Today officially began our trip through the United States! While journeying through the United States and its various climates (it rained/stopped at least three times), I became aware of something: I have not really been exposed to much.

Billboards that highlight the Ten Commandments and the immediate choice between heaven and hell, as in like, now: Nope.

A shopping center that has both a restaurant called Sushi Dojo and The Crock Pot, in case I desire sushi and slow home cooking in the rare moment that that would happen: Nope.

Horribly losing the license plate game to a woman who has traveled across the country and back multiple times: Nope, and I stood no chance, at least not today.

Today, I got to experience all these things, and so much more.

I’d always thought that my four years in college would give me the chance to say, I’ve lived. Growing up, I didn’t have much freedom, so a lot of my ‘living’ started when I made a college campus my official home. Now, I don’t regret the freedom I wasn’t granted growing up. In fact, I’ve thanked my mom on multiple occasions that I am not like many of my peers. (Thanks again Mom!) However, our stop in Arkansas showed me that perhaps I could afford to expose myself to the world around me a little bit more.

Outside our stopping city, Monet and I came across an exit that had both gas and the hotel we were looking for. The book seemed to have a nice cover from the exit. When we entered the location, I was immediately turned off. The area was not what I’m used to, and I just did not want to stay there. In hindsight, though, what makes an area undesirable? I’ve always resented those kinds of people who think that one piece of trash on the road makes a place ‘shady,’ and I try not to think like that. We all know those people, and they can be pretty naive. Well today, Jumaane was sorted into the House of Naivety.

Next stop: Waffle House. Now I’ve been to Waffle House before, and I enjoy the food. This Waffle House was like all others: interesting people for interesting times. Before we went, I changed from my favorite pair of Adidas shorts to long pants, just so that my legs wouldn’t touch the seat. Yeah, I’m that kind of person. I would’ve used a napkin for the syrup as well if I didn’t think it would be over the top, especially when I would not allow myself the luxury of touching the back of the seat… That I don’t want to expose myself to. But I think it’s fair to say that just maybe I could allow my legs to touch the seat, if nothing else. College started the process of loosening up my self diagnosed germaphobia. Thanks to my four years there, I’ve progressed to touching carts, as well as touching a menu and eating my food without a second trip to wash my hands in between. Now, this trip will continue the unraveling. It’s time I get some exposure.




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