This week marks my last at the Nevada Appeal. After about five years in journalism in the Silver State I am breaking out into the Big Wide World.
Really, I've wanted to travel since I was young. I used to cut out maps of distant places and hang them on my walls. Then came college and lots of bills.
Today I'm proud to report that I'm just about out of debt (not counting the $17,000 in student loans, slowly slimmed in the five years since I've graduated). Thanks to a disciplined budget and credit-card payment plan, I get to experience Asia.
And probably get myself into debt again.
Leaving Nevada means a few different things: no more affordable rent and the relatively low cost of living.
Sure, there's excitement and adventure, but does it have to cost so much?
"I would say it's worth it because you wouldn't want to have regrets and wonder what it could have been like," says Jeni Hardie, one of my best friends. She's also recently worked off several thousand dollars of credit-card debt through self denial and intensive prayer.
After spending some time in Vegas with family, I will be teaching English in Japan or Hong Kong.
I gasped after calculating the cost of a one-bedroom apartment in central Tokyo: $2,000 a month. And that's on the low end. I'm sure that's in the ghetto.
"If you were making $4,000 a month that wouldn't be a bad idea," says one of my other best friends Mary Morton. She lives on the cheap side of California. The one with all the ugly desert and a constant housing turnover because of a nearby Naval base. "Otherwise I'd say that's crazy."
My crazy is born out of nearly five years of reporting in Nevada. My brain is Swiss cheese after computing the foreclosure rates of Carson City home owners and the median home prices over a boom and bust.
Then there's the time I critiqued a community play while working in Fallon. My observations provoked an anger that is befitting the rage of God over some great issue of injustice.
Then there's the time I sorted out the timeline of events leading up to Max Baer Jr.'s purchase of the old Wal-Mart building. I consider it poetic justice that I leave three years later, and the building still sits without a major tenant.
I must say - I enjoyed all of it.
I loved the roar of a jet over the pasture in Fallon, while a local woman sobbed about the slaughter of her entire herd of sheep.
I love a family sharing its deepest, darkest secrets inside their home in Washoe Valley. Why they can't hold jobs and struggle to find a place in this economy. They are not healthy or ambitious - to their own detriment, and to their children. But they're loving and honest.
Those are some great stories. Let it continue. I'll just be paying higher rent.
• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.