When you're driving one-way across the country, uprooting yourself and starting anew, it takes longer than you would guess to really feel like you're leaving. For me, with Point A being Los Angeles and Point B being Washington, D.C., we were well into New Mexico before it hit me that I no longer lived on the West Coast (which I had done my entire life, one week shy of 34.5 years, but who's counting?). In fact, at the moment of the realization, I no longer lived anywhere. Think about that. The tangible example that set this in stone for me was that we stopped at a DQ on a misguided whim. It was Road Trip Day 3, and we'd done such a good job of not eating like truckers for the first three days that we decided to reward ourselves by eating like truckers.
I ordered a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard, and the guy at the drive-thru repeated it back: "One large Reeseez blizzard." Forget the "large" part, which is none of your business. Where I'm from we say REE-SEZ, not REE-SEEZ, and this minor twist was the first real-world indication that I had left my element. I still ate the whole thing, of course, and you would too.