I am lucky that I became a nurse. Not only is it stable but it allows me to be able to travel to different parts of the country and fill the needs of hospitals who are running shortMy goal is to try to go to all 50 states, perhaps not as a travel nurse-but it is on my bucket list. Some states (Alaska, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Georgia, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, Washington DC, North Carolina) more than others but I think every state in the union offers something special and unique. Either in the people that live there or in the landscape and history itself.Born and raised in Minnesota. Minnesota “nice” is what we are labeled. I consider that true for the most part. Minnesota ICE as well, as it is no longer a place I choose to spend my winters. I think I’ll pass on the 30 below zero windchills for December. Where the Scandinavians came to make home because the climate was much like theirs in Northern Europe. Land of 10,000 lakes. Fishing. Walking paths. Mayo Clinic. Lake Superior. Biggest indoor shopping mall in America. Theater, music, sports. Hot humid summers, including “dog days” where the water is no longer blue to such cold winters where you can stand on your step and toss hot water and watch it freeze on impact as it hits the cement.I moved to Connecticut, which is now my home. Connecticut. Still friendly but definitely reserved people. When I first moved there, I saw it for myself. Walked down the sidewalk saying “Hello, how are you doing?” and getting strange looks. In Minnesota we did not think this gentle greeting was going to be responded to-it was just our way of being friendly. In Connecticut, however, keep it to yourself. But again, it does not mean the Yankees are not friendly-they are just more introverts. Close to NYC, Boston, the mountains, the Long Island sound. Hard to pass up seafood when it is most likely caught within a 300 mile radius. Of course, it’s history going back hundreds of years. Mark Twain. Cemeteries with dates read from the 1700s. You can find those in neighboring Mass but doubt you’ll find them in Minnesota (for the most part).My first travel assignment was in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has never been on the top of my list to visit. So I figure, why not go with work? Landscape…green in the east, dry in the west. Traveling down the highway, you see brown. A tree every now and again. An oil rig was far more common then trees in some parts. This was apparent when I went back home to Connecticut in between my extension…plush green flank the Connecticut highways. Not so in Oklahoma-it’s no wonder why tornadoes like Okie. The people of Oklahoma…much different than Minnesota and Connecticut. Not a bad different, of course, but just different. More conservative. More religious-you turn the radio on in your car and the religious channels outnumber the nonreligious channels. They are more…set in their ways. Not that I was looking to change them, because that’s not my purpose in life. My life purpose is to grow and I tend to do that when I surround myself with people who are not like me. Rich in Native American history since this is where a lot of the southern Native Americans were shoved to and put in a box called Oklahoma. It is apparent too, a lot of Native Americans still exists (which is a good thing) and if you do not believe…head to Oklahoma.I also ended up in SoCal. Much different than Minnesota, Connecticut, and Oklahoma. SoCal. Laid back. Traffic. Religious is around but they are not upset if you’re not religious. People friendly, open. Culture in SoCal…Americanized. Mexican. Philippine. It’s cool, we all get along! Hollywood. Joshua Tree. Ocean. Seals. Disneyland. Music. Stage. Screen. It is all here. Overtaxed? Probably not to far off from Connecticut so the adjustment was easy there. Landscape…pretty flat with canyons accenting the skyline. Dry. More sand and dessert like then Oklahoma. But my goodness is there room to grow out West! You take a flight back home…East, you see all this open, unused land. But that’s okay-they do not need anymore people. But then again, all are welcomed here. You do not really feel like an outsider because really, we are all outsiders here. Rarely do you come across someone that was born and raised here. They are transplanted…for opportunity. For fame. For sun. For warmth. History is abundant here as well…the good ol’ west. History of coming West and striking gold.I do not always believe that you have to leave your home town to get a glimpse of life outside of yours. If you take a moment out of your hustle and bustle-you can certainly appreciate what is around you. But if you get the opportunity to venture out, realize that every place has a history and if you read about the history you get an idea as to why that area is the way that they are. It makes sense. And we are lucky that we have the opportunity to get into our cars and, for some, just travel a mere 300-1200 miles to get from flat plains to mountains. 80 degree weather to snow on the group. Beach to putting on snow shoes. I had to go to Africa and come across an Aussie to make me see that America is, indeed, one of very few countries that have easy access to all different types of people, all different types of lifestyle, all different types of weather. If you think about it-not too many people across the globe can have our journey.
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