- You’re moving? Yes!
- When? End of May.
- Where are you moving? Wichita, Kansas
- Wichita!? Why would you want to live there? I drove into the town to stay for a night on my way to Kansas City a couple of years ago, and I spent the day exploring the place. It feels like a hometown to me, and right then I could see myself living there.
- Wichita?! What’s in Wichita? Nice people, front porches, sunflowers, beautiful expansive skies, a popular donut shop (which is pretty important to me in a town), and a gentleman culture where people say “yes ma’am.” I like that crap.
- Wichita?! Why Wichita? (I realize these are all similar. but people frequently ask it the various ways) 1) I’ve always loved the midwest since I drove through with my family a couple of times growing up. 2) Since I developed friends from Oklahoma and Kansas in college and visited them there, I’ve wanted to live in the midwest at least for a season of life. 3) For the story project, it gets me more toward the center of the country so that travel to the Middle and Eastern sides of the states is more feasible. 4) I grew up in what I would describe as “the midwest of California.” There is something about Kansas, and Wichita specifically that feels homey. And I like that. 5) I do what I want.
- When are you moving again? End of May. Kind of. I already moved out of Denver technically. I’m a hobo for the time being.
- Why would you want to leave Denver? I really, truly enjoy Denver. Really and truly. Aside from horrible drivers, it has had really no down-sides for me. I just always knew it would be a temporary season. And while it has been a wonderful season, I’m excited for the next one too. There are now many people I’ve come to know and value who live here, and the city and surrounding areas themselves are so amazing. I’ll be back to visit, no doubt. But I see this as a transition space for most people I meet. While that’s good for me for a while, I grew up with deep roots, where I have known some of my best friends our entire lives. And I want to live in a place with community soil for deep roots like that. Maybe Wichita will be that for me and maybe it won’t, but I’m going there to find out.
- But it’s so far away. It’s 7 hours from Denver. Easy peasy. And those in California, you’re right, it’s 24 hours of straight driving, as opposed to the 17 hours of straight driving it’d take to get to Denver from CA (and I haven’t seen any of you – except for Kinsey – make that drive yet). Plus, not to worry, we have these beautiful things called phone calls, facetime, text messages, and email. And I’ve heard rumors they even have regular U.S. postal service mail delivery in Wichita. We’ll have to see, but it might be true!
- I’m sad that you’re moving. To be honest, it’s bittersweet for me, too. This has been a really amazing several months here. I will miss this season of life with you guys. But I am excited for the next chapter, too.
- And where are you moving again? Wichita
- Well it sounds like you actually want to move there. I do. Who would’ve thought. someone wants to move to Kansas. Makes sense though. I could see you there. Thank you, I think. =)
And one last one from my friend Brady who is from Hutchinson, Kansas and knows me pretty dang well: Wichita? Really? Are you sure you want to move to such a big city? Maybe you should look at small town Kansas.
P.S. Kansas has the best state motto: Ad astera per aspera — to the stars through struggle — as I intend to live. So that’s the story, folks. Wish me luck with the wind. And come visit the sunflower state.
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Jo O’Hanlon is an adventurer and storyteller. She tries to be honest about the ugly and hard parts of life, and the beautiful parts too. This blog is one of the places she shares her thoughts and stories.
Other places are
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