26 is a weird age to be. You’re stuck in the space where you are a full-fledged adult, or at least you think you are, but young enough to still be a mess while you figure out this thing called life. I am one of those people that find pleasure in solitude. Ya know, just time to yourself away from everyone and everything to think and reflect. The one thing I realized I haven’t done yet was travel alone. I mean I’ve driven a significant distance by myself, but it was always to meet someone. I’ve always thought of myself as a free-spirited person, but how can I be that if I have never went across the country or out of the country alone? I decide to take the plunge and go somewhere by myself and what better time to do it than my birthday. Let me just say, it was the most nerve-wrecking yet amazing experience ever!
I decided to go to LA, well because I’ve never been. Exploring a new city by myself was attractive and I was super excited. But all nervousness took over the morning I was to leave . It was then that it finally sunk I was going to have to navigate a foreign city all by myself without looking like a tourist. When I finally arrived in LA, I sat on the bed of my hotel room and was in awe that I did it. But now what?! Oh don’t worry, after all the preparations to get there, I didn’t have anything planned for when I actually arrived. I grabbed lunch (and some drinks) in the hotel bar to concoct some grand scheme. I was a little overwhelmed by all of the choices so I called a friend that lives about an hour or so from LA. She not only gave me some ideas but took it upon herself to take me out that night, which was unexpected and really sweet of her. It definitely took the pressure off finding something extravagant to do to bring in the big 26.
Once the plans were solidified, I continued to sit in the hotel bar, drink, and think. The sole purpose of me coming to this strange city was to see if I can do it alone; be completely by myself and find peace by my lonesome in an unfamiliar city. I ended up meeting her in Hollywood with some of her friends and had an amazing time. The following day, my actual birthday, she dropped me off at Venice Beach and that is where I was completely solo and had no idea what to do with myself. It felt like a first date; where you're so excited and attracted to someone that it makes you nervous and you want to impress them by saying all the right things. I found that being alone at home, or your comfort zone, is different than being alone in an unfamiliar city. I found a spot to sit, away from the crowd and tried to tap into what I like, the things that interest me, etc. That was the hardest date I've ever been on. When it came down to it, I didn't know too much about myself and what I would like to do for fun, etc. I ended up walking the boardwalk and beach, people watching, and eating. After about an hour, I basked in the sun and was confident/comfortable with being on the beach by myself. I guess when you're a go-with-the-flow kind of person and constantly surrounded by people and do the things they want, you don't really tap into YOU. In my now 26 years, I thought I had a pretty good idea as to who I was and what I enjoy. That moment at Venice Beach was truly a wake up call. Like my subconscious was saying “No sis, you don't know shit about me but let’s take the time to get to know each other”.
Take a trip by yourself. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant or expensive but some time alone is essential in discovering who you are. Let’s unleash the kraken!