After discovering that I need to be in Cullowhee earlier than originally planned, my driving partner (Dad) and I talked to our respective jobs about being gone sooner than planned and re-routed the trip. The original trip was Vancouver to Boise; Boise to Fort Lupton, CO; Fort Lupton to St. Louis, MO (13 hours!); St. Louis to Nashville, TN, and then Nashville to Cullowhee. We changed the route, took out Nashville and were going to spend the night in a little town outside of Cullowhee called Maggie Valley, but we’ve revamped one last time.

Now the path looks like this. We’ll probably stop at Auntie Jenny’s for dinner in Boise, but we’ll be staying in Twin Falls our first night. After that, we’ll head to Fort Collins, CO, arriving just in time to get a beer at New Belgium before heading to Colorado State University to visit/stay with a friend of mine (one that I went to Kenya with back in 2009, and is fantastic). Our next drive is to Kansas City, MO, and then we’ll take a short hop to St. Louis, MO, where we’ll spend the day being tourists (we’re going to go up in the Arch!). Newport, TN is our final stop and the next morning we’ll pack up early and drive the 90 minutes to Cullowhee so that I can check in to my apartment, unload the car, and head to training. It’s a whirlwind, but it’s going to be awesome.

It’s hard to believe that I’m leaving. I have 5 days left at my summer job, and on Sunday my mom is throwing me a going away party. This last Sunday, I had dinner with Michelle, the woman who mentored me in undergrad and helped me to realize that going in to Student Affairs was something that I would really enjoy, and I’m so glad I got to see her. She gave me a couple of wonderful going away presents, and we talked about how amazing school is going to be. Last night, I saw my BFF Michael and my good friend Karmen, and said a proper goodbye to my alma¬†mater.

Tonight I had an amazing dinner with a friend from UP, which was everything I seemed to need. We talked for nearly four hours.¬†Tomorrow will be a sad goodbye; the teacher that had the biggest impact on me in high school (and pretty much made sure that I graduated) lost her battle with brain cancer this last weekend, and her service is tomorrow. She is someone that has meant a lot to me since I graduated from high school, and I was going to try to see her before I left. This certainly isn’t how I imagined saying goodbye.

I guess all of them will be sad goodbyes, to tell you the truth. I love the people I have met thus far in my life, and leaving them behind is going to be one of the hardest parts of this move. The thing I try to remember, though, is that every single one of them has helped me get to where I am now, so I’m only doing right by them (and, of course, me) by moving across the country for graduate school.

It’s just hard to believe it happens in eight days.

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