Now that I’ve got my vaccine, I can’t help but wonder what it’s like out there… have things changed? Is anything open? Will traveling be fun again?

I’ve been a pretty avid traveler for most of my life. Starting as a kid, we often travelled to see family, I started flying by myself when I was 9 years old to visit my Dad in Colorado and I got to take business trips with my mom, living in luxury and hanging out in hotel rooms by myself by the age of 12.

Travel helped me discover so many things, like the variety of what exists in the world (one of my fave desserts – the Dairy Queen Nerds Bliz- zard – was something I only found in Colorado!) and a joy in discovery (like when I stayed at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle at 13 years old and realized that I NEEDED a down comforter.)

It was a road trip, after all, that led me back to my hometown to stay and build a life. I had been living in Portland, lost my job, had a big health event that put me in the hospital for 4 days and I knew then that I had to hit the road. At a mo- ment when the doctors were unsure if I’d live another 10 years (they didn’t know what was going on and didn’t do a great job of keeping their guesses to themselves and thankfully they were wrong!) I immediately made a plan to do the road trip of my dreams.

6 weeks. 35 states. On the road with my bestie crashing with friends or a few cheap hotel rooms. It is still one of my greatest accomplishments.

To see so much of the United States really changed my per- spective on many things. For one, there is A LOT of space. And this country is huge. Driving across Kansas took 15 hours on a virtually straight highway with nearly nothing to look at other than dust blowing in the wind.

But, despite geographical differences, I also discovered that so many places are honestly really similar. We, gen- erally, love to accuse “others” as having it all wrong or imagining these places as being dramatically different. But they’re not.

At some point, I realized it’s all kind of the same. There’s a variety of people with different opinions and lifestyles… but they’re pretty evenly spread across the country.

And while I was so excited to visit some of the big cities I’d never been to before like Boston, Chicago or Austin,
it turned out that I really REALLY loved being in small towns. Those small towns were the most memorable. I had time and space to think and look and really see things. I remember the Idaho Potato Museum far better than the Lincoln Memorial.

When I ended my trip back in Aberdeen, I stayed. I had seen so much and the final destination really felt like home.

So, after yet another momentous occasion called COVID-19, where we called so many things into question, I am sure I’d like to get out and see what’s new out there so we can have an even greater appreciation for our home and what we have and share with others.

Small adventures can bring big perspective.