There is a song called “Morocco” by the band Moon Taxi that has sort of become a road trip anthem for me, and all because of that one line.
Well, it’s not on purpose, but I tend to think of my life in two separate parts: Life before moving to Nashville, and life after.
Moving did open my eyes up to more of the world that’s out there, however, I did do a little bit of traveling before that.
Jackson, Michigan is not really a place anyone would ever look forward to visiting. Aside from Cascades Park and Grand River Brewery right downtown, there’s not a whole heck of a lot to do. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great place to grow up. But I’m so glad to be where I am now.
My hometown is in south central Michigan, about an hour and a half from South Haven on Lake Michigan and an hour and a half from Detroit. Of course I have visited both and often.
My brother lives just outside of Detroit and I always enjoy visiting. (Tigers baseball games are the best!) Believe what you want, I have high hopes for Detroit.
Obviously I’ve visited my fair share of the rest of the state of Michigan as well. Mackinac Island, Traverse City, Saugatuck. But not a whole lot of da U.P. Oops, sorry non-Michiganders…the Upper Peninsula. I know I went there a couple of times as a child, I just don’t really remember. So that just means I have to go back (Isle Royale is high on my list!)
I will say, while I may have moved away, Michigan is a beautiful state and will always hold a special place in my heart. (Not to mention forever tattooed on my ankle.)
If you’re not familiar, Michigan is a Midwestern state and also right next to Canada. What does that mean? Pretty much that I’ve been to Canada and Chicago A LOT. So much so that I could care less if I ever go back to Niagara Falls. I’ve been there maybe three or four times? I can’t even remember! Don’t get me wrong, it’s super cool. But there’s only so much you can do there after one trip. And Toronto is great, too, but I feel the same way about it.
Chicago, on the other hand? Chicago is probably the city I’m most familiar with other than Nashville. A (usually) easy train ride from Jackson, I think I would go at least two times a year. Plus, it helps to have friends there and it seems like there’s always something different to do. I’m also comfortable getting around town and have even given directions to tourists. I haven’t been in about two years now, but Chicago is just one of those places I will always love.
At the age of 16, I went on a class trip to Paris. My grandma had always dreamed of going but refused to travel at her age, so she paid for me go instead. In an unfortunate turn of events, however, I had to return home only two days after arriving. But I did get to see Notre Dame, stand under the Arc de Triomphe, and wander along the Champs Elysee. Also unfortunate, I think I lost those pictures when I deleted my Myspace. Possibly one of the biggest regrets of my life. (Gotta love 2006.)
Right after high school I flew over to Phoenix, Arizona, to visit family. Pretty much only hung out at their house by the pool, though, and will have to get back now that my interests have changed. I need to explore more!
At 20 I made it to my favorite city, New York. I loved how big and dirty and busy it was! I may be from a small town, but I think I’ve always had a big city heart. This was 2010 so I walked by Ground Zero, saw the Statue of Liberty, wandered through Central Park, and posed for pictures in Time Square. As far as I’m concerned, you can never visit NYC too many times and plan on doing so more often in the future.
I spent my 22 birthday in the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area in Tennessee. This was another case of wishing I had known then what I know now. Not so much of the outdoorsy type at the time, I had no idea what I was missing in the Smoky Mountains. Don’t worry, I’m more than aware now. But I’ll be talking more about that in the future.
And later that same summer I visited Nashville for the first time. I had a bad cold and had just driven 8 hours, but when I saw the skyline I knew I wanted to move here. I may not stay forever, but I’m so glad for my time in this city.
There was even a point when my boyfriend at the time and I discussed moving to the oldest city in America: St. Augustine. He had family there and it was definitely a beautiful city, but my heart wasn’t in it. Still, I’m glad I’m able to say I visited Florida once!
So! that’s pretty much where I’ve been and what I know. That is, until about a year ago. But I’ll save that for another time.