By Daniela Bizzell
To begin, I graduated college a mere four months ago.
Throughout my time, I strived to gain the experience I needed to one day work in the editorial and publishing field. Beginning with the Campus Clipper, introducing me to my work with publishing, blogging, and learning about this field, and ending with another editorial position finishing up my collegiate career, I felt ready.
However, compared to a few good friends of mine, I didn’t have a full time, salary-paid, “big girl” job waiting for me as I received my undergraduate Bachelor’s degree diploma in Literary Studies. I had a plan, a vague, ambiguous, blurred boundaries, plan, yet no action had yet to be made.
So many of peers chose to stay in the city, attempt to “make it,” gain an office job from higher ups that would be impressed by a resume not dissimilar to my own. Some moved back home, hoping to make a few extra bucks before deciding what they wanted to do with the rest of their lives – a decision that definitely does not need to be made within the first year of graduating college. Others that didn’t “need” a job after school, travelled to foreign Croatian beaches until they felt good and ready. And a few applied to graduate school, having pounded the GRE’s months prior.
None of these plans worked me, however. None of these solutions of no longer being a student fit my aspirations. Therefore, months before graduating, I made a plan that would – hopefully, one day – help fulfill my unimaginable future while still providing me with a freedom, a release, that I so desperately needed.
My trip across the country would begin a few weeks after I graduated, giving me ample time to head home, revisit with family, say goodbye to friends, get my car, and enjoy a graduation party leaving me with word of wisdom, an atlas for the car, and some extra cash from my supportive family members. It would be not only a journey of exploration for the hell of exploration, it would be a trip harnessing potential – exploring places I may want to end up, I may find worth leaving New York for. This was my stepping stone in figuring out my adult life – and it didn’t require a cubicle, at least not yet.
The beginning of the plan was to determine where I wanted to go and what I wanted to see. What were the requirements of my potential new home, of the types of people, the types of culture with which I would want to surround myself, and just for good measure, which cities had the best food.
So it began, my decision making, choosing places that reminded me of my liberal, upstate childhood home, of my eccentric, exciting New York City, and of something new.
Austin, Texas, to Oakland, California, to Portland, Oregon, to Seattle, Washington, to Denver, Colorado, with a variety of stops in between ranging from Nashville, Tennessee to the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas. All of this would be done in a 12-year-old car with an interchanging group of girls – my support system and the only way to truly enjoy a road trip of this extent. We would take five weeks, have two break downs, and I would leave with an incredibly deep understanding of where I wanted to end up, all while taking my time, refusing to settle, and knowing that I wasn’t failing if I didn’t land myself my dream career the first week out of college. So the journey began, stay tuned, and you’ll learn every detail you’ll need for your own post-grad cross country exploration.
For some specifics, follow my confessional story here.