I’m from the middle of the United States, Omaha, Nebraska. That’s where I spent the first 24 years of my life, my Homaha.
No, I did not grow up on a farm. Believe it or not, there is (a little) more to the state of Nebraska than corn and cows.
As a kid, I never ventured very far from my landlocked bubble. Other than visiting family in nearby midwestern states, I hadn’t done much traveling.
Then, when I was in college, one of my best friends moved out to a lazy little beach town in North Carolina.
I still remember the first time I visited Wilmington.
The first thing I noticed was the air. It felt different, heavy and salty.
Oh, and the trees. Never ending rows of evergreen, “The Land of the Pines”.
Rows of pretty pastel-colored houses with neat white trim lined the length of the beach.
Little green anoles were skittering around on nearby porches and flowerpots.
Cacti were sprouting out of the sandy soil.
The novelty of the area was intriguing.
That’s the lure of going to a new place. Everything is different.
Normal is relative.
I enjoy discovering all the little differences, the weird little quirks, the normal day to day vibe, somewhere other than home. Some place unfamiliar. Somewhere new.
I get lost in all the details.
Fast forward a couple of years and I was done with school. I had a degree in biology, but no idea what I was going to do with it. I decided to make a move, an across the country move, and head south.
I had no plan, just a few good friends and the desire for a change of pace.
The house I stayed at when I first moved to Wilmington was like every other house within miles, it didn’t have a basement. You don’t see this where I’m from. Growing up in tornado alley, it was drilled into my head at a young age to go downstairs whenever the sky turns that eerie shade of green or you hear the horrendous *wrrrrrrrrrrrrr* of the sirens going off.
I remember wondering what people did when a storm came through.
I remember being reminded of how close I was to sea level after seeing how alarmingly normal it was for streets to flood after an afternoon shower.
I remember walking into a bar on a Saturday during football season being the only one wearing red.
I remember forgetting that summer was over when I went outside in October and somehow it was still 85 degrees and too humid to catch your breath.
I remember my first non-white Christmas. Instead of below zero temperatures and fluffy white snow, it was warm and sunny. I couldn’t don my usual festive attire, I was literally sweating through my Santa hat.
I remember the first time I tasted the magical southern concoction that is shrimp and grits. It has since become my personal mission to try this dish at every spot in town.
I remember how excited I was opening a package that came in the mail containing Omaha Steaks, a little taste of home.
I remember the magic of seeing my first sea turtle nest hatch.
And I remember feeling a sense of accomplishment and a new found confidence in myself because of this experience.
And yet, the farther away from home I find myself, the more my appreciation for it grows.
Now we have reached the dilemma that I acquired by leaving my comfort zone and diving headfirst into a new place. It’s the sense of discontent that comes from the thought of staying in one spot for too long. That itch to pick up and go as far as you can, and soak up as much as you can, while you can.
I’m still chasing that feeling. And I’m here to take you with me.
My best friend I mentioned earlier is my now fiancé, Alex. The best way I can describe to you our differing personalities is by the use of the Disney classic, The Jungle Book. Alex is like Baloo, the free-spirited dancing bear, who genuinely believes in the goodness of the world, and that everything turns out alright. I, on the other hand, more closely resemble Bagheera, the black panther who is constantly fretting over frivolous details, is skeptical of everything, and whose primary concern is safety.
But sometimes you just have to hold your nose and take the plunge, and soon enough you will discover that the water is fine.
I created this site as a digital scrapbook of sorts, a place to record where I’ve gone and what I’ve done, and my hope is that it will also inspire you and yours.