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  • Michelle Howell

Quick trip North of the Border

Dirty Dan and Pinhead Larry, Republicans, and Men sporting cowboy hats, larger than life belt buckles, and chewing tobacco are the 1st things that pop into my head when someone mentions Texas.

As I hopped into a beat-up probably not roadworthy pickup truck that I hoped wasn't my Uber I knew I wasn't on the East Coast anymore. I was greeted with a thick and hearty "Welcome to the Country of Texas" by a gentlemen sporting the iconic cowboy hat and chewing dip which he happily spat out into a water bottle between pointing out sights on the way to my Air BnB.

If I were to label this year of my life it would most definitely be the year doing things. In the past year, I've traveled every chance I've gotten to, possibly too much, taken on challenges that I previously would have shied away from and moved to a new city without ever visiting it before signing my lease- naive? Maybe. Bold? Still to be determined. When the opportunity to travel to Texas came my way I couldn't think of an excuse or solid reason to say no, apart from the fact that one day prior to my departure I would just be moving into my new apartment. Being me, I brushed it off and figured I'd stay in line with my year's theme.

The chance to go to Austin came about from my brand new employer, Outdoor Voices where I'll be splitting my time between coaching and running. Throughout the year they host was hosting the retreat near their HQ in Austin and were offering to bring us all down for a few days to meet corporate and learn the ins and out of the brand.

Our cute not so little Air BnB was just a mile from the State Capital. The neighborhood was great to run in being not too far from the Lady Bird Hike and Bike trail. Every morning I followed the same routine; I'd wake up before the rest of the house around 6am to get my run in and cap off the run at a coffee shop nearish the house. Allowing me to get in my workout and check out the local coffee scene. Back at the house, I did a mix of body weight exercises and stretches before heading over to HQ for the day.

Thankfully, Austin did not live up to the first impression I got from my Uber driver. It was more of a North of the Border Brooklyn, then gun slinging texas with plenty of locally run restaurants and things to do. I loved the coffee shops (duh) and having a weak spot for all Latin food I may have indulged a bit too much on the breakfast tacos.

To me being able to travel to new places, even when it's only for a few days or a weekend is part of what I love most about my lifestyle. While it may not be sustainable in the long run, I'm happy to keep taking advantage of the opportunites that come my way and keep #doingthings. For now though, this vagabond is laying down roots in DC and hitting the ground running. 

If your local to DC you can catch me at my first Coffee Meet up and debut pro road race at the Navy Mile this coming Septemeber.