I AM A FREE BIRD

This week, I did something big. Like, really big. I entered the scary world of adulthood and officially flew away from the nest. I didn’t do what the typical 18 year old does. I mean, I’m not a typical 18 year old. I received my associates degree by the time everyone else my age had finished their first semester of college. Since I bought myself some time, I decided to take a gap year and (attempt to) figure out what to do with my life. What would I do with that year? Well, I decided to leave the comfort of my home and family in Arizona and move up to the ever so wonderful state of Oregon. I landed myself a live-in nanny position just south of Portland, so, I knew the universe was on my side for the big move.

My time in Arizona definitely taught me a lot about my own personality and the world itself. I learned the importance of being thrown out of your comfort zone. Being in a new place without knowing anyone can be a really scary experience. However, if you approach it with the right mindset and a sense of fearlessness, you become unstoppable. Through this, I learned to love feeling uncomfortable. If you constantly feel safe and protected in your life, you aren’t taking enough risks. That is how I knew it was time for me to make a change. Everything became so mundane, and I was ready to feel on my toes again. I also came to understand the power of people. It is crazy when you think about how people that were once strangers have the ability to change your life so drastically. While I enjoy dancing around in my own little world, it can be fun to invite others to hop on the dance floor with you. My five years spent in the desert are ones I will never take for granted, but the adventures must continue.

Now, about the move. If you ever get the opportunity to travel by yourself, do not hesitate and GO. If possible, drive. Driving is such an underappreciated task. Flying is cool and all, but driving takes you into the deep areas that you can’t see from the sky. “But driving is boring!” No. It most definitely is not. One of the best things you can do for yourself is learn how to have fun in your own company. I guarantee life will become 100x better. Once you learn to do that, a solo road trip will become the best trip of your life. My route took me through Shasta National Park and WOW, it was stunning. Every time I rounded a corner or Mount Shasta peeked out from behind the fog, I would scream with excitement. Literally. The scenic route is definitely the best route. While seeing the world is a great reason to drive, the number one reason is that you become the DJ of your own party. There are no conflicts between what to listen to next, no volume is too loud and no one is telling you to stop singing at the top of your lungs. You are FREE. 20 hours of driving was simply not enough – I would gladly hop back on the road.

It’s only been a few days since my arrival in Portland, but it feels very right.  I couldn’t be happier with my decision, and can’t wait for the year to come.

– Naturally inspired. Locally aware. Universally beautiful. With love, Kylee.

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