It’s funny how traveling extensively around the country you live in can reshape the way in which you view your very own home. It’s like rediscovering your roots. I remember when I arrived back into Maine from driving cross country and back and feeling like I was just seeing this state for the first time. The trees were plush and green, there was such light traffic, the sun was just going down and it felt very surreal to be coming home. I was giddy and excited.
Coming home from such a wonderful adventure was bittersweet in many ways, too. I longed for the excitement of the road, all of the things I had to explore, the unknown. Being home meant getting back into the work force, paying bills and facing the facts: I had to settle down and really make some decisions about what I was going to do with myself in the post-college world.
One of the things that helped me adjust was playing tourist in my own state. It’s easy to take for granted the beauty that surrounds you everyday. My remedy was simple: seek out and do things that I would do during my travels. Explore a National Park, hit up a local farmers market, catch a concert. I quickly began to shake my post-travelin’ blues and began to appreciate the simple things my life already had to offer.
I have learned that if you get into the habit of running away from things when they aren’t going exactly as you think they should, you can miss out on some wonderful experiences. My trip cross-country was a way for me to escape a life that I felt wasn’t enough. I was a college graduate waiting tables at a chain restaurant with a talking moose on the wall. Surely, there had to be more.
My trip has taught me to look at challenging situations head on. If something is making you nervous or keeping you up at night, deal with it in a healthy way. Once I got off the road I took a job in advertising sales for a local paper. It’s been a challenge every step of the way, but the more goals I obtain and new skills I learn, I start to feel a little bit more complete.
If we expect instant gratification in everything we do we will surely be disappointed. All good things take time, like getting from point A to point B. I’m challenging myself this year to create small goals and work toward them in a realistic, healthy and satisfying way. I find that this has been the best way to get what I want from the world.