The Ultimate Pioneering Adventure: My Move Back to Kansas
The time has finally come! Although moving across the country is a lot of work and very stressful, this move is extra special for me because my husband is returning from his nine month deployment overseas! Because I’m beyond ready for him to be home again, I was tempted to drive the most efficient route to Kansas and get to our new home as soon as possible. I’ve done this drive more times than I care to count, and it always feels like a chore. Until now, I have approached this journey with the same mindset: get there and get there now. But where is the fun in that?
When I spoke to Troy about it finally being time to move back, he asked me a question I hadn’t yet considered: “what’s the rush?” And really…me getting to Kansas faster wouldn’t make him get there any faster. I thought about how much more enjoyable this drive would be if I approached it as an adventurous quest instead of a twenty two hour chore.
The more time passed by and got me closer and closer to moving day, the more I thought about what an amazing experience this move could be if I didn’t just rush through it. The thing that really convinced me to plan an epic journey instead of just a straight shot to our new place was the knowledge that this would most likely be my last truly solo adventure for a good while. Troy’s deployment was probably one of the hardest tasks I’ve ever completed. Spending close to a year without my best friend by my side was extremely difficult. But, it was also extremely rewarding. I began to think of this move as the culmination of all the ways I was able to grow over the past nine months – every obstacle I’ve had to overcome, every feeling of loneliness I’ve had to swallow – this was my chance to put those bad ass independence skills to use. I fell in love with the idea and began mapping my route.
I started by sorting the national and state parks and preserves I would pass on my way from Tampa, Florida to my new home in Eastern Kansas. I started with a list of about eight places, but knowing how full my car was going to be with all of my stuff and how sick Chewy would eventually be of being crammed in said car, I narrowed my list down to three places. I wanted to stop in Pensacola, Florida to spend some time with Troy’s family and our friends there and have some great adventures with them and the dogs at Blackwater River State Park. Then, I decided to head up through Alabama and do a scenic drive through Little River Canyon National Preserve. Finally, I would head to Cumberland Gap National Park at the border between Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia to spend the night at the campground and reach the literal and figurative pinnacle of my adventurous drive to Kansas.
In the next couple of posts, I’ll be sharing each of my stops.
Time for this tumbleweed to roll back to Kansas again!