How One Country Bumpkin Learned The Art of Hipsterism (aka That Time I Moved 2,000 Miles for a Boy).

This is a little detour off the fashion road. In Fashion Capstone (re: Senior Project), we've created a magazine. I was assigned to write a column and do an interview. I wrote the column about my move from Montana to Texas, and I would like to share it with y'all.

Three years ago, I left behind everything I knew--my family, my friends, and the small town of Bigfork, MT. I moved for two reasons: a boy and school...mostly for the boy.
The boy is history. The good news? I’m still in school.
My 2,000-mile move to Austin was a whim. The university I was attending asked me to select a major. As a junior, I was still in the “University Studies” program. I ended up selecting a course of study that the university did not offer: Fashion & Retail Management.
The original plan was to move to Seattle. But after learning The Art Institutes was opening a branch in Austin, where I had lived as a child, my plans changed.
A friend from high-school, my future ex-boyfriend, was living in Austin at the time. After a reassuring phone call and securing a place to stay, I quit my job in Glacier National Park. I immediately packed up my Chevy Aveo with all of my belongings.
Three days later, I found myself at the 21st Street Co-Op in Austin, with only a trunk full of clothes and a coffee table I had constructed when I was thirteen.
Now, I’ve moved around a few times, but never had I experienced something like “the coop.” The 21st Street Co-Op is a (clothing-optional) student housing cooperative in the West Campus area, several blocks west from The Drag. Constantly referred to as a treehouse, it reminded me much of a maze. I spent the carefree summer earning my keep at the co-op by cleaning Suite 4B, the smoking suite.
Then the boy and I broke up.
This could be the part in the story where I go all Felicity and chop off my curly locks, circa the late 1990s television show, but that’s not my style.
Instead, I immersed myself into all that is Austin. I went to local events, shopped at second-hand boutiques and farmers markets, and began writing a blog about Austin fashion. I became a full-fledge vegetarian, met Austinites and other gypsies, and adopted a dog I named Biscuit. I have traveled from eastern Canada to southern California, made The President’s List at school, and worked two jobs. I danced in the rain at Austin City Limits Festival, volunteered during South By Southwest, and returned to the 21st Street Co-Op on Sundays to cook for Food Not Bombs. I’ve moved three times, which is also the exact number of times I’ve fallen in and out of love with the same person.
In the past three years, it’s easy to say I've changed from the 19-year-old that showed up with all of her belongings in the back of her car.
I’ve gone back to Montana twice. But it’s no longer “home”.
There’s truth in the old adage “home is where the heart is.”

As of now, mine is, literally, deep in the heart of Texas.


  1. Good for you, darling!
    Love this story!


  2. This is an interesting, inspirational story. I'm so glad that you didn't pull a Felicity. It's all about rising to meet your challenges!!

    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  3. Gorgeous pictures and outfits! Have fun in Texas! xo style, she wrote

  4. Such a great story. Austin is truly magical, ain't it?!

  5. Inspirational! Love it and you! Kisses from MT....

  6. Ah, a delicious romantic story and so inspirational too. The romance ended but the memories remain. xx

  7. This is great! Isn't it amazing how far you have come? Just fantastic.

  8. I absolutely love this post, Chelsea - it is magical! I really want to visit Austin now! :)

  9. I loved reading this, I'm glad you've found your place!


  10. Loved this! I, too, moved to Austin for a boy, we did a brief stint the Coop, then it was over, but I'm so glad I came! It would be awesome to know how many people have made a huge life decision for a relationship, then ended up being happier once it was over :)

  11. Jess,
    No freakin' way! Crazy. Well, fellow MFer, I totally agree--I am so much better off as I am now, much more than I could have imagined.

  12. wow, this is so great! it's nice to hear your break-up didn't send you packing, but instead inspired you to do new things independently! you're very brave and inspiring. and i love that you got a dog named, Biscuit. that was the name of my first dog!



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