Road Trip Back to Florida Begins

Man, I’m going to miss this place. Just as I was starting to feel settled and get closer to the people I’ve met here, it’s time for me to leave. That always seems to be the case.

I’ve said a lot of hellos and goodbyes throughout the past few years when moving from Massachusetts to Rhode Island to Florida to Texas. I’m looking forward to this next part of the journey, though. I’m going to be reuniting with friends in Florida and starting a new job. It’ll be my first full-time job and the first time I’ll have an apartment that I can truly call my own.

When I arrived in Texas, I felt overwhelmed and scared. Everything seemed so sprawling, so unfamiliar. But with time, my familiarity grew, as did my fondness for the city. That’s what’s so great about traveling — you’re faced with the challenge of stepping outside your comfort circle and exploring new territories that you may have never thought you’d like. I’ve often thought that being a journalist is the best way to get to know a place because it forces you to get out and find story ideas, meet people, and build sources. As you explore, you have to learn to embrace the wrong turns and the unreliable directions because, really, it’s in getting lost that we find our way.

I’m hoping I can find my way back to St. Petersburg, Fla. I start my 18-hour road trip Wednesday morning and will be stopping halfway in New Orleans before arriving in Florida on Thursday. My departure is bittersweet. I like to think of it as more of a “so long” than a goodbye. I know I’ll run into some of the people I met in Dallas at some point in the future and that we’ll keep in touch. Already, two of my Dallas friends are coming to St. Petersburg next month — one for a wedding and one for a Poynter seminar. “So longs” are never fun, but they often yield new friends, new beginnings and much-needed reunions.

Thanks, Dallas Morning News friends, for a memorable three months. I’ll miss you.

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Poynter.org. Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at mjtenore@gmail.com.

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