I’m sitting in a hotel in Georgia now, looking back over the last few days. The Keys were nice, but not what I wanted. I felt out of place there; I felt like a tourist. And though I loved the ocean views, the salt air scent, the sunshine and sand, I had to leave.
So I went home for a day. Even though I had only been gone for less than two days, it felt different, like I didn’t fit anymore. And as much as I wanted to be there, to go back on everything I decided to do, I knew I couldn’t do that. I have to try to find my own way in this world, or else I don’t think I could go back to the way things were.
So I came to Georgia, and I stopped outside Atlanta, in a decent hotel right outside the airport, where every time it feels quiet another plane leaves or takes off and rattles the building around me. I briefly explored the city, and I hated it. It was too big, too confusing, too much of an urban area filled with aspects of cities I hadn’t come across in Florida.
And yet, driving up through the lower parts of Georgia, I think I fell in love. The way the trees lined the interstate, sparsely green and somehow still alive. The way I didn’t recognize gas stations, or saw restaurant chains I hadn’t seen before. The way the drivers seemed more laid back, not as much in a rush. The way I sit here, hands freezing, enjoying temperatures not reached in Florida.
Tomorrow I explore more. I want to see the World of Coke. I want to drive backwards and see the Whistle Stop Cafe. I want to visit my cousin, even for just a little bit. And I want to see a more rural Georgia. Maybe this is where I’ll be happy, maybe not. But I have time to explore, and that’s what I want to do.