When I moved out to Utah almost 5 years ago I was young, excited, daring, and naive. I left every familiar feeling behind to move across the country. I was submerged by blue skies brighter than I had ever seen, I was captivated by the desert-like landscape (compared to Upstate NY trees), and I fell in love with the mountains. To this day, when I see large puffy clouds on the horizon they remind me of those mountains, and a strange sensation runs through me, like hearing a song that brings back memories.
Since being back in New York, it took me a while to adjust even though I was only in Utah a year. It had been a year with my highest highs and the lowest lows. It was emotional and stuck with me for a long time. For the past four years, I have annoyed my boyfriend, Torre, with my love of mountains and the west. Finally in October we took a trip out there to see old friends and show Torre why my obsession has such a strong hold on me.
We flew into Salt Lake and saw my great friend Trish and her soon-to-be husband. They took us up into the mountains with their Jeep – “Jeeping” as I like to call it. The beauty struck me again and I was hooked back into that lifestyle and atmosphere.
We then drove up to Logan and visited Utah State University where I attended my freshman year. It was nostalgic and at times, hard to be there. But I also couldn’t help and be thankful for what I currently have. Without the experiences I had there I would not be the person I am today.
That night I got to enjoy my all time favorite food – breakfast burrito. Not just any burrito, this as a Beto’s Burrito. Heavenly. We also met up with my best friend Brittany and took to the streets the following morning. We drove basically the entire state of Utah in a day, stopping at Park City, The Olympic Park, Mystic Hot Springs (That’s a whole other story in itself), we hit a deer, saw a moose, the list goes on and on. Needless to say, it was an amazing day.
At around 3am, after being swarmed by deer in pitch blackness, we pulled into our camp site and passed out. The next two days we hiked Zions National Park and met up with a hometown friend who had moved to Arizona. I didn’t often go to southern Utah during my time there, so this new landscape gave me new chills and excitement.
“Wherever you go, there you are” is a phrase I live by now. While driving cross-country to Utah with my parents, my dad said this as a car identical to ours passed by. He didn’t know this would stick with me, change my views, and ultimately heal me in a time of sadness, far from family.