Photo by lovelifeandtravel
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are beginning our final descent into Reno.” It’s the same each time I come home. Regardless of where I’ve been in the world, the butterflies start their dance as I silently rejoice. I smile to myself as the monotonous landscape begins to morph into regions of recognition. There’s nothing quite like coming home. Home: a city so familiar you find yourself tracing street routes in your head to coax yourself to sleep.
It’s always striking for me to hear people’s misconceptions about Reno while traveling abroad. This “little Vegas” full of divorce, liquor, and harlotry has more to offer than our reputation suggests. For one, we have community. We have a young adult population that bands together to raise money for great causes. We have wine walks and Artown, Ace’s fans and UNR supporters. There is nothing quite like meeting a fellow Renoite while abroad. Chances are, although you may never have met before, you are somehow connected through the 6 degrees of Reno. There is a certain sense of camaraderie between those of us who pronounce our home state “the correct way.”
Another draw: the great outdoors. Within hours I can find myself lounging in an oasis-style hot spring in the middle of the Black Rock Desert. The spring’s trees shading me from hail falling out of a perfectly sunny sky. Or I can drive in another direction and end up at the shore of an alpine lake nestled snugly into the austere mountains. Acres of sage brush, forests of pines, even fields of wildflowers make our home a place with breathtaking beauty.
Then there’s the sky. The sky is Reno is untouchable in my mind. Waves of the brightest blue contrast the comforting tan of the hills in perfect harmony. Miles of uninterrupted space result in spectacular sunbursts of color during the rising and setting of the sun. The sky plasters itself in hues of pinks, purples, and oranges so vibrant they seem to defy reality. I always miss the sky the most when I am gone.
For a vagabond at heart, the idea of home can be complicated. Home can be seen as a too familiar place that doesn’t leave much room for growth. However, home can also be seen as a haven. A place where you don’t have to be anything but a Renoite. No matter where life takes me, I know that without a doubt home will always mean Nevada to me.