The Cross Country Drive of 3000 Miles
A year ago this week, I had made the cross country drive from San Diego, CA to Northern Virginia to start a new chapter in my life. After leaving the military, I really struggled trying to find a job that fit my skill set. Unfortunately, San Diego is an amazing place to live, and most people know that, so the market is flooded with extremely capable people. Not only are they capable, but most of them have advanced degrees, which I do not.
The employers in San Diego use any tool they can in order to thin down the pool of applicants. And because there are wayyyy more applicants than there are jobs, the employers have their pick of the litter. Needless to say, without an advanced degree and/or serious hookups in a company, there was no way I could find a decent job that paid a living wage in San Diego.
So, I made the difficult decision to look for jobs within my field of work outside of San Diego. I knew that I would have to leave my family and my friends behind for a significant amount of time; but I knew that it wasn’t a forever choice. I got several offers and decided to accept an offer on the other side of the country. It was one of the most difficult decisions that I had to make, but I knew that I couldn’t just stay and spin my wheels and be miserable. You can’t sit back and complain about life while doing nothing to change your circumstances.
I left San Diego hoping to hit some of the major landmarks on my way across the US. Unfortunately, driving so many miles really puts a strain on you. After getting through 2 states, I decided that I didn’t need to see all the landmarks that I had originally thought about; exhaustion makes you re-think a lot of things. Driving cross country sounds great until you are several hundred miles in. But, since turning back was not an option, I made the best of it and navigated through some of the major cities along the way, including Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
I had visited OKC one other time, so I had a pretty good idea of the things that I wanted to see. Oklahoma City was also my first rest stop, so it was a good place to sight-see. I arrived late, so I grabbed a bite and settled into my hotel room. Early the following morning, I grabbed some coffee in Bricktown and went to the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. The Memorial is such an emotional place; if you have never visited, I highly recommend it. It is important to understand the evil in the world in order to understand how to defeat it. Unfortunately I didn’t have a lot of time to spare, so I wasn’t able to stay too long.
Arkansas State Capitol
I took a slight detour through Little Rock, Arkansas in order to see the Capitol grounds. There are so many amazing monuments and statues on the grounds, that it was almost impossible to take everything in in such a short amount of time. Because Little Rock was not originally on my planned route, I hit evening traffic. If you have ever been in the Capitol of any state then you know how horrible the traffic is in the evening. The traffic added quite a bit of travel time to my route, so instead of making it all the way through in one day, I had to stop one more time.
I finally made it to my destination after driving for almost 3 days. If I did not already have a start date at my new job I probably would have taken a little more time on my cross country drive. There is definitely quite a bit more that I want to see across the US. My journey may not have been the origins of my Adventurings, it was definitely the catalyst that pushed me out of my comfort zone. Since I was in a new place with no family and few friends, I had to find things to do with all of my spare time.
I am very glad that I made the decision to leave San Diego, my life has changed in ways that I never thought possible. Before I left, there were quite a few people that expressed to me that they could never make the decision I did. I have never accepted mediocrity; it is a choice that I refuse to accept. If that means I have to step outside of my comfort zone, so be it.
Here we are, a year later and I have gone on so many amazing adventures and I have so many more planned before this year is up. Thank you for following along with me so far. I hope that you continue to enjoy seeing the photos and videos from my adventures. Please leave your feedback, I enjoy reading it.
Until the Next Adventure,