In 2008, I was 27—young enough to still believe in the unimaginable, yet old enough to be jaded about politics and America. Like millions of young adults my age, I was in awe of the charismatic presidential candidate, then Illinois Senator Barack Obama. I didn’t know if this moment would come again in my lifetime, so immediately after his victory speech on Election Night, I called my closest girlfriends and traveling buddies, and we began planning to attend the inauguration.
Two months later, we trekked from our respective homes in Chicago, New Orleans and Memphis to Washington, D.C. Between the three of us, we took just about every form of transportation available, including planes, trains, cars and cabs to get there.