Cheektowaga? We’re from Kenmore!

No matter where I go in the world, I meet people from upstate, New York. Literally, I traveled throughout most of Scotland and England and in one trip, met three people from Buffalo. So it was only a matter of time on my journey down to Charleston, SC that I met people from my side of the Cheerios factory. My last blog post was written from the road. Right before we hit the flash floods in West Virginia and hunkered down for the night. We found a very nice hotel in Summersville, WV and crawled to the check-in desk around midnight. When we pulled in, we saw one other moving truck in the parking lot and decided we’d park our haul near theirs. Peach (aka my boyfriend, Patrick), parked the truck while I checked in. The woman asked to verify my address when suddenly, I realized… I was actually homeless and did not have a current address! But of course, I gave her the address of the house I own in New York. When I verified the town, I hear two woman behind me yell,

“Cheektowaga? We’re from Kenmore!” 

Turns out, the women were the owners of the other moving truck and they were on their way to Charlotte, NC. Like us, they were stuck in the storm and waiting it out. Until this point, I was tired, hangry, wet, scared, anxious, and wanted to turn around and go home. But these women reminded me that people just like me do things like this ALL the time! Plenty of people move all over the world that had the same upbringing as me. Guess what? Most of the do perfectly fine! At that point in the trip I knew the universe (or God, a higher being, insert your chosen word here) sent those women to remind me that while the trip is difficult, it’s an adventure that I need to embrace. I was reminded that home will always be there and I am not the only person turning my life upside down in pursuit of my dreams.

Two days later, the moving truck was returned, my stuff was in storage and Peach and I decided to embrace the Charleston brunch and shopping culture. We had an incredible brunch at Poogan’s Porch where I fell in love with the place not because of the biscuits and gravy, but because it’s named after a dead dog.

Poogans

Then we went to the Charleston City Market so Peach could get his sweet tea fix and we could embrace the artistic culture. We stopped by a stand with homemade jams and I decided to buy a few flavors that we do not typically see in New York. The cashier made pleasant conversation and when he asked where we were from, Peach explained that we moved to Charleston from Buffalo the day before. The gentleman immediately turned off his southern accent and said,

“Oh really?! I am from Elmira, NY!” 

Right then and there we had another small reminder that it’s okay to leave home, follow your dreams, and things may actually turn out okay.

When I thought about moving, I thought of what would be hard. I thought of all the things I would miss. Like, Peach, Misia, my family, Tim Hortons, Fall, Apple Cider, cool weather, Buffalo sports, Snow, and my family’s cottage. What I never expected was how hard everything else was going to be. Such as, constantly being lost and using a GPS, not knowing where things are in the grocery store, getting into bidding wars to try and buy a house, finding terrifying looking bugs and skinks in and around the house, having to find another route home from work because roads are flooded during high tide, and accepting the fact that I am probably just days about from my first “ya’ll.” The things I expected to be hard are hard, and the things I never thought about are harder. I have been to Charleston more times than I can count, but moving here has given me a whole new perspective. It’s comforting to run into people every few days who know where I am from and let me know that I will be okay.

XO J

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