Taryn was here: Missoula MT

*Note from the writer:

Toward the end of 2018, after a much-needed nervous breakdown, I decided to embark on a nationwide trek across the country. This series will serve as a recollection of the shenanigans I experienced throughout my travels. These are my stories (dun dun *Law & Order chime)

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Travel advice from a handsome stranger

So, while my Airbnb hosts had recommended Missoula to me weeks prior, it wasn’t until a Brad Pitt-beach vibes lookalike- barista had suggested that I go there that I was sold on the idea. I get it; I may have a tinge of shallowness to me, sue me. So, in mid-December, I scouted another Airbnb listing, and Abbey and I were on our way. We could only spend a handful of days there as we needed to make two more trips before I was due in Vegas for Christmas.

The trouble with goodbye

I am slow to warm up to change, so it was time to leave by the time I got used to Seattle. I was so bummed because it was a great month, and I could’ve easily stayed longer. The last day was bittersweet; I cleaned up the apartment, packed Abbey in the car, and said farewell to my hosts. We made a final trip to Woodland Park. One, I didn’t want Abbey to have to be couped up in a car for hours on end without exercise. Two, I wanted to get one last forest adventure under my belt. Shortly after, we began our pilgrimage to Missoula. I should also mention that it was clearly wintertime, and I literally thank God to this day that my 2003 Honda Accord made it through the snow without any problems.

Somewhere between Washington and Montana

A fun nature-based adventure

I totally forgot to disclose that due to my laptop being stolen (this happens during my Charlotte, NC leg of the trip), I am missing a ton of photography, which sucks, but it is what it is. Now back to the regularly scheduled program. My time in Missoula was short but sweet. Abbey and I walked around time and bought yarn at the local yarn store. Of course, I had to buy a Montana Starbucks mug. I actually did blog during my time there, so some productivity did happen, ha! The snow was a welcomed change of scenery, and fortunately, I had the good sense to buy a winter jacket in Seattle. The Airbnb that I stayed in had chic, barn-inspired decor and laundry, which is something I love! It’s a shame that I don’t have photos to share, it was a great experience.

A deer in the headlights

Funnily enough, the last night I was in Missoula, as I was driving back to the Airbnb property, I saw a deer hanging out in the middle of a street. The streets were incredibly dark and when he finally saw me, he jumped in surprise (which is weird because I was there for about 30 seconds trying to get a shot, and darted off in a flash. I laughed because I could relate. The next morning I went to the downtown drag, had some coffee, and eavesdropped on some collegiates talking about their idealistic viewpoints and whatnot. I smiled remembering what it was like (though for me, it wasn’t too long ago) to be on the cusp of adulthood outside of college. Life after college for me was a bit similar to the deer getting freaked out by the headlights. Now into my 30s, I can happily say that the feeling does pass in time.

Missoula in the rearview, Idaho Falls in the front

One of these days, I do have a plan (or a hope at the point) to get back to Missoula, perhaps in the summer. Next week, we’re in Idaho Falls, ID. I even manage to hop to Jackson, WY for a split second. I’m on the fence about breaking that up in its own story. I have a week to decide. Anywho, I hope you enjoyed this week’s travel adventures. I’ll see you in Idaho!

Taryn does the work

It’s amazing what you can do when you commit to doing it. That pertains to life, work, relationship, and everything in between. As I continue to work on myself, how I understand the world and people around me, I am pleased to find that progress is possible!

The illusion of control

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about life, it’s that control is a futile pursuit. It’s just not possible, and that’s ok. Looking back, I can see how I’ve tried to control my environment, the people around me, my work, etc., etc., etc. In fact, I banked my well-being on my ability to control the external things around me. Guess what? That makes for a miserable and erratic life. Now, rather than trying to control the things that I cannot, I focus on managing my resources more effectively.

Being responsible for me

These days, I’m focused on taking care of myself, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and so on. This also means being kinder to myself. If you’ve spent time with God, you know that He loves you no matter what state you’re in. I’ve worked on (and am continuing to work on) loving myself in that same regard. Conversely, I find that the more grace that I extend myself, I’m able to extend it to others as well.

Enjoying the process

In life, there is no destination, just continued progress. So instead of obsessing over getting to the ‘finish line’, I’m learning to enjoy the process. As I continue my progression, staying present in each moment, I see the beauty that life has to offer. This doesn’t mean that I don’t get frustrated or see the errors and flaws of the world. No, it just means that I appreciate the positive aspects more than I disdain the negative ones.

Reflection in a photograph

A fun aside, I printed and framed my travels all over the walls of my apartment in Las Vegas. In the mornings, I’d sit on my couch with my coffee, and Abbey laying at my feet looking at all of the places we had gone. Like a time machine, each photograph brought me back to the very moment. Remembering those moments and the colorful array of emotional experiences intertwined within them taught me that there is hope even in the darkest times and that God was with me (and still is) especially in the confusing moments that I could not yet process.

The next destination

If you tuned in last week, I finally started sharing my travels that first began in late 2018. Last week was Eugene, OR. This week is Seattle, WA. So be on the lookout tomorrow, as I share my experience in the land of the coffee bean. I spent a month there, soaking up various experiences and people. As I relive these experiences by sharing them with you all, I am filled with gratitude that I was able to embark on these adventures. With that said, I hope you have a wonderful week!