Every once in a while, people decide they have had enough of their surroundings and decide to relocate – sometimes to a different part of town, or a different town altogether. Sometimes they even go to a different state, and if you really want a change, you go to another country to put down sticks. There is a methodology that usually goes along with this desire – planning how you’re going to get there, and what you plan to do when you do get to where you want to be.
This is a story about how this planning fell by the wayside.
Some of my friends and I were talking one day about possibly going somewhere else far away from where we were. Let’s face it…….Billings, Montana is not necessarily the buzzing cultural hub some may claim it to be. One of my buddies had the idea of heading down to Denver, because he had a friend who lived there that we could crash at until we got things going. Sounded like a great idea, and us being young – and not very wise, we decided to take the plunge. There was only one tiny, little problem………..
I only had $50 cash to my name. In fact, none of us had very much money, but we were determined to make it happen! So early one morning, we hopped in our two cars (yes…….not much money, but two cars – this was deemed to be good later), and we were off! Of course, we didn’t make it all the way to Denver on what meager funds we had, so we ended up getting charity from some churches along the way, so eventually, we did make it to what promised to be a grand place!
There was only one small problem………..we come to find out that the buddy who said we could stay with him had a landlord that thought differently and put their foot down. So there we were, 3 of us, all consigned to sleep in our cars until we could figure out what the heck we were going to do. I saw a tiny bit of downtown, and we did catch a movie at the dollar theatre in Northglenn (Invaders from Mars – the remake), but by the time day three came around, I was pretty scared. I had no job to speak of, no direction in which I was going to go, and nowhere to stay, so my only hope was that my parents could somehow bail me out of this situation. Thankfully, they were able to get me enough for gas money for the trip back, so I picked up a David Bowie book for my mom out of thanks, and hit the road! I made it back to Billings the next day, and was so glad to see familiar surroundings once again!
I learned some valuable life lessons from this experience to be sure. For one, you never move to a far-away place without a plan of where you’re going to go and where you’re going to live. A job waiting for you is a definite plus, and looks much better to prospective landlords, since they usually require a pretty sum to plunk down in order to get a place. I did eventually move down there two more times since then, each one longer than the first, so I’ve gotten to know the Mile High City pretty well, and it’s always fun to visit. I’m not sure I would ever live there again – mainly because there is no office where I work there, and I am not starting over again these days. It was pretty scary there for a bit, but at least I made it back unscathed.
My buddies went on to go elsewhere, living in different places. One ended up in Oregon for a while before coming back to Billings and the other one wandered around a while before ending up in another part of Colorado. Thankfully, they all survived the adventure, and are all still living their lives in various places, so at least it all ended up well after all was said and done.
It’s one trip I’ll not soon forget though.