A Tale of Two Homes/Utah Visit

When you are a young, single adult living on your own, you can simultaneously feel like you have two homes and also none. On one hand, you live in a cool apartment but having roommates reminds you that you can only express yourself so much in your own living space. You will always (assuming you have a loving family) have an anchor in the shape of your parents and their home, but eventually they get rid of your bedroom and turn it into a home office, gym, or storage room. But even after weighing the pros and cons, the pros come out ahead and I believe I have two homes. Two locations where I can consider myself a local and that I know well enough to recommend restaurants. Two places where I can reach into the fridge whenever I am hungry and it isn’t weird. It’s a good feeling.

A few days ago I returned from a much-needed vacation to Utah. This trip came in the nick of time as I was just reaching the frayed end of my battered rope here in D.C. Sometimes the homework, job applications, roommates, singles wards, noisy and crowded city streets come on too strong and you need to take a step back. I am actually grateful I got stranded in Denver over Christmas break, because it allowed this trip to be (mostly) free!

So courtesy of the airline that stood me up, I got to spend 10 days in gorgeous, dry, mountainous Utah! Despite being sick the first half of my trip, I packed in quite a bit, including, but not limited to:

  • Surprising my mom at work who was unaware of my spontaneous trip.
  • Finally exploring some slot canyons in southern Utah.
  • Hanging out with the extended family at Sunday dinner (which included meeting my cousin’s fabulous girlfriend)
  • Visiting my ever-awesome aunt and cousin
  • Traditional BYU Campus visit (and stopping yourself from buying every apartment decoration with BYU lettering on it)
  • Driving through Provo Canyon and reliving every beautiful nostalgic moment
  • Checking out Squaw Peak for the first time–and legitimately checking it out, not the other thing (the view is gorgeous!)
  • Meeting up with my childhood best friend in Salt Lake and laughing. Always laughing.
  • Lovely bridal shower with long lost friends
  • Quality mom/daughter time (including some awkward exchanging of clothing items I had purchased five minutes earlier)
  • Yoga with goats
  • Dirty Dash cheerleading (turns out you miss your chance to participate when you don’t tell your mom you are going to be in town)
  • Campfire with the cousins
  • Attending the old Provo singles ward and feeling more loved than ever with the amazing friends you stupidly left behind (shoutout Kaitlyn ;D)
  • Dinner with Grandma
  • Playing with a million puppies
  • Visiting with another best friend and meeting her perfect-for-her fiancé (CAN NOT wait for the wedding in August!)
  • Almost nightly wrestling matches with the bros, constant antagonizing from the dad, and no help from the dog
  • And a bi-annual teeth cleaning…because that is just what you do on breaks.

Honestly, the first thing I noted was how I could actually be outside and not be instantly consumed by watery air. I could sit for hours outside in the fresh Utah weather, and I did! The mountains and rock formations constantly impressed me. Yes, I grew up around these so they aren’t new, but living in a land of hills makes you appreciate how crazy this earth can get! I also couldn’t stop smiling and being proud of my little home state as I drove around on Sunday and saw all the people in their Sunday best. Ah, I miss those quiet, peaceful Sabbath days. Also, $5 TUESDAYS.

Going from one place to another helps you to see the blessings in your life, especially how you have been directed. My little Utah vacation was fabulous and reminded me of how much I absolutely love being with family and friends. It is rough leaving your comfort zone but at multiple times I was reminded that there is a plan for me and that I am where I need to be. I also came back with renewed motivation and some goals I want to work on.

I love Utah so much. Like, a lot. But I don’t think I would love it as much if I hadn’t moved away. I wasn’t ready to leave, but it was probably the perfect time. You know, leave before you wear out your welcome and whatnot.

Leaving felt weird. It didn’t feel permanent, I wasn’t dreading it. I guess that is one of the best things about having two homes, you know you can always go back. Granted, my income does not allow me to go back whenever I want, but it is comforting to know that I am not stuck in any one place.

So, one plane, one shuttle, one train, and one bus ride later, I arrived back at my apartment with a brand new rope to wear down again. 😉

Bring on the sirens! I’m home.

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