In June 2016 I bought a Subaru Forester, packed it up, and decided to move from Florida to Oregon with my dog Jax because I needed a change and thought “what’s the worst that could happen? I’ll figure everything out when we get there. But I need a vacation so we’ll see all the sights and do all the things along the way.”
I didn’t figure anything out while we were traveling. As a matter of fact I spent all my money in 6 weeks and had to take the first and only job I was offered in that time, stewardess with American Cruise Lines on board a ship sailing the Columbia River. So Jax and I high tailed it back to Florida so he could stay with my mother while I went to work. A few days later I was “trained” and arriving at PDX in the middle of the night to work for the next 4 months. It was horrible.
My coworkers and I drank as much as we could to ease the pain of the sub-par living and working conditions. We would try to get off the ship in the afternoon between lunch and dinner to drink a little and hope it didn’t wear off before the dinner service was over. And then we would go out drinking again after dinner if we had to time. But we never really had the time to sit down and sip our cocktails. We’d go into bars or restaurants and knock back 2-3 rum or vodka drinks in a matter of minutes. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Eventually, I just felt too overwhelmed to go on, so I jumped ship after 8 weeks.
I spent 2 glorious weeks doing a little bit of traveling around after that. First stop was LA to see a friend I made on the ship. Then San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, and New York. As much as I wanted to see Jax, I was avoiding going back to Florida for as long as I could.
It was great. But I got sick and lost my voice because one of my roommates in the hostel I stayed at in San Francisco was sick. She lived in the East Bay, literally across the bridge, and never once thought it might be a good idea to leave so her roommates didn’t catch what she had.
To be continued…