Wrinkled Clothes Full of Hungover Suitcases: How I Moved to Florida

Early Tuesday morning on June 19th, 2012 in downtown Ottawa, Canada. My one suitcase stuffed with wrinkled clothes is bouncing around in the backseat of my friends old beat up BMW as we hightail it to the airport.

Pungent fumes of leftover alcohol seeping through my pores from last night’s going away festivities, and I know the one stick of gum in my mouth isn’t fooling anyone at the ticketing counter. I continue chewing anyway and hope for the best. Time for an adventure…

Just before my 24th birthday, I decided to leave Canada and move to Florida. I didn’t know anyone here and booked a one way plane ticket to Daytona International Airport two weeks prior to leaving.

The only reason I chose to fly into Daytona, was to meet Ernie Lemon. The seller of a 1995 Ford F-150 that I’d found on Craigslist. Ernie agreed to pick me up at the airport if I was serious about buying his truck. I assured him I’d be there.

Waiting outside for Ernie Lemon to pick me up.

Two weeks later I found myself sitting curbside outside of the arrivals terminal, basking my hangover in a thick bath of subtropic humidity. Before long, my tranquil moment was interrupted by the rumbling idle of a gas guzzling V8, produced by the same F-150 I recognized only from the pictures I’d seen on Craigslist. As two men of our word, Ernie Lemon had arrived.

Following a basic mechanical inspection at a nearby garage, we proceeded to the local DMV where we completed our transaction, shook hands, and parted ways.

Everything I’ve got. Everything I need.

With my laptop bag and suitcase of wrinkled clothes in the back, I jumped in the truck, rolled the windows down, turned the radio up, and peeled the sweaty shirt off my back. Here we go!

I found the onramp for I-4 Eastbound, opened up all eight cylinders under the hood of my new beater, and roared full speed into another new chapter.

That’s how I moved to Florida and oh my, what a long strange trip it’s been.

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