I've visited the Western half of the country a handful of times in the last few years, and every time I come out here I love it just a little bit more. There's something about the greenery that stretches for miles, cool weather year round, clear air, and bright blue skies that I simply don't get living in Philly.
Don't get me wrong, I will always have a special place in my heart for Delco and Philly, having lived in both, but there is nothing that rivals seeing the peak of Mt. Hood from wherever I am. Having family out here certainly helps too, but I've just come to the realization that when I'm home I feel restless.
I've always loved to travel, and seeing new places is an indescribable experience. Everyone thinks, "Wow I wish I could live here" in sunny Florida or tropical Hawaii or the eastern Caribbean, but I've never felt so at home in a place so far away from home as I do out west.
Fantasizing about moving across the country is a dream I've had for a while, but I never thought I'd actually be this serious about it. I don't have that much stuff to my name, so I'd just pack my car with as much as I could fit and just go. Of course, it isn't that easy, but it sure feels like it could be.
Unfortunately, I have a lot going for me at home. Most of both families live within half an hour drive (aside from the aunts, uncles, and cousins in Oregon and Florida), its familiar, and its where all the people I love are, including some of my closest friends. I've always wanted to be a teacher, and Pennsylvania has relatively good public schools, but I don't want to teach in the city, and suburban teaching jobs are usually few and far between.
Leaving my home, most of my family and my friends would be one of the most difficult things to do, but I wouldn't be going into it entirely alone. I have some wonderful family on the West Coast that would help me get settled and start to figure my life out, considering they've already been huge helps with helping me navigate adulthood so far.
Living on campus at Temple for a year made me realize how much I love the city, but it also reminded me how much I would hate to live there. I don't want to have to deal with cramped row homes and never having parking. I want to raise a family, have a driveway, space between myself and the neighbors, and the ability to have a fenced in backyard, and I see that as a very real possibility for the trajectory of my life out west.
In all seriousness though, who really knows where my life will take me? I just know I don't want it to be in Delco, and if my plans are way off, then so be it. I know that I will learn how to make myself happy and contribute to the world no matter where I end up.
Shit happens, life changes, and I've finally started to embrace that unpredictability.