How happy am I? I’m ecstatic. I’m no “Debbie Downer” this bright (icy) Monday morning. I do not typically like musicals but I feel like singing in the rain today. That is how much of a Debbie Downer I am NOT.
See, there were gray skies and there was sunshine during my brief vacation to West Virginia. Yes, a few of you noted it is an odd place to visit on vacation. Well, I say don’t knock it until you try it. While there was icy rain in New York, Morgantown West Virginia was just lovely. People were walking around in shorts and it wasn’t just because it is a college town where maybe some people may be stoned and thus oblivious to the weather elements. It is a lovely mountain town that takes you for a ride. Although, a bit too many organic and vegetarian options for my liking. Morgantown, West Virginia, was like visiting a wild west version of Berkeley, California. There were intermittent gray skies and sunshine throughout the whole weekend making it seem like you were navigating through a 101 micro-climates.
Seriously, I too, as I had noted previously, was skeptical. However, I just had to go. See, the last few years I developed an obsession to become part of the 50 state club. I have traveled so much for business, especially in the Deep South, that at one point I started to notice that I was getting close to having been in every one of the United States’ 50 states. Plus, I have also been to two US territories (Puerto Rico and The Virgin Islands). One day, I realized I had 15 states, then it was 13, then I went on a major business travel rampage through the south and I got down to 7 states. It stayed that way for a bit. Then this past November, I made it out to Oklahoma and Kansas.
At the start of 2015, I was down to 5 states left in my odd quest. Then I made a life-changing decision. I quit my job. I am moving out west leaving my beloved New York behind for a little bit. Yes, I kind of buried the lead there. I quit my job. Yes. I am free and expanding my horizons. I will be the one in charge now making sure team members get paid, have a long-lasting fulfilling job and ultimately provide services that enhance and improve the lives of community members. While all that shall weigh heavily on my shoulders I am taking on this new adventure with grand delight. I have come a long way, baby. Just wish my mom was around to see me become the CEO/President on an agency.
By making such a change, I already accomplished one of my new year’s resolutions which was to find a new path in life. I then resolved to get even closer to my 50 state quest. Thus, by January 17, 2015 I accomplished two of my new year’s resolutions. In all fairness, I am not too sure they were resolutions. Anyway, I am smiling from ear to ear. I took a chance heading to West Virginia in the winter. The roads are windy, the winds can be fierce, and the altitude can be grand. When we got here, it was nearly 50 degrees with intermittent sunshine. You can’t beat that.
I now just have the states of South Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Alaska left to visit. Let me clarify really quickly, it is not just about stepping in the state or being at an airport. There has to be significant amount of time spent in the state in order to form an informed opinion. Thus, flight layovers do NOT count. For all my states in my column I have slept there or been there for more than three day trips.
Now, this summer I will completely move out west with my 5th cross-country road trip; affording me the opportunity to stay in South Dakota, Montana and Idaho. (knock on wood-that’s the Puerto Rican in me).
Alaska! I will hear you calling my name into the wild.