You know it’s been too long when you feel like a stranger on your own blog. My life has been an absolute whirlwind since my return to the States about a month ago!
I ended my trip in Ireland, spending time with my Irish family and preparing to get back to reality. My days were filled with reading, writing, outdoor adventures with Cara and Matt, red wine around the fire with Lorraine and Noel, baking, Guinness and a whole lot of good Irish craic. I couldn’t have asked for a better two weeks in my favorite country. As I departed for the airport around 1am my Irish family had the entire pub singing, “New York, New York.” As with most goodbyes, it only gets more difficult as time goes on.
After my debacle in Norway I finally made it home to my parent’s house. My bed never looked so marvelous! Following a full night’s rest it was time to begin the next adventure – packing up my life and preparing to move across the country to Arizona. I’ve gotten the, “Why Arizona” question quite a bit so here’s my simplified answer: Family, sunshine, a new adventure and why not? No but really, why not?
So it’s as simple as that. I spent a week deciding what I needed and got rid of the rest. I visited friends in Albany and New York City. I spent time with my family and my Grandma who visited from Iowa. I absorbed as much fall air into my body as I could. I went apple picking. And then I began the 2,600 mile journey across the country with my mom.
We turned what could have been a mundane drive into an exhilarating road trip. We stopped in Knox, Indiana where we lived for seven years. We spent a weekend in Iowa visiting my mom’s side of the family. We spent a night in Liberty, Kansas – home of The Wizard of OZ! Our last stop was Albuquerque, New Mexico for the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. If you’ve never been, I highly suggest you go. It was magical experience to say the least.
Gram & I enjoying some R&R!
Open roads in Kansas
There’s no place like Liberty, Kansas!
International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
Family farm in Iowa
I arrived to Arizona two weeks ago ready to conquer the world. I began the full time job of finding a full time job and all of the sudden that relentless, real-life stress began to settle in. I never once allowed the thought that finding a job would be an easy task to make it’s way through my mind. I knew coming to a new city after traveling for close to one year and having little connections was going to be arduous. With that being said, having that thought and coming to the realization that there are bills to be paid are two very different realities. I spent my days at Starbucks applying for one job after another. I also applied for some part-time positions in hopes of making some money just for the time being and I wasn’t even hearing anything back from them! Starting a career quickly turned into what felt like an interminable task. This past Sunday night I sat down and paid my bills through November. This left me feeling discouraged and even more stressed. The following day I went to my aunt’s house and she suggested I follow up on the very first job I applied to months ago, which was at Grand Canyon University. Shortly after I sent the email I got a phone call from the University wondering if I could come in for an interview on the following day. COULD I!? I spent the rest of the night doing my homework and preparing myself for the interview.
I left the interview feeling fairly confident but I wasn’t going to get my hopes up. The following morning I got a phone call with a job offer. I’ll be starting training on November 3rd for my future position as an Enrollment Counselor. I couldn’t have handpicked a better job for where I’m at in my life and where I want to go. This position will be a challenging, new adventure and I am absolutely ecstatic! For those who were keeping me in their thoughts and prayers along this entire journey, THANK YOU! God is good.
Some people see new chapters as new beginnings and in some instances this is a great way to start fresh. Personally, I’m looking at this new chapter differently. I’m embracing every second of this new journey with the full understanding that the previous chapters of my life are what brought me to where I am now. Over the past year I have fallen in love with travel, writing and exploring. It’s not something I did to pass the time. It’s not something I did because I didn’t know what else to do. I travel, I write and I wander because this is a passion that burns deep. Traveling and exploring is more than a hobby for me, it is a way of life. And just like I told the hiring managers at my interview, I will continue traveling until the day I die.
I’m sure most of you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “Yeah, okay Hannah. Wait until you start that full time job. We’ll see how much traveling you’ll be doing then!” Although I can understand your logic here, I have to say I whole heartedly disagree with your mindset. Life is all about priorities and we all have different ones. Will I be taking off for Europe for months at a time? No. Will I spend weeks wandering around Southeast Asia. No. But I will continue to spend my weekends discovering new cities, climbing new mountains and trying out new cuisines. I can assure you my vacations will probably be spent in foreign countries and my saving account will be used primarily on weekend trips to new places.
The next few months will be jam packed with new experiences and I cannot wait for each and every one! In addition to many other short and long term goals, one that’s on the top of the list is living a life that proves that it is possible to have it all. And by “all” I mean all that you want. I’m ready to get some roots, reconnect with family, start a career, get my own apartment, get involved in my community and meet new people. Incorporating my passion for travel and writing won’t be difficult because it’s a part of me, not a part of my past.
My blog will not be taking a backseat either! Instead of focusing solely on travel, I plan to write about this new adventure which will indefinitely include travel along with many other topics I feel inspired to write about. This could range from apartment hunting, decorating, fashion, work-life balance, volunteering, food, wine, feelings. Basically anything and everything that makes my heart tick! I hope you all stick around for the ride =)