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Summer Stories: Erin’s Trip To Nebraska

Before summer started I had everything planned out– a few trips to Ocean City, a trip to Jersey and maybe even a trip to New York. But things didn’t go as planned. I spent most of my summer working, switching apartments and taking care of family business. My excitement came midway through when my boyfriend of almost four years told me he was coming home for a month at the end of August. I got even more excited when he asked me if I would come spend a week with him before he came home.

We are a couple that suffers through the trials of a long distance relationship. Sometimes I think we have things a little worse because he is in the Air Force. He is stationed in Nebraska while I’m here at Towson (that’s over 1,100 miles). He comes home one or two times a year and it’s usually only for about two weeks. You can imagine my excitement when he said he had a month worth of leave he could take at one time. I was kind of skeptical about going to spend the week with him though. It was a new place where I knew no one, and thought he would have to be at work all day. Plus, the first thing I think of when I hear “Nebraska” is cornfields, and those don’t seem that exciting. Things worked out in my favor. He had to work stand-by that week, meaning he would go to work at 4 a.m., but be home by 8 a.m. (while I was sleeping) and then go in for an hour in the afternoon.

Speed limit sign in Nebraska

When I first got there I was in shock because I didn’t expect the weather to be that different. When my plane had left Maryland at 6 a.m. it was very warm, but when I got to Nebraska around 10 a.m CT it was cold. I was wearing a skirt and had brought all summer clothes so I clearly wasn’t prepared. But as the week progressed, it got warmer and I was a little more comfortable. We didn’t do much out there because there wasn’t really much to do. The movies and the mall are both about 30 minutes away from where he lives–and honestly we could do that at home. We spent most of the time cuddling and watching movies (insert dramatic “awww” here). We did get a chance to visit a few of his friends as well, but they were mostly at work.

Me and my boy

When it was time to come home, I was excited, sad and nervous all at the same time. I was ready to come back to Towson to begin my junior year, plus my 20th birthday was about two weeks from when we would get back. I was sad because I knew it was back to reality. I would be in Towson, busy with school, while he is about an hour away at home with his family. I was nervous because we were driving back. I get really antsy on long car rides. I was also pretty anxious to see what sights there were on that 18-hour drive.

To my disappointment, there was hardly anything to see on the route we were going. Most of what we saw was highway, cornfields and more highway. We did run into a few small towns when we stopped off to get gas or take bathroom breaks. I also learned a little about the wind farms in Iowa. These wind farms are big fields with nothing but these tall windmill type things, called wind turbines, which create energy. Some of the wind turbines are as tall as 94 meters, that’s about 57 times my height! I was really excited to see the mountains in Pennsylvania, but by the time we got there it was late and there are no street lights, so I could only see their shadows.

Wind Turbine

Small Shops in Princeton, IL

All of the states we drove through were new to me except Pennsylvania. It was interesting to see how much of nothing there is on these highways. I can only imagine how bored truck drivers get. It also amazed me that almost every gas station we went to in the central states, like Iowa and Nebraska, sold alcohol. It made me curious as to what their DUI statistics are. I was glad to spend that extra time with my boyfriend. It was pretty much a great ending to a very bland trip. Overall, the trip as a whole made my summer. I’m just not sure if I would sign up to take the drive again.

All images courtesy of Erin Smith

Erin is a Mass Communications student at Towson University studying Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations. She is the Editor-In-Chief, Campus Correspondent and President of Her Campus Towson. Erin has been writing for Her Campus Towson since fall 2011 and worked as an intern for Sister 2 Sister Magazine in summer 2013. She competed in the 2012 Miss Maryland USA pageant and has since done some print modeling as a hobby. 
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