I spent the month of February flying from state to state. First Ohio, then California, and back to Oregon. It’s a perk of my current work schedule.
All with one piece of carry-on luggage, a backpack carrying my laptop and chargers and a small number of outfits that could be counted using just one hand. (If you hadn’t guessed, I travel light.)
Living in Oregon, the flight back home to family in Athens, Ohio is relatively expensive. In terms of price, flying into Columbus’ small airport can be comparable to flying into Honolulu, Hawaii.
I originally just wanted to fly back into Ohio to celebrate my sister’s 21st birthday. It was in the plans for the last couple of years of college. I always meant to go back to ring in the first few days of legal drinking. The details of her heart-day themed party were blogged about here.
Beyond that, I hoped to land a meeting with an e-commerce mogul local to the Columbus area.
The combination of family and pinning down a tricky meeting with business owner, tacked onto a flexible schedule with remote work, ended up making for a trip without end.
It sounds like total freedom…
The Downsides of No Return
True: It was an adventure.
It felt fun and freeing for a good part of the trip. It wasn’t without a few downsides.
Right before I left, I had a job opportunity. I interviewed on a whim with a local media company and can honestly say I was one of a small few who were in line for the job. They wanted me to come in for a third-round, in-person interview. Due to the one-way ticket and wanting to dedicate my time to family, and waiting for my business meeting to be confirmed, I couldn’t pin down a specific return date right away.
Needless to say, I didn’t get a return email from sending a response that indicated I wouldn’t be home in the next three weeks.
Second, my boyfriend certainly wasn’t happy. There was some stress on both sides as we overcame some deep struggles in communication. It was all for the better in working through together, lending us more strength in our relationship than ever before.
Our reconciliation led to rescheduling another one-way ticket to San Francisco to join one another in the Bay area. I could not have made a better decision to join him in California on his work trip. Not only was I reunited with my partner after two emotionally wrought weeks apart, but got to share three days with him, boating in the bay, traipsing through Nob Hill and Lombard Street, and eating Roman-style pizza together.
From there, we both arranged trips back home to Portland.
Over the span of three weeks, I went across the country, was on the cusp of heartbreak, skipped a pitch meeting, and lost a job opportunity. Such were the consequences in my decision to book a one-way ticket out-of-state.
The Best Parts
Seeing my family is so important to me. It was a huge deal to be able to be there for my sister on her birthday, catch up with my mom, and go out with my college friends. I felt like I was back in college, back when it wasn’t so stressful.
The second part was the fairy tale of joining my boyfriend on our first major trip together. From Golden Gate views at sunset, to peanut milk shots, to sourdough bread and lemon meringue cake downtown, the trip was everything we had planned and more. I could not have been more happy and thankful. More details on the trip to come…
For each city, I had the chance to recharge and discover. I get a huge sense of joy in finding local gems and exploring a new space. I can’t help but love the unknown variables of traveling and the potential of finding something amazing to call home about.
Finally, I got to come home after weeks away, and feel more content and grounded in my everyday routine and work. All with a smaller price tag than expected in flexible dates, practical flight times, and budget-friendly airlines. One-way travel was something different, and I’m thankful that I had the availability with work to try it once.
It was an interesting bit of freedom in travel.