If you are friends with me, or if you are family, or if you read my blog, or if you follow me on Facebook, you will already know all about my nomad tendencies.
After graduating from high school in New Hampshire I decided to go to college in Wisconsin. Sophomore summer I lived in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, then went right back to Stevens Point in the fall. In 2012 I spent 7 months in New Zealand. In 2013 I lived in Bar Harbor, Maine, for the summer then had less than 24 hours to move out of Bar Harbor and board a plane heading to London, England.
After graduation I had that exhilarating and unique experience many of us are familiar with: choosing where to live in post grad life. Now I sit in Park City, Utah. My new home. (More on why on earth I am in Utah later on.)
I know that I am extremely lucky to have these experiences. I truly couldn’t have loved these past few years without the support of my family, and the love of my friends, old and new. In every place I live I find a hundred reasons to stay, handfuls of people I feel I couldn’t live without, and beautiful landscapes I wish I could take with me. All of this makes it hard to leave.
Although moving around so much can be difficult, it is being away from New Hampshire, and my wonderful family in Maine, that often hits the hardest. Last year when I had the flu and missed my second to last orchestra concert, sick as a dog, lying in bed, I wanted to be in Peterborough with mom to take care of me. Jenn and Stephen’s wedding that I couldn’t make because of school in WI. Graduation hanging out with friends and their families instead of my own. And now: first job rejection, first job offer, first real apartment, all done 2,289 miles away from Peterborough.
Even though I am here now, and will be here for years to come, the thing is, I will always be from New Hampshire, and I will always take great pride in the fact that I am a New Englander.
“New England has a harsh climate, a barren soil, a rough and stormy coast, and yet we love it, even with a love passing that of dwellers in more favored regions.”
-Henry Cabot Lodge (not of Cabot cheese fame)
Knowing where you are from is a powerful thing. As I move forward with my life here I will lose my “live free or die” license plates, and my NH drivers license, but I wont lose the intangible things that growing up in New Hampshire has given to me.
So okay, enough nostalgia, the real and pressing question is: if I love the east coast so much, then why am I in Utah? Utah! Of all places! It think it broke my parent’s hearts to have me be so far away…again. But Utah is every day revealing itself to be wonderful.
Well, Ben and I chose Park City, Utah because it fit these criteria:
- Must be in the West.
- Must have skiing.
- Must have interior design job opportunities.
- Must have a nursing school.
- Must have ample opportunity for hiking, biking, climbing, and general outdoor fun.
- Must be a cool place, a true vacationland
So, the cities that we found liked the best became Denver, Boulder, and Salt Lake City. Boulder has an outrageous cost of living. Denver has a lot of Urban Sprawl. Salt Lake City has, well, everything we were looking for. The deal was sealed when Ben got accepted to do Mountain Ski Patrol with the Park City Mountain Resort. He moved before the holidays, then soon after new years I packed up and drove, with the help of my mom, across the country.
The drive was long, really really long, but I had mix tapes dating back until the 1700’s, and the novel “A Thousand Splendid Suns” on CD, so it ended up being alright. An adventure for sure…
left my Swedish ivy in the car overnight and it died. Oops! I have often bragged that this plant is indestructible based on evidence that mom didn’t water a few of them I had in NH for about 6 months and they survived with a little TLC. Welp. Freezing temperatures overnight will do it. Good to know.
This was the beginning of what became known as the “Polar Vortex” we barely made it out! But really, if we had left a couple of days later than we did, then driving would have slowed to a complete stop somewhere in Indiana. Luckily, we were not stuck, and we made it through the snow.
My car mirror decoration is a piece of the bridge from the upright bass I had in high school that got destroyed in a car accident, the idea here is that it’s good luck, but the more I think about it, the more that doesn’t make sense.
It was ridiculously windy is this section of Wyoming. Murry the Mariner pushed on through even though he is a curmudgeon and an old geezer.
Finally we saw the long anticipated state sign: UTAH
A day later I was moved into my rented room and mom was on her way back to NH. Now it has been more than three months and Utah is starting to feel a little like home. Here is what my life looks like now:
Ben and I just signed the lease to a real apartment (our first real one!) in Salt Lake City. We have no furniture, but today we spent the afternoon there drinking cheap champagne in celebration while we filled out that form where you have to seek out and record every flaw about your place when all you really want to do is revel in its perfection.
I am now a professional interior designer with a firm called Denton House Design Studio in Salt Lake City. I have a desk, I have my own email, my own extension, and real design responsibility. I enjoy going to work every day, which does make me feel a little guilty because of the salary I receive, but that’s the dream right? Next step: NCIDQ!
I also work part time as a banquet bartender at the Park City Mountain Resort. Not only does this give me a free seasons pass, but it is also a great group of people to work with. Four times a month is not a big commitment! It’s great, actually. Also: tips.
Ben is wrapping up with Ski Patrol in April and after that will be getting a big boy job? Getting a seasonal job? Getting a job in the medical field to prepare for nursing school? Whatever it ends up being will be great.
Now I just need to learn how to balance a full time job, a part time job, regular exercise, cello, art, and, god forbid, a social life. I haven’t come that close to juggling all of this yet, but I will….eventually, for now, this is what my life looks like, and it looks good.
So, please, come and visit me here. It is so wonderful.