From Oklahoma to New Jersey

Greetings!

I’ve spent all 21 years of my life in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, which is one of the many reasons I was beyond excited to be accepted into Teach for America and to teach Secondary English (any grades 5-12) in Newark, New Jersey. Moving to New Jersey would double as my first time to the East Coast and the first time I’d be living on my own (besides the dormitory years at Oklahoma State University).

The East Coast has always been alluring to me. There’s been a countless number of legendary skateboarders, skate spots, and comedians to come from the East Coast. All of my knowledge of the East Coast strictly stemmed from these subjects (plus the things I witnessed in television shows and movies). Nonetheless, I was in for a big (much-needed) culture shock.

My departure date from Oklahoma was mid June. Leaving was difficult. I’ve never had to say goodbye to friends or family before. Imagining not seeing them for extended periods of time was strange. These were the people I grew up with and saw basically everyday. The only positive that came from the goodbyes was having a surprise going away party.

I’ve always wanted to be a part of a surprise party, so to have one that focused on me was surreal. Thank you friends, it meant a lot to me. Just ask my girlfriend Abigail, who witnessed me crying from happiness  punching holes in the hotel walls and shotgunning beers from pure happiness…

The trip to New Jersey was going to be rough. I needed my car and didn’t want to pay absurd shipping costs, so the only option was to drive 1,330 miles in my 1999 Mercury Sable. Luckily, my mother and brother decided to come along for the ride, making the road trip our first family vacation (minus one, sorry Sis).

I officially left Oklahoma June 12th. The drive ended up taking two days with a night spent in Indianapolis. I’ve been on a lot of awesome skate trips with my buddies, but this family road trip just might be my favorite overall.  Sorry dudes. Here’s a few photos from the trip:

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Momma Lay trying to be sneaky.

Pennsylvania Road

View from one of the roads in PA.

Thank you for reading.

-Joshua