Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Honestly. One Year Utahversary

Honesty is so important in a blog.  
It makes the author relatable and overall, more likeable and credible.  One of my favorite down to earth blogs is The Young Adventuress. Reading posts like hers really encouraged me to share the more honest side from time to time. I have had this post in my draft box in a while and as my time home nears to an end,  I figured today would be a great day to share it.  The honesty behind life of a transplant.

Today is my official "One Year Utahversary", aka one year since I left Connecticut, friends and family behind to start life out west and start grad school.  Life in Utah been highs and lows.  Like high highs and then the lowest of lows.  At times, it is really overwhelming and hard to deal with these emotions.    While my blog is littered with smiles by waterfalls, and laughter on some of Utah’s peaks,  I feel like I owe a tribute to another side out here.

It is so easy to read a blog and say “look at her, there she goes traveling again”.  Or “she looks so happy, wow”  or “That looks amazing I wish that was me”.  I will be honest, I read a ton of blogs and say all of these things.  But there’s another side that no one really talks about.  I am willing to bet that these people feel the “other side ” that comes with living a transplant life, and for some, long term traveling.

So what is this other side?  It’s not sexy, its not fun to read, but its honest and truthful and real.  Why do they leave out this part of the story,   Well, like I said, who wants to log on a Monday morning and read a post about how homesick, depressed and anxious someone is.  Not a blog I want to read.  Hell, just reading those words makes me feel more anxious. 

Traveling or moving across the country, or anywhere far from your friends and family means a few things: Yes there are new adventures and smiling faces, but there are also many missed holidays, birthdays, parties, cookouts, celebrations, and even more important, not being able to be with the people you love through the harder times.  

Thanksgiving for 2 is a somber experience, trust me.  

This day and age, social media makes that anxiety and homesickness even worse.  Living in a land locked state, every time I saw one of my friends back home enjoying sunshine and the water that pang of home hit like a dagger.  Working from home means I spent a lot of time in my apartment, which just amplifies all this anxiety of homesickness.  Living in my small apartment in the city, often terribly lonely while everyone is settled back home, celebrating anniversaries and buying houses.  It is not that I am not happy where I am at.   Because I am, and not having kids or a mortgage really makes traveling a heck of a lot easier (and more fun).

It is just that sometimes, it isn't as beautiful as it looks--and its lonely, homesick, and just plain hard at times.  For example, every Wednesday in the fall of last year, fresh off my move, I would have a serious pity party for one.  All my friends were diving and enjoying dinner and drinks, a ritual that was my favorite part of the week.  Instead, I was out in Utah, trying to adjust to life in the desert and really being the only "non Utah native" in my grad school program.  It wasn't just the change of climate, the change of scenery, the different people, the clash of culture, none of that independently is that bad.  But together, for someone who really never left home, it can be a lot.  I had to find "something else" to do on Wednesdays to take my mind off everything I was "missing" at home.

 Traveling a lot and visiting home often have certainly helped, but they come with their own set of drawbacks.  The transitions are never smooth-  there is always a ton of anxiety and sadness when I come and go back and forth and takes a day or two to adjust on either side.  Its a flood of emotions and clashes of culture and schedules each time I jet across the country. No matter where I am, there is always something I had to leave behind here or there.  And then there is the doubt.  What if I am not happy when I get home, what if I want to stay? What if this what if that? What if I move out of Utah and back East and I am still not happy? Well, I guess you just have to cross that bridge when you get there.

I feel like I have to end this post with a “BUT”.  I feel all these things…. BUT I am thankful that I am able to feel them.  They have made me a better human being as cliché as that sounds.  Sometimes you have to take a step away to look at things from a different perspective.  And this is what I am so thankful for.  The lens of having the courage to up and leave, and the ability to admit its not always easy, and that it is a fantastic learning experience. 

One year later and I am amazed how many lessons this chapter has taught me. 
 I learned to appreciate so many things (family, friends, stability, routine) and that grass isn’t always greener on the other side.  Sometimes, its not green at all (that was a pun for living in the desert- sorry).  I learned that the water is a huge part of me that I simply need to be happy.  For some people its the mountains, and for me its the water.  Wherever I go, there has to be water, no exceptions. 

With my time in Utah coming to an end as my graduate program does, I am so excited for this next chapter.  I made it through the year, something that seemed nearly impossible those first few months where I laid awake with panic attacks in my bed in Utah.

The highs are high and the lows are lows, buckle up, enjoy the ride, and make sure you learn a few things along the way.  


  1. Ah truth in advertising... It's hard leaving it all behind. And while social media may magnify the things you're missing, it also lets you stay closer than you would otherwise. So it's not all evil. I for one can't wait till you get back! But I'm glad you were able to find things to enjoy while you were gone. Chin up for the next few months! Lots of pony dates when you get back to CT!

    1. Thanks friend! visiting home was just what I needed! So great to see you!

  2. As someone who moved from Florida to SLC about a year and a half ago, I completely understand where you're coming from! It's great to hear that there are others like me here :)

    1. Hilary! Thank you so much for commenting! Sometimes I feel like an outcast becomes everyone here just LOVE LOVE LOVES Utah so much- it can be hard to relate! So nice to meet an East Coast native (water yay!) who gets it! Where in SLC are you, we should meet up sometime!


Let's Chat!