About three months ago I packed all of my belongings into my SUV and left the state I had called home for all of my life. I left my family, my friends, and my home behind. You might be wondering, why? Why would you leave the life you have made behind?
Truthfully, I love and miss Wisconsin. The people from Wisconsin are some of the nicest you will ever meet. The sports fandom is simply unmatched by any other state (in my biased opinion). Wisconsin just knows how to have fun. There was nothing intrinsically wrong about Wisconsin that made me want to leave.
I love my family and friends even more than I love the state of Wisconsin. This was by far the hardest part about leaving. I truly have some lifelong friends that I have made some of my favorite memories with. Then there is my family. Not just my immediate family, but my entire extended family. They have been my support and lifeline whenever I have needed them. They have given me endless love all the way back when I was the first grandchild through now being the first of my generation to leave home.
I could go on about Wisconsin as a state, or how much my friends and family mean to me for ages. So much so that they deserve their own blog post. I bring this up briefly to say I wasn't escaping anything, and I wasn't living a bad life at all. So again, why the hell did I leave Wisconsin?
How England Shifted My Mindset
To completely answer that question, I need to rewind the clock to my sophomore year of college. During the second semester, I studied abroad in Liverpool, England for an entire semester. I fell in love with the country. Even the little things like something as mundane as the transportation system, all the way to the crazed fandom surrounding soccer (my favorite sport).
I had traveled to many places, even other countries, prior to studying abroad, but this experience was totally different. Spending an entire 5 months in another country really showed me how easy it was for me to adapt and live in a new environment. Stepping out of my comfort zone into something new truly opened my eyes to what else the world has to offer. There was so much out there to see and experience than the life I was used to in Wisconsin.
I lived my life to the fullest during my last two years of college, but there was a restlessness, a feeling inside of me that continued to grow. I yearned for adventure. I wanted something new. The idea of there being something more out there for me never left my mind. I had explored most of what Wisconsin had to offer me.
The out-of-state job search
That ultimately led to me completely focusing on applying to out-of-state positions during my senior year. I applied to jobs in Washington, Oregon, and Utah. I would be lying if I said I didn't keep tabs on jobs in England as well. However, with COVID-19 at large and not wanting to be an ocean away from my family, I decided not to pursue overseas positions.
I really focused on those three states because I am really into the outdoors. My hobbies include hiking, fishing, backpacking, camping, and recently skiing. Washington and Oregon are part of the Pacific Northwest, a landscape that has always fascinated me. Utah has a crazy set of landscapes ranging from red rock deserts to high reaching mountainous regions.
No single one of those states would have disappointed me as there were so many opportunities to explore exciting sites at each. Thankfully, I got a call back on my application to Lucid, a software company in Salt Lake City, Utah. With each interview, I became more and more excited about the opportunity to work for them. The benefits and culture were unlike any company I had worked for previously.
I researched further into Salt Lake City and uncovered that the city is an outdoor lover's paradise. There are several world-class ski resorts within an hour of the city, and mountains literally border the city. Utah has five national parks, and Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons are a 5-hour drive away. Actually living in the West also puts me at the doorstep of the Pacific Northwest, California, and some pretty sweet southern states. Career-wise, Salt Lake City is exploding with job opportunities specifically in tech. The city was even nicknamed the Silicon Slopes. To put it simply, I was excited about the potential to live in Salt Lake City.
Then, one day while doing homework for one of my classes my phone rang. On the other end was a recruiter from Lucid who ended up offering my a position as an Analyst for the Strategy and Analytics Team. I played it cool and told her I would think it over and have my answer for her soon. Immediately after hanging up, I literally jumped for joy and fist-pumped. My new adventure was actually materializing, starting with an amazing first career!
I accepted the position the next day. In the end, the puzzle pieces that mapped out my next steps in life just fell into place. And now here I am three months later in Utah so happy I took the leap.
Even if the job did end up sucking or I hated the city, I would have totally regretted not taking the chance. I would have been in Wisconsin, stuck with that feeling that there might be something more out there for me. I will leave you with a quote that has inspired a lot of my decisions during the last few years of my life.
I would rather live a life of 'oh wells' than live a life of 'what ifs'
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Until next time!