I can’t wait to get out of Kansas!
If you have known me for any length of time then you have heard those words come out of my mouth on almost a daily occasion. So often, in fact, that I was even beginning to make myself irritated by how repetitive I was sounding. It was seriously my mantra for the past three years and also my go to phrase when any minor inconvenience happened that could somehow be linked to me still living in Kansas.
I grew up in a super small town in northeast Kansas with a single mom who encouraged me and my siblings that there was always more adventure to be explored outside of our little cozy apartment. When my mom relocated us to a bigger city in southeast Kansas I thought that the move satisfied any desire to relocate ever again. (Because after all, now we were in a “big” city. What else could we possibly need?)
For a couple years I adjusted to growing up in a city. I learned to drive on busy highways, how to leave early in case of traffic, the dangers of walking alone at night, and how to accept changing environments, districts, and high schools.. amongst a long list of other life lessons I wouldn’t have learned in our original small hometown.
My mom, being the mom that she is, continued to instill in us kids that there is more to life than what lies in the four corners of Kansas that we called home. My mom encouraged us all to travel from a young age. In third grade I went skiing with friends in Colorado, at 12 my mom drove us fourteen hours to the gulf in Galveston so we could see the ocean for the first time, at 13 I flew to California with my great grandma, at 18 I drove to Florida for the first time by myself with my best friend after driving to Florida with my family every summer for the past several years.
Kansas was (and always will be) home. However, once you get bit by the travel bug there is just no cure. Over time vacations just didn’t do it for me anymore. Instead I started thinking “Why does this have to be vacation? Why can’t this be reality?” And soon after, my question then became “HOW do I make this my reality?”
Wanting to move is totally different than planning on moving, and planning on moving is completely different than actually moving. For two years I was completely dead set on moving to Colorado. The scenery was breathtaking, there was nature and adventure at every corner, and I knew some people who lived there. (Which made me feel like I would be A-Okay. I could pretend to be independent from a distance)
Unfortunately rent prices in Colorado became more absurd with each month that passed by. I was beginning to feel as though my goals of moving there were diminishing with each daily google search of “moving to Colorado.” I tried. I really reaaaaaalllly tried to move to Colorado for two years. I researched jobs, towns, apartments, colleges, natural wildlife… you name it.
I prayed about it. I cried about it. I worked my ass off at multiple jobs trying to get ahead enough to start saving for it. I created vision boards. I hung posters around my house that read “COLORADO 2018″ and it still didn’t seem to be working out.
Fast forward to the start of summer 2018. Six months into the year and I still had no plans of moving to Colorado anytime soon. My boyfriend and I had been discussing the move in great depth and were both feeling worn out and discouraged. Both coming from a religious upbringing we often encouraged each other to pray about it and that’s exactly what we did.
It took us awhile but once we figured out that we couldn’t just pray for things to go our way and expect everything to be smooth sailing we changed up our prayers to “God, we want to move but we recognize the only way this move will be successful is if we move YOUR way.”
Warning: don’t pray that prayer unless y’all are really down to move when God makes a way for it to happen.
Opportunities began (almost immediately) pouring in. You know when you buy a car and then all the sudden you see that car EVERYWHERE? That’s what this turned into with opportunities and coincidences that linked us to Texas.
My boyfriend got a job offer in Austin, Texas that was too good to pass up. We sat down for countless, sleepless nights planning and praying. We decided he would take the job, move to ATX and I would follow after Christmas. We finally had a plan in place.
On July 8th, we loaded up the car and moved him down south. I took a week off work and vacationed in Austin, Texas while my boyfriend showed me all the fun things to do, introduced me to the best damn tacos I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating, and took me on my first float trip. (After floating the river it was a done deal.) I was moving to Austin, and I was moving to Austin SOON.
I went back to Kansas and the very next day I walked into work and gave my two weeks notice. I went to my mom’s and broke the news that I was moving WAY sooner than I anticipated (which totally freaked her out but I can’t say I blame her). In the span of two weeks I told my family and closest friends goodbye. I packed my bags and sold over half my belongings. I cried, ohhhhh did I cry. I prayed. I rejoiced. AND ON AUGUST THIRD I DID THE DAMN THING AND DROVE TEN HOURS TO AUSTIN, TEXAS AND STARTED A NEW LIFE FULL OF ADVENTURE WITH MY TRUE LOVE.
Today I am starting my new job down here after a couple days of getting settled into my new city and this weekend we get the keys to our new place. I am filled with joy, excitement, and adventure as I wait for reality to set in.. but until then I’m gonna prepare for all the “you’re not in Kansas anymore” jokes and continue praying for my life to unfold the way God has planned for me because the only guarantee that this will be successful is through Him.
Stay tuned for updates and part two next week as I get settled in. Until then enjoy my adventures on Instagram -> http://www.instagram.com/Ashlynsully
Much love to you all,
Ashlyn the Austinaut