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Two months ago I was on the road from Hartville, Ohio to Victoria, Texas. I had just graduated from Ohio University, and after taking the holidays off to spend with my family in Maryland, I decided that I couldn’t stand to live at my parent’s house in my small town of 2,781 people, painting my nails and watching Netflix for the next four months. Instead, I started applying to photo internships, since that is what I earned my degree in. The Victoria Advocate was the first newspaper to respond. Having never been to Texas before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I found the thought exciting and I have always loved the thrill of new places.

All I knew about Victoria was that the weather would hopefully be more pleasant than in Ohio, and that was good enough reason for me. My only knowledge about Texans was from what I had gathered from country music videos, and while I doubted that was the truth, it wasn’t much to go on. So, I fixated on picturing myself doing a story about a dude ranch where I got to ride off into the sunset on the back of a horse. This has not yet come to fruition, but if you know someone who can help me achieve this goal, be sure to email me. I also like fried chicken and pie.

It took me two days to drive to Victoria, in my pick-up truck stuffed with my belongings and enough Pepsi to prevent me from dozing off behind the wheel. Staying in the hotel by myself was a big realization for me that I was a bona fide “grown-up”. Granted, the hotel looked like the perfect setting for a psycho-killer movie and the thought of myself dying alone in middle-of-nowhere Arkansas was not how I wanted to spend my evening so I treated myself to a vending machine snack and sprawled out on the bed and tried to pretend that the black hairs all over the shower, sheets, and towels weren’t there.

Two months later, I’m still adjusting to my life in Texas, I enjoy my job and even better, I like interacting with and meeting new people everyday. And I think I can say with honesty that when I leave here I will take more away from the experience than a few extra pounds and a fear of cockroaches.

New to Texas? Have unusual fears? Email me at Asteen@vicad.com! Or follow me on twitter @asteenphoto