Nothing felt special or particularly different when I landed in Connecticut, at Bradley Airport, after a short layover in Charlotte that required some sprinting. When I landed, all I saw was flatness outside my window.
After tweeting out an ‘EastCoast’ hashtag, the second thing I tweeted when I landed—half sarcastically, half sadly—was: “Where…there’s no mountains here. #sadtweet”.
I landed on April 10, a few days after I had originally planned to arrive, but circumstances made this arrival more suitable. When I arrived I still couldn’t get it through my head; I was in Connecticut. Another state. Another area. An entirely different region of the United State. Hundreds of miles from home in Colorado.
Somehow I managed to fit all my crap, mostly clothes, in to two suitcases, a backpack and a camera bag. That’s all I brought, and to this day that’s all I still mostly possess. Fitting all my crap into two suitcases was something I had done when I interned in New York, but this was completely different. There was no going home after three months.
Less than 10 hours before I had sat in my grandparent’s living room, speaking with my mother, sister, brothers, cousins, aunts. We laughed, spoke about my future and even shed a few tears. I had not slept in more than 24 hours when I arrived in Connecticut, and I was still 10 hours removed from a short stay in Denver International before my flight departed at around midnight. All those memories seemed so far from everything.
I knew no one outside the few people I had spoken to on the phone, and even they were basically strangers. There were two editors, a landlord and a roommate.
Tired and sluggish, I walked toward my luggage, but my mind filled with thoughts of all the stories and maybe even adventures waiting beyond this airport. And finally, perhaps taken aback by the mere fact that I was now walking in another state with a purpose beside leisure or pleasure, it felt special.
I had arrived. I was in a new place. Luck, faith, and a little newspaper in Northwest Connecticut had granted me an opportunity to write and report again.
I felt exhausted, and I couldn’t smile, but as I walked inside the airport, dragging my luggage, I knew I wanted to.
So maybe we’re not totally great friends and this is the first time you’ve read about this but I’m now living out in Torrington, a small town in northwest Connecticut.
Oh and I’m a journalist, at the Register Citizen. I’m getting paid to write and tell stories.
Let that sink in my friends.
I’m really proud of what I’ve done so far, and looking forward to all the adventurous things I will do up here is exciting. Still getting use to living up here, being an East Coaster or whatever. I miss my family and dogs and some of my friends, and I definitely miss the mountains.
Keep yourself updated with me, what I’m covering and the stories I’m writing by following me on Twitter @EstebanHRZ. And if you have any story ideas, send me an email at ehernanel @gmail.com
In case you’re curious, here’s my first story (weirdly could not find it on the Register Citizen site, but I found it on one of our sister paper’s site): “Torrington area residents recall being at scene of Boston Marathon bombings“. (Yeah I know I need to work on my headline game)
So anyway here’s some more cool photos of Torrington featuring me at the office and some of the coverage I’ve been involved in through the first two-ish months.