Photo by Cristofer Maximilian

As I was laying in bed with Covid a month ago I got a call from a job I had applied to almost 3 years ago. I had forgotten I even applied or that this position, hell, that the company, even existed. The position was for Merchandising new Walmart locations and I had the choice between five states. Immediately I felt a swell of excitement rise in my body and I knew in that moment I was going to take the position.

I've worked for myself for the past year so the thought of working for someone else, having a rigid structure, and less time for myself didn't sound the most appealing - but since the job was short term only spanning out for two months with really great pay I decided to take it.

For a while now, while I love the life of time freedom I've created for myself it's certainly been lacking in structure and I saw this as a chance to create some new habits, travel, and place myself in a better situation financially.

When I got on the road I was literally running on excitement and a shit ton of water which resulted in stopping every hour to pee. It felt so liberating to be out on the open road. No where else to be. Just me and the world to explore. I car camped across the country so the first two nights I realized how uncomfortable it was to sleep in your car with no window covers. 

I finally got some good rest when I realized that the place I felt the safest at were 24 hour travel stops parked near the door. What an experience. Not long after I had been on the road I decided to DIY some window covers and with some command strips, gorilla glue, and car window shades I made it happen.

I started in Concord, NC and the first state I traveled through was Tennessee which is absolutely breathtaking. I've visited TN many times but it never ceases to amaze me at how breathtaking this state is. 

Next I went through Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado.

Kentucky had this beautiful rest stop that looked like a literal AirBnb with so much greenery, flowers, and plants.

I don't remember anything really standing out driving through Missouri, but Kansas made up for that.

Although I've heard that there isn't much to do in Kansas I loved ever minute driving through this state. It felt like a shot right out of the Lion King. Most of the landscape compares in aesthetic to that of the Pride Lands. No joke. It looked like lions should be roaming around freely.

The area in Colorado that I drove through (Denver) I didn't really care for - it was very overpopulated and had very little nature. My body honestly felt quite panicked driving through this state.

Then I hit Wyoming and there was nothing but rocks for hours upon hours and at some point I began to feel anxious, like I was losing my breath, hot in the face, I began coughing, and had bad abdominal pain.

So, as I lost my breath and was having what I now know in hindsight was a full blown panic attack I raced at 120 mph to the closest gas station because I thought I was dying. Thankfully I pulled up to a gas pump next to a registered nurse and literally word vomited everything I was experiencing out to this man.

He assured me that it was probably anxiety from being so far from home as to why I was feeling shortness of breath - but just to be on the safe side he recommended I go to the emergency room to get checked out, so I did.

People in Wyoming are special. They are so kind, loving, and their auras radiate a feeling of home. Home in the sense of how Grandmothers make you feel. I felt so supported and taken care of. It turns out that I had shortness of breath because of the change in altitude, but my oxygen levels were excellent. I was coughing because there had been some fires out in WY and there was smoke in the air. To top it all off with the most embarrassing part it turns out the abdominal pain was due to me being constipated. Yep. Just full of shit, that's all.

So, at a rest area in Utah I stopped and flushed my system with this nasty ass drink they gave me called the bomb and well let's just say it did the trick.

Waking up in Utah was so beautiful. The mountains in the distance, the crisp cool air, and another day ahead of me to see some new places. 

When I made it to Idaho I had pretty much decided I wanted to drive straight through to Oregon so I did.

The first town that I had the pleasure of experiencing in Oregon was Ontario, such a charming little town.

There was so much happiness, joy, pride, and excitement that I had finally made it to the other side of the country. All by myself.

I wish I would have gotten to drive through the mountains of Oregon and the forest during the day but I didn't. 

When I finally got to my destination I had fully planned to car camp to save money and just go hard core for the next two months but as it turns out I called a Hostel here and inquired about a place to stay because my family were worried something would happen to me.

On their website I saw that they offered work trade and asked if there were anymore openings and the owner invited me to come on a tour to see what I thought of the place.

Day 3 in Oregon and I had 2 jobs and a free place to stay.

When I tell you God's universal force works in ways we'll never be able to fully understand I mean it.

The syncronicities - down to the owner of the hostel's dog being named Oso and my neighbor's dog having the same name - that Oso means bear and my friends have often referred to me as having bear energy which I told the owner to which he revealed the meaning of the name Oso to me for the first time. This experience has literally been mind blowing.

I'm not quite sure exactly why I'm meant to be here on a spiritual level but I do know that I'm right where I'm meant to be.

On this porch hearing my co-worker speak to someone on the phone in her mother language, Russian - hearing the train pass by while my fingers ravish this keyboard.

While I'm here I'll be working 60 hour weeks but still plan on making some time during this work project to explore and see all of the beautiful sights Oregon has to offer. I hope to also visit Seattle, Washington before I go. 

On the way back I'll be following some work friends and we'll be traveling back through California as well as the southern states which I'm really looking forward to.

I've been wanting to show up and fill everyone in but with all of these changes I've needed to honor myself and just be. 

Can't wait to share more adventures with you soon.


Kayla Graham. Theme by STS.