to Washington for the first time, making random, short-term friendships with strangers while visiting Seattle solo.
I saw friends I hadn’t seen in years.
I saw beauty.
I remembered my past.
And, for the first time since I could remember, I began to realize that the future was wide open. After 17 days and 1,930 miles, I returned home with a new perspective on life.
One year after sending out that “farewell” email and receiving many “where are you going?” responses, I still don’t quite have that answer. I have vague ideas, lofty goals and big dreams. I sometimes get disgruntled, knowing that a year has passed since I started a new chapter in my life, and that I should have done something spectacular by now. But maybe I am getting there.
Roads aren’t usually straight, and the destination is almost always elusive and around the next corner. My road trip had multiple destinations and experiences I couldn’t have imagined or planned. And I think that’s the best way to live life: Treat it like a road trip, with an ultimate destination or two, but make sure to take in as many sights as possible along the way.
It’s been one year. A year that included a road trip, another visit to Portland, a trip to Illinois and Alaska, a new job, a move to a new city, meeting some goals and setting new goals, making new friendships, and continuing previous friendships. It’s been a good one-year road trip. Here’s to the next year’s continuing road trip.