From Down South to Up North

With the warm mid-August North Carolina morning sun positioned in the sky I pulled out of the driveway of my home waving goodbye to my parents. As I looked in the rearview mirror I could see the yellow flowers in the garden & freshly cut green grass along with my parents inspecting their garden while standing in the driveway. My car was fully packed and I was ready to move to New York! The weeks before I was very excited about my first long distance solo road trip. But my dreams of an exciting and adventurous quest North got exchanged with extreme stress. Having to pack half of my life, make sure my living arrangements were still in order & deal with multiple overwhelmingly stressed family members (whom I love deeply) changed my ecstatic mood into I'm just ready to get to my final destination! And with the grace of God, two cups of coffee and a pit stop in D.C. that is exactly what I did! Mission accomplished I made it safely to my destination! My road trip to New York from North Carolina was not as exciting as I imagined but hey I can't really complain!

I spent about $24.75 on tolls & $60 on gas. As much as I love flying I would recommend driving for anyone on a budget or with plenty of time. Driving from North Carolina to New York would make a great road trip with friends or family! Just make sure to switch drivers. If you make the trip by yourself or cannot switch drivers make sure you take a pit stop along the way or get a hotel to spend the night! It is recommended that drivers take a break every four hours. (Inner bus driver coming out.)

Once I arrived in my new town I was very, very impressed. The scenery is beyond what I imagined! Google maps did not serve this town justice! (I google maps just about everywhere I go.) So far my favorite part about living in New York is being able to get a taste of the city and the "country" in one day.

This view takes my breath away every time!

My first weekend in New York I got to check out some live jazz music at a local cafe, explore New York City and shop in New Jersey. There is so much to see and do in my new backyard to the point I have had to tell myself to slow down. Being in a new area can be so exciting! But even if you are not in a new area you should really consider being a tourist for a day! Being a tourist lets you gain so new facts about the area you are living in and can be super affordable or even free!

Enjoying the sunset while aboard a local tour boat.

So what exactly brought me to New York?

Well I wish I could say I just packed my bags and came up here to be a starving artist or something along those lines but I am a woman with a plan most of the time. My dream of living in New York and the opportunity to serve with AmeriCorps are the two reasons behind my move. I decided to join AmeriCorps when someone asked me what I planned on doing during my gap year between undergraduate and professional school. At the time I had no idea but literally that night I did some research & stumbled upon AmeriCorps while surfing the website of the sister program Peace Corps. AmeriCorps is a federally supported, service-based organization that gives adults of any age the opportunity to help American communities with needs in education, the environment, public safety, health, and homeland security. Scholarships are given to members that participate for at least 10 months and a living stipend is also given to members! I highly recommend this program to anyone looking for something to do during their gap year between school, someone who is not sure what career path to pursue or someone just looking for something beneficial to do in the community!

One of the lines in AmeriCorps oath that really motivates me is "I will get things done for America - to make our people safer, smarter and healthier." Knowing that the service I am providing is not only helping someone in the community but also helping launch my healthcare career is very rewarding. All the members have the same passion for improving the lives of other individuals while learning along the way! I would have to say at this point my move to New York was a very wise decision! And to you the reader I challenge you to pursue whatever goals you have! Where there is will there is a way! It will take time, stressful moments, research and some people not understanding what you are doing but there is always a way to achieve whatever goal you have for yourself! Go big or go home & of course don't forget to travel!



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