#2 Finding Independence with Kyle Jackson

Updated: May 11

Kyle Jackson tells us all about his independent travels around the world.


CMA Music Festival -http://cmafest.com/

Amy Riordan "Climb the mountains so you can see the world. Not so the world can see you" - David Makalu. Amy Riordan Welcome to the Amy Riordan Podcast. They say owning a business is a journey in self development, so I decided to explore just that. Whether you're an entrepreneur or looking for fulfillment in your day to day life, get inspired here through interviews, life stories and proven self help techniques. What you do with the information received in this podcast is completely up to you. But if you act, you will alter the course of your life in ways you never could have possibly imagined. I'm Amy Riordan. Let's do this.   Amy Riordan Today's interview is all about independence, and when I think about independence, I think about Kyle Jackson, a young man who I met in 2013 at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee. This man traveled from California to Tennessee to see an amazing music festival on his own, and Kyle's a very shy man, although it looks like he might be changing throughout this process in a very, very cool way. He's gonna talk to us about all the different ways that he's found independence just by taking one step at a time, through his travels, a little bit about the people he's met, the weird coincidences he's come across. And I really feel that this interview will give you not only a lot of ideas to put toward your bucket list, but maybe some encouragement if you're shy and still wanting to travel the world. Amy Riordan Alright, Kyle, thank you so much for joining us. I'm really excited to hear more about you. So if you're ready, let's just get into this. What I really, really liked about you when I first met you, is we met at CMA Fest 2013 and you were there by yourself. You were running through the photo line  and you explain to me that you're very shy person. So tell me about how you travel on your own, being a shy person, and what you got-  Like, what got you going with that? Kyle Jackson Yeah, definitely. And first of all, you know, thanks for having me on excited to be a part of this and looking forward to, you know, what you create with this. I think it has a lot of legs and it's gonna hopefully help a lot of people in the long run.Thank you!.Uh, so, yeah. I mean, really, to understand the context. I think you kind of have to go back and understand, you know, my background and sort of how I grew up. So for me, you know, growing up, I was a pretty normal kid. I'd say. But, you know, once I got into school, you know, sort of first through third grade, I kind of- I kind of struggled. I wasn't a great student, but it was frustrating to me because I have a very competitive nature. Really. And I really wanted to make a change. So starting sort of in like fourth grade. I really made an effort to do good in school. And it started paying off, you know, pretty quickly. And from that point on, I'd say my maturity level really started to, you know, surpass that of my classmates in terms of like me actually applying myself. And, you know, shooting for a goal in a sense, you know, that being succeeding in school, and actually achieving it. So that's kind of how I started off, and then I know it's gonna sound super, uh, cliche. But for me, a big turning point in my life was on, and funny enough, it just the anniversary just came and passed. But September 11 and everything that happened there. For me, I had just started middle school and I kind of sat there. I woke up- My mom woke me up that morning, and I kind of just watched TV not really comprehending what was going on. But it was changing me, like I could feel like something inside of me changing and sort of me growing up, you know, sort of mentally. And wanting, you know, having almost as much sadness as there was about that whole day, a lot of curiosity in terms of like, you know, "why does the world hate us?" Or "why would anyone do this to someone?" Amy Riordan Yeah.   Kyle Jackson And so for me, you know, going to school- I still went to school that day and sort of sitting in the car.. Like, all the other kids that we were carpooling with, they're still joking around. They're acting like like nothing happened. It's just your normal day. And for me, I just got really quiet and was sort of just thinking the entire day. And for me, that's really a big turning point for me, because where a lot of kids kind of went down the one path of, you know, just having a lot of fun, you know, doing your normal kid things. For me, it made me grow up. And, you know, I wanted to achieve something. I wanted to, you know, go see the world and get a better, better understanding of why things happen and why things are the way they are. So, you know, that's That's where I stopped being a kid, I'd say, and really started growing up. And I wouldn't say I alienated myself. But I kind of ended up in this silent where, you know, I was an introvert to begin with, So I normally kept to myself. But I needed to. I needed something more than just, you know, going to parties and, you know, hanging out with friends like there was a bigger purpose out there for me. And so you know, more or less, I became a loner. Starting in, I'd say high school, and it continued through college, and I really needed to find something that Let me express who I waas and you know something that made me happy. And so the biggest turning point from there was getting my driver's license I got at the day I turned 16 Um, and getting your driver's licenses. Honestly, um, the most liberating experience you can have because it just gives you the freedom to go wherever you want when you want. And so I started taking little weekend road trips. You know, living in California. We have a lot of awesome national park. So I would I would drive up to, you know, Yosemite or Sequoia National Park on Just go on hikes and start walking alone. Uh, and really, you know, for me going out in nature and just having that ability to connect with nature and not have your cell phone on you, you know, not have to deal with the normal drama that comes with, you know, day to day activities. And one night yeah, uh, I really started to sense a change and figured out that hate. This is what makes me happy. This is what you know I want to do from there. You know, that's where it really got into the travel element of it. And, you know, I start off with a lot of domestic travel. So one of my first trips was CMA Fest in Nashville, and, you know, I have been to a lot of concerts, but, you know, CMH bested always intrigued me because it's basically four nights of everybody who's anybody in country music playing on the same stage. I'm And so you know, I went online, I booked my tickets, I booked the hotel, Uh, and I just went for it and, you know, yeah, I knew I was going by myself. But I have been going to concerts for the most part by myself leading up to that. So, you know, once the music starts, it doesn't really matter who you're there with your just there to enjoy the moment and just experience the music. And, you know, everybody is there for the same reason they're all having a good time. And for the most part, it's easy to make new friends or talk to people when you're there because you all have similar interests. So that's, you know, sorry for the elaborate explanation there of its That's sort of the from point Amy Riordan That's excellent. I mean, I find it funny because there's a lot of people who find an awkwardness in being alone, and it's incredibly inspirational that you don't feel that way. You get to go do what you want when you want, and there's nothing in between and you've  found a, like I mean, it looks like a calming independence in that. And that's great. Kyle Jackson Yeah, exactly, exactly. And to kind of build off of that. I think that same year I took a trip with my brother and my best friend back to Charlotte, North Carolina, and we went to a NASCAR race back there and did a bunch of other little things.  And, you know, sort of building on what you said. It's like it's great to go someone. But at the same time, it's like my brother wanted to sleep in until noon every day, or, you know, my friend, he spent all his money in the 1st 2 days of the trip and had no money for the rest of the trip. And so as, like, 16-17 year olds, it's like... Well, you know, on one hand it's fun to have someone go along with you. But at the same time, when you're on your own, it it really is- You know, if you wanna wake up at five AM and go see the sunrise or go on a morning, hike, you can!. If you don't feel like going out first thing in the morning, you don't have to. You kind of just do what you want when you want, and it's a great feeling to have. Amy Riordan I completely agree. I mean, there's- you've gotta have someone that really jives with you in order to fully enjoy the trip, it seems like. So I'm curious about your process. So when you decide, like, I want to go to all 50 states, like, maybe that's something in your head. Do you ever write those things down? Kyle Jackson Um, for me, I don't write a lot of things down. Everything is in my head, and I just- Like, I come up with different ideas. Some are, you know, completely crazy. Others are not so much and more realistic. But if an idea pops into my had like, hey, you know, I want to visit 50- all 50 states. So it's like I've been traveling, you know, whether it was with my family or, you know, for the last 10 years on my own. Um, y'know. Every weekend I'm going on a road trip somewhere, but in terms of, you know, wanting to visit all 50 states, one day I just sat down and I was just thinking to myself. It's like, Hey, you know, I've been the 30 states already, and I'm, you know, only 25 years old. Like I only need 20 more and I'm at 50. So then at that point, once you realize like it's so close, uh, you kind of get the fire inside you that like, Hey, let's go finish this off. So like like this year, for example, a big chunk of the States I was missing was in the like the Upper Midwest, which is, you know, it's the fly over states. No one ever goes there. So I go to  Minneapolis and ended up driving around. I think I drove like 1200 miles that weekend, went to Mount Rushmore, to Kansas City, to Iowa... And I checked off like eight states in a weekend. And I mean, yeah, all it cost was a $39 plane ticket on spirit each way and, like a $50 car rental. And, you know, whatever gas price was. So like for less than 100 bucks, I got to go to eight states. And so, like, right now, I'm at 49 out of 50 the only one I was unable to make it to because the roadways were frozen over when I was there was North Dakota. So I have to figure out a way to get over there at some point. But it's like the most obscure state and the hardest one to get to. So eventually I'll get there.. So I mean, you know, obviously growing up, you're always told like, you know, when New Year's rolls around like, what's your goal? What's your resolution? And, you know, you get a lot of the, you know, for some people they actually follow through. But most of them are pretty superficial. Like, Hey, this year I'm gonna work out or lose weight or, you know, whatever. Just these ambiguous goals that they might keep for a month, and then they kind of slide off. Then you forget about it until, you know, December 31st rolls around again and you set another goal for yourself. Uh, for me personally. You know, I tried the whole goal route, you know, especially in my teenage years. Like, hey, you know, when I get to college, I want to, you know, right after college, my goal is to get a job in, you know, sports journalism. Um, and that never happened. Uh, You know, not for lack of trying, but it just it never happened. Or, uh, like going even further back to, like, early high school. You know, you'd set a goal for yourself like, Hey, you know, I want to be married by 28 have kids by 30 or just these- these very random things. But then you realize that, you know, you can't control your life to that extent. And by setting goals for me, at least it kind of constrains you to this box. And, you know, for some people, that's what they need. That they need that type of structure in their lives to keep them moving forward. But for me, it just it was more of a sense of you either succeed at it or you fail at something. And I didn't want to be seen as a failure when it came to goals, because I know I'm doing other things very well. It just- I wasn't able to reach that, you know, whatever I set myself out to do originally. Because for whatever reason, one choice I made or, you know, a path took me down a different direction than I thought I was gonna go. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I think it just it makes it so, you know, I'm more flexible now in terms of- You know, I still want to succeed at things and accomplished, different things. But I don't want to set just one singular goal for myself. I want to be able to do lots of things well. And so that's why for me, at least, you know, gold setting isn't really a top priority for me. Just because I wanna have that flexibility to do multiple things. Or if I If I'm halfway there and I realize, Hey, you know, if I end up doing this instead, it's gonna have a better outcome for me. Or this makes me happy, more than you know, if what my original goal that I set myself out to accomplish is. Amy Riordan Yeah, I get what you're saying. Um, it's like living in the moment. It's not living, like, 15 years ahead. And at the same time, you know, a lot of people question, like, where did that goal come from? Like married by 28, kids by 30- Is that- is that something you set for yourself? Or is that something that the world made you think you wanted? Or needed to have? Kyle Jackson I think it's a combination of both. You know, obviously, growing up, it's the American dream. You buy house, you know, get married. You have kids. And sure, you know, one day I'd like to have all those things, But at the same time, I realized as I, as I got older that, you know, and as some of my friends got married at a very young age and then had kids, by the time you're 21 or 22- They're never gonna have the opportunity to travel. Or at least until you know their kids are off to college. And at which point they're already pushing 50. Um, and so for me, I just realized that, you know, if it if it happens at some point along the way: Great! But I wasn't going to make that a priority anymore. Because, you know, I'm young right now. You know, I have the opportunity. I have a good job. I'm making good money. So I'm gonna take advantage of that and go see and experience as much of the world as I possibly can. Amy Riordan And that's an excellent goal to have. I can see the- not only the maturity level, but how much you know about yourself. Which is huge because a lot of these people get married to someone and they don't even know who THEY are. And they're trying to learn who this other person is. Yeah. Kyle Jackson And I mean, I'll be honest. I struggled with it mightily in, you know, high school and college. Just I didn't- I was different. And obviously, when you're different at that age, it's not good. You have to figure out how to deal with it. And a lot of people fall into depression or, you know, have mental breakdowns, whatever it may be. And for me, it's just- it's finding what makes you happy. And what makes you, you. And for me that was traveling and just getting out and experiencing what the world has to offer. Because all we have especially, you know, I'm sure we'll get into it more, but... With travel, all you hear- or different countries. All you hear about is the bad stuff on the news. Uh, just, you know, "never go to the Middle East" while I went to Egypt and Jordan this year, and I met some of the nicest people I ever had. Uh, and so it's really just a lot of the social constructs that are out there. They tell you one thing, but unless you go out there and experience it for yourself, you're never gonna know. And you need to go out there and form your own opinions about things versus relying on others to tell you what you should and shouldn't do. Amy Riordan I like that a lot because you're right. It seems like we are a world, not necessarily just a country, that focuses on the bad. When bad things happen, we focus on who did it not the victims. I completely agree. So when I when I get really sad, I look at my bucket list. How do you, like, what's your thing? Is it specifically travel? Kyle Jackson Um, I'd say travel is a big portion of it. It always gives you something to look forward to. Or, you know, even looking back towards the past, I probably have in, you know, in my photo archive, like 50,000 plus photos of all the places I've been. It's just nice to look back on all that and say like, holy crap, I've been to some pretty cool places and I've done a lot of cool stuff. And so I mean, that's what makes me happy. And then, you know, I also have a dog, who you know, whenever I travel in the U. S. Any road trip, he goes with me. I take him everywhere. He's been to 39 states himself. So a pretty well traveled  dog. And just, you know, going on hikes on the weekend, going to the beach with him... It just- The thing for me is, I don't- I always have a very clear and open mind. I don't, like, I don't deal with stress. I don't deal with drama. And if any of that pops up, I get rid of it as quickly as possible. Uh, you know Amy Riordan And that's the way you should. Kyle Jackson Yeah. I sleep well every night. I don't wake up in the middle of night with thoughts about something, just because, you know, that's I- I've moved on or I've figured out a way to deal with it or solve whatever issues are, you know, facing me. If you have a problem with someone or something, there's no point in holding it in. You just gotta- You deal with it right then and there, then it's in the past and you move on. So for me that's always been big. It's just you know, live a lifestyle that is stress and drama free, and you're not gonna have a worry in the world. And you can really focus on what's in front of you instead of dwelling on you know what's in the past. Amy Riordan Yeah, I completely agree. So I think maybe that's like a relatable subject for me. My bucket list is my therapy. And for you, it's travel. Would you agree? Kyle Jackson Yeah, definitely. Amy Riordan Awesome. So, do you have any, like, maps? Where you've pinned where you've traveled? Kyle Jackson I'm sure, as you can see in the video right behind my shoulder, I do have two! One for the U. S. And one for the world. So yeah. Being able to come home to that every day and just look up and, you know, see how many pins you have in there. Or see, like what areas of the map are still wide open. It's like, Hey, I need to go visit that place now. Uh, so, like my my next trip is to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. So that will be my sixth continent. And then by the end of that trip, I will have surpassed 30 countries that I've been to.   Amy Riordan Wow. Kyle Jackson So it's kind of a big deal trip. But yeah, it's great to to keep track of everything and just, you know, look up on the map and you actually see progress being made. Um, Because, yeah.  My goal (and again, you know, loosely termed "goal") is to, you know, in my lifetime, visit 100 countries. Um, so you know, after this trip, I'll be basically 30% of the way there. And to look back and know that I really didn't start traveling internationally until I was 25 so that just, you know, just over six years ago, I've been able to make a lot of progress in just those six years. So I think that 100 countries in my lifetime is definitely feasible. Amy Riordan Wow. Yeah, that's incredible. I cannot compare. So, how many states? Are you at 39 as well as your dog? Or are you higher than that? Kyle Jackson No, I'm at 49. Only one left is North Dakota. Amy Riordan Okay, so that's what I thought when you said that. That's insane. And you told me once you wanted to go back to Alaska. How many times have you been there? Kyle Jackson Um, just twice. And not in the last 10 years. So both the times I went with my family on, like, cruises where you fly into, I think it's Fairbanks, Alaska, which is right in the middle of the state. And then you take a train down from Fairbanks to Anchorage, and then you get on a cruise ship and basically sail from Anchorage down to Seattle, Washington. You basically get to see, you know, the majority of the state from, like, Mount McKinley, (or I guess as they call it Denali, now), all the way to, like all the glaciers and the fjords and amazing stuff. But yeah, at the time I met you. Alaska was definitely my favorite place that I had been. Just because it was so remote. It hadn't really been touched by, you know, society. And it's the most real place you can go to and really feel connected again with, you know, just nature and the environment. And, you know, basically what the world was like when it was much simpler. Amy Riordan So would you say that to your favorite state? Kyle Jackson Yes. For the- In terms of like, raw,  natural beauty? Absolutely. Um, I love North Carolina. Uh, North Carolina has a ton to offer from, like the outer banks, which are absolutely beautiful. But then, if you go to the western part of the state, you get into the Great Smoky Mountains. And it's just- it's an incredible place to go to. And I was just there two weeks ago, and you just- You can rent an inner tube and float down rapids on a river for like, six miles. Just through the mountains and the forests, and it's just- It's a lot of fun, and there's a lot of activities to do there. Like I said, from the mountains to the ocean. Similar to California, California is just way too overcrowded and expensive to live now. But yeah, I'd say Alaska in terms of beauty. But in terms of places, I wanna live?  Uh, probably North Carolina. Amy Riordan Okay. Yeah, I completely agree. I love North Carolina. I'm so curious. Where have you been here in Idaho?. Kyle Jackson So, funny enough, a lot of my mom's side of my family (or her family), they live up in Montana and Idaho. And so we used to do growing up, we don't do him any more, unfortunately, but family reunions. So we would always go to Idaho, or up to Montana. And we basically rent cabins somewhere, usually off lake. And we'd be there the entire week. So I've been to Idaho Falls, and I can't remember the name of the exact campground, but been to a fair amount of places, spent a lot of time up by, like, Glacier Lake and stuff. So it's uh-  I think Idaho gets a bad rap. Most people outside of knowing it's famous for potatoes. Don't really know anything about Idaho, but it's a pretty cool place. Amy Riordan Yeah, no kidding. I can't even tell you how many times I've talked to people about how movies are compared to states so often and we're judged by the movies. And, you know, Idaho has, like Napoleon Dynamite and Joe Dirt. I mean, I guess. Kyle Jackson Napoleon Dynamite is not a bad movie. Amy Riordan It's not bad, but I'm just saying like, it doesn't exactly give us a good rap. Kyle Jackson Yeah, it doesn't give you a good overall picture. Amy Riordan But I mean, like, you know, I can't complain, but yeah, Montana. Montana's incredibly beautiful. My husband has family over there, so we go a lot. That's interesting. It's kind of funny that we met in Nashville, Tennessee, and your mom has family like, kind of by where I live. That's weird. So in your travels, I mean, speaking of, we can transition into this. Like, do you- Do you feel like it is actually a small world like do you ever find weird coincidences like that? Kyle Jackson I think you can look at it in two different ways. So there's- I'm gonna completely butcher it- but there's a quote out there that says, there's something along the lines of "travel makes you really humble", and it just it really makes you realize, like how small you really are in comparison to everything that's out there. So, like we're so hyper focused on whatever is going on in our lives, in our country, in our state, in our city, that it's really hard for a lot of people to gauge, like just how big this world is. And how much is out there what other countries are going through and whatnot. But to bring it back to what you said, at the same time, it's also a very small world. It's like, you know me running into you and Morgan in Nashville, just completely random. Or, you know, when I travel overseas or internationally, like you'll run into people from you know, your hometown or your home state in the most random places. Um, when I, when I hiked, or trekked  to Mt Everest Space Camp a couple of years ago, you know, I get up to base camp and it's like there's only five other people there. And sure enough, the other couple that was there at the time I was there from California and they lived 10 miles away from me. So I'm halfway around the world. You know, I'm 50 miles from the nearest city or airport in the middle of the Himalayas, you know, at 20,000 feet altitude and you run into people that live five miles away from you. And so it's kind of funny how you know, when you get out there and you just you run into these people. And, you know, I've had my friends run into people that they actually went to school with at times that you know, and were in Ecuador and whatnot. So. It's just really funny how, you know, on one end of the spectrum, you realize you know how big the world is and how much there is to see. But at the other end of the spectrum, you know how you run into people that you may or may not have crossed paths with at some point in your life. Amy Riordan That's crazy. We're running out of time. But I did want to talk to you about habits. Do you have any processes for making or breaking habits that you have? Kyle Jackson As it relates to travel or just in general? Amy Riordan Both. Kyle Jackson Yeah, I get what you're saying. I guess in terms of- and I don't know if you consider it a bad habit or not. But, you know, being shy and being quiet, you tend to, you know, keep to yourself. Um, you know, you don't put yourself out there a lot, but as I've you know, as I've traveled more and as I've sort of grown in my career, you realize the importance of relationships and connections. And so it does add an element, or variable to things. And it makes things more enjoyable when you can actually share those experiences with other people. So You know, when I do travel, and especially when I run into other people that are traveling solo, which, you know, it's actually a good amount of people. Until I started doing it myself, I didn't realize a lot of people did it. But there are a ton of people that travel, solo out there. And really just, you know, connecting with them, even if it's just for the tour you're on, or for the day. I started just enjoying that experience with someone else, Um, and just being able to talk about it. And I look back at the end of the day, it's like, Wow, that was really cool and I'm really glad I came out did this. Even if it's just for that day, making that relationship, having those conversations and just being able to enjoy it- the moment with other people versus just keeping it to yourself all the time. Amy Riordan And do you feel like it's getting easier to do that? Or do you feel like you're still kind of in the same place? Kyle Jackson Yes and no. And this could be a whole other podcast subject for you. But... Amy Riordan Yeah.   Kyle Jackson I think Social Media has hurt that a lot. Um, I have a love/hate relationship with it, mainly hate now. And I wish we lived in a world where you know, it didn't exist or didn't exist at the level that it does. Uh, I notice it a lot more now where people aren't as interested in, you know, connecting or having that conversation because they're just they have their headphones in, you know they're there not at certain places, or traveling for the right reasons and what the right reason is; it-It's different for each person. I don't wanna come across as like snobby or anything along those lines, but they're there to get the picture for the 'Gram. Amy Riordan Yep. Kyle Jackson It's just kind of sad to see people, but they're just there to do a photo shoot, more or less. Um, then they are to really just take in, like, you know, the moment or just enjoy being there. Set down the phone, put it in your pocket, just sit there and take it all in for a few minutes. Um, or have that conversation with someone. They're just- It's all about people and what's on their phones or what they're posting to their Instagram stories or Snapchat or whatever it may be. So on one end. Yes, uh, you know, I feel like I've made a better effort of doing that, but at the same time, just because of, you know, circumstances and everything around, you know, everyone being addicted to their phones nowadays, it does make it a lot more difficult than it used to be. Amy Riordan I mean, in that aspect, do you feel like the older generation is one that's easier to talk to? Or do you think it's like across the board people- All the people are, like all over the board? Kyle Jackson I mean So for me, I classify or I guess I fall into the middle millennial group. Um, but I've never really connected well with millennials just because I feel like I'm an older soul in that sense. So, yeah, for me, it's easier to connect with people that are a little bit older than me. But every once in a while you do run into that needle in the  haystack or someone that's that's a little bit younger than you that they're actually interested in just enjoying the experience or, you know, you come across that person and you can have that conversation. So that gives you some hope that you know, not everyone out there is, you know, caught up in the social media craze and, you know, they they're still interested in forming those personal connections. But it's becoming less and less so. Amy Riordan Alright, so last question. It feels like recently, but I'm sure it's been like at least over a year now. You moved across the country, so I want to know, Like, what's that been like for you? Has that been a struggle, or, um, did your work make it easier for you? Kyle Jackson Yeah. So it's it's kind of funny or not funny how it all came apart, but it's, um it's a part of, I think, me growing personally. So I was in a job. The job I was at- it was great for the longest time, but (I'm sure a lot of people can relate) over time, um, and a lot of companies are like this, they'll start to take advantage of you. Or not be, you know, compensating you for what you bring to the table. And so having been there seven years, I got to that point where, you know, they were bringing in new people and basically paying them a lot more than what I was being paid for someone who had been there for seven years and had been loyal to the company. And so even though I had a ton of friends there, uh, you know, I had to make the choice to, like, you know. Either I can stay here and continue to be taken advantage of or I could start looking elsewhere and find somewhere that actually values what you can bring to the table. And I knew at the time that I wanted out of California. My parents had moved out of the state to Arizona. And so I was basically an open book, and I started applying to a bunch of places all over the country. I turned on my LinkedIn and basically said, Hey, I'm available anywhere. And so I got a bunch of different offers. One in Tennessee, one in South Carolina, one in Baltimore, Maryland. And I just like, all right, you know, I'll take a chance. So I accepted the job in Baltimore, Maryland. Always thought it would be cool to live on the East Coast and started comparing West Coast to East Coast living. And so I took a chance, and I packed up all my stuff, and I drove across country, in the middle of winter, no less. And out back here- For the entire drive, it was 10 degrees or less. The entire last day of driving, it snowed, and my mom was with me on the drive, and she's like, "Are you sure you want to do this?" So yeah. The first couple of months were definitely a struggle, since it was, I think, one of the coldest winters they had back here. And being from Southern California, I've never experienced a real winter. So that was kind of rough, especially for me, who likes being outdoors. And you can't really do a lot of outdoor activities when it's snowing and 10 degrees outside. So, you know, I'd say that was the toughest part, but for me, I like new challenges. I like having the opportunity to prove myself in new situations. So, you know, I got back here, I started the job. Um, it ended up not being exactly what I wanted or thought it would be. But I gained enough confidence in myself and what I can bring to the table that I was easily able to find another job out here. It only took, like, two weeks when I started looking and they offered me, you know, great compensation, great benefits. And I just took the jump. And you realize that as you start to grow professionally that you know, if you're confident in what you do, uh you know someone's gonna hire you. There's no point in staying at a dead end job where you don't feel appreciated or valued and just just take take the jump. What's the worst that can happen? You don't like- If you don't like the job like I didn't really like the first job I got back here, start looking for something else. It's not that difficult. Obviously, there is some stress involved. And, uh, you know, interviewing is never fun by any means. But yeah, um, yeah, when it when it comes to finding a new job or when you're stuck in a dead end job... You know, there's obviously a lot of stress that comes along with, you know, searching for a new job going through the interview process. But unless you put yourself out there and make an effort, you're never gonna know if the grass is greener on the other side. It may be or it may not be, but if you don't take the risk, you're never gonna know, and you're always gonna be left wondering. And for me, it's- it's always worked to take the risk because worst case scenario, you can always fall back on, you know, another job. Or if you don't like somewhere after a couple months, just start looking for another job. If you have confidence in what you do, uh, you know, you can do whatever you want. Someone is going to hire you, someone who's gonna appreciate you. So take the chance. Amy Riordan You clearly know what you want and you have yourself worth, like, and a lot of people struggle with knowing their self worth. Yeah, I've loved this interview so much. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I know you've got a lot of traveling to do, So I'm gonna let you get back to it. And maybe check back with me or I'll check back with you in the next few months and see where you're at, see if you've reached that extra state. Kyle Jackson Awesome. Thanks, Amy. Amy Riordan Amy Riordan is a weekly podcast brought to you by me, Amy Riordan. Love this podcast? Leave me a review and share it with friends. 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