On 22 January 2012 I said good-bye to the Marine Corps, my life and occupation for the last 8 years. It was a gentle parting, as I knew for months that I was leaving. Fellow Marines tried to sell me on staying in the Corps, because of the benefits and how far I could go. My family and some friends questioned leaving a secure position for the unknown. I appreciated their candor and concern but I knew that this particular journey was at an end and a new one was in my future. A quote comes to mind to describe how I was feeling towards the end of my time in the Corps. It is the words of Bilbo Baggins, protagonist of The Hobbit, “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” With that feeling, I knew it was time to move on. When I exited the Corps I was living in beautiful sunny San Diego on the West Coast of the US. I decided I was going to move back to the East Coast to be closer to my family and friends. The original plan was to move to Miami.
On the way to that new life I traveled cross-country (most of the way by myself) stopping at various friends along the way. I made a slide show of that journey which you can find below.
I did spend some time in South Florida and found it to be well, flat. Geographically and structurally speaking with was very flat. After living in San Diego and North County in Southern California I’ve come to realize that in my place of residence I want the sea close by. But I also want the mountains. I want hills and dales to go up and over, down and under. I don’t need NYC sky scrapers but buildings that make you look up with their height and architectural grandeur. Beyond that, Florida never captured me. It never made me want to explore its highways and byways. At least not South Florida so embarked on fulfilling another lifelong desire and crossed the ocean instead of just a continent to Barcelona.
There are so many different journeys one can take in life some more memorable than others. My solo cross-country trip showed me that adventure can be had solo and let others do the worrying and stressing and enjoy the peregrinations.
What has been a one of if not the most memorable sojourn of your life thus far?