This post brought to you by …

… my new netbook!

It’s adorable. Seriously. And so nice! I could probably fit this thing in my purse, and not be horrifically uncomfortable.

It feels good to be able to take my computer with me anywhere. Much, much better than my old computer, mobility-wise. I managed to find it for only $230, which is a steal. In the store, these things cost about $360, then add tax.

Thank you, Craigslist.

As I begin my search for summer living arrangements, I realize that this year is one of serious movment.

I”ve got three months (June, July, and August) in St. Paul, four months (September, October, November, and most of December) in India, and then six months in St. Paul again, and then … moooooooving.

I’ve been feeling really claustrophobic in the Midwest. I know that I want to get out there and experience a different part of the country. I know that eventually, I’ll end up on the East Coast (my two favorite grad schools as of right now are NYU and Columbia), but it’s so hard to move out there from the Midwest. I have friends that want to relocate to the Seattle area eventually, and that would be fun (I do really like everything I hear about Seattle), but for some reason it doesn’t feel right, at the moment. Maybe it will feel more right after I’ve visited, but … right now, I don’t feel as drawn to it.

Weirdly, I’ve been drawn to the South lately. I’ve met so many amazing folks from that area of the US recently, and Southern culture keeps coming up in my life (Southern blues and jazz, dance, food, and salsa music. It’s like I’m being haunted by a region. I’ve even had dreams about moving down there.

I’ve been told that sometimes, when you feel called like that, it’s best just to listen to that calling, because there’s a reason for it.

That makes a lot of sense.

So I’ve been googling different cities (where I know people, or that I’ve heard something about), trying to figure out the culture of different places. This is what keeps coming up for me:

St. Louis

I have a good friend who lives down there, and we talked about it a lot while she was up here visiting for the Grand Aspirations January Gathering. Her description of the city really caught my attention, and it seems like somewhere that would be fairly easy to move to (lots of vacant lots, etc.) I’ve also been told by many different sources that the music culture is phenomenal. I’m planning on visiting my friend Melissa, who’s currently living in St. Louis, over spring break.

I spent a huge chunk of time today planning the trip! I’ll be in St. Louis itself for four days. Tuesday of Spring Break is a travel day, and I’ll get into St. Louis kinda late … Wednesday is catching up on some sleep, exploring a bit on my own, and chilling with Melissa. Then Thursday and Friday, we’ll be exploring a lot more of the city!

Saturday will be almost entirely consumed with travel.

Thank you, Megabus, for making transit to and from St. Louis cost me only $50.

Asheville, NC

I met some really cool people from Asheville during the January Gathering as well, and from their description of the city, it’s amazing. Lots of nature stuff, cool “alternative” (whatever that means) subculture, and just in general a great vibe. I don’t know all that much about Asheville, but whenever I bring it up, people who have been there say it’s amazing. This isn’t really “Southern,” per se, but it’s further South than MN, and it’s also partially in the Appalachias, which is really cool.

You hear that? Mountains! I really like mountains!

New Orleans

I really, really loved this city when I was there. Granted, I was there in March, and New Orleans in March is very different from New Orleans in July. This is the only city on my list that I’ve been to, which I plan on fixing as soon as possible.

I’d also really like to visit the city again. Mom may be chosen as a delegate to a conference in New Orleans in early July, and if she is selected to go, I may just tag along. I’d probably end up spending the days mostly on my own – doing research in cafes, exploring different neighborhoods, etc. And as always, if anyone would like to come down with me, that would be wonderful!

If that doesn’t work out, I’d still like to visit the city in the summer. Maybe a road trip? Anyone up for that with me?

At some point, Chelsea was planning a trip to Seattle … I would still like to do that too! It would be great to road trip it up with my old friends, and get to Seattle. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about the city, I’m really curious to see what it’s like to spend more time there. Not to mention my Uncle Dan, one of my relatives that I have a really strong bond with, lives near Seattle. I see him maybe once every three years – and the last time I saw him, it was at my Aunt’s funeral.

Better circumstances would be fun.

That’s all for now. Have spent most of today doing homework/figuring out my budget for the spring semester. Might post that later. I think that, to afford travel and to save up for studying abroad, I might stop eating all-organic.

I definitely spend far more money than is necessary, even without counting my most recent technological finds via Craigslist. I want to spend money more deliberately, and I think that the new budget will be designed to help me with that goal.

But more on that later. I think that my relationship with money is complex enough to warrant its own post (and I have a conference call in fifteen minutes).

With food and creative love,

Abbie

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