Several years ago I was creating my first ever vision board. For those who are not familiar, a vision board is a collection of images/pictures, words, phrases etc that represent your goals. A vision board can be a vision of what living your best life would look like, in any area of your life. It could be personal (just for you) or for you and your family, it could be for your career/business, health/fitness, spiritual etc. You name it. I’ve never been great a setting goals for myself, so I just turned my board into a bunch of pictures of places that I wanted to travel to. In fact, I had so many travel pictures and motivational words or names of places, that it nearly covered the entire board. I even thought to myself, “there’s got to be other things I want to accomplish in my life…” Eh, not so much as it turns out. I managed to include a couple of random materialistic-type things. A fancy diamond ring… for whatever reason. I’d never wear it, I’m not fancy. Another picture was of a black Porsche Panamera, again, I don’t know why. Because 1.) I think spending that kind of money is ridiculous. Even if you have “fuck you” money… that’s like Walton or Buffett or Gates-type money and 2.) I don’t like cars, too low to the ground and my depth perception that low is total shit. I like SUVs.
I remember thinking that people would find it weird that all I had a goal for was to travel. Now looking back I realize I should have stopped myself and said, “who the fuck cares?!” I know now though, and I don’t care. I have a lot of other things I like or like the idea of and of course, my family is important to me. But at the end of the day, the thing that brings joy to my soul, is exploring the world and being part of her rich history and unmatched beauty. I want to go to the places where I want to go and I’ve even reached the point in my life, where I don’t care if anyone goes with me.
A couple of years ago (for a 31st birthday present to myself… I kept thinking it was my 30th smh) I took my first ever solo trip, to New Orleans. The year before, I was able to take my sweet Daddy on a “tracing roots” trip to Ireland and it was my first time leaving the country. These two trips created a whole new mindset for me. My trip to Ireland made me realize a couple of things; 1.) How obsessed I am with being in Europe and how important it is for me to go back as often as possible!! 2.) How much cheaper it was than I thought it would be. The NOLA trip taught me one very important thing: solo trips are good for the soul. My friends thought I was crazy for going by myself, I couldn’t understand why. It was not originally meant to be a solo trip, but in the end I realized that I wasn’t willing to wait on anyone to go with me. I had never traveled alone. Not really alone alone. I mean, I have done a fair amount of work traveling, but I never counted that. This would be for real alone. And in doing so, it spurred on this new “selfish” ideology of mine.
New Orleans was everything I had hoped it would be! The music, the food, the people! I fell in love! Because I went solo, I could do the things I wanted to. Like, go see where Nicolas Cage has planned to be entombed upon his demise. Or where Madame LaLaurie went totes cray cray. If you don’t know the name, look her up! Be warned though, the woman did some seriously twisted shit! I even went to see the home where Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies was located (AHS Coven fans will know what I’m talking about). I was geeking out for a solid 4 days! After NOLA, I set a goal to take 1 solo trip & get 1 stamp (minimum) every year. Or as I’ve referred it, 1 solo/1 stamp. This goal changed the game.
I took one of those random Buzzfeed quizzes the other day, something to the effect of “pick your favorite desserts and we’ll tell you which city you should move to.” I take so many of those stupid, little fucking quizzes these days… although, I guess I’ve always been a quiz/trivia geek. I just don’t take as many when I am employed, I suppose. Anyway, the quiz told me I should move to Amsterdam/San Fransisco/Tokyo. Well, Japan isn’t highest on my list and I’ve been to San Fran. Decided it was more of a travel to and visit vs live in type of city. So that left Amsterdam and since it’s in Europe and I’m obsessed with European history… ding ding ding! Amsterdam it is, let’s go peeps! Unfortunately, it is not realistic for me at this time, and yet it got me thinking about when/where my next trip will be and how can I get there as soon as fucking possible?!
A girlfriend of `mine and I have a “friend” (she’s more her friend and my acquaintance) that lives in Budapest. We had talked about going to see her this November. Round-trip flights were only about $400 at the time and like an idiot I didn’t book it when I knew I should have! I also have a new niece who lives in Germany where her mother is stationed. I went to see her there earlier this year but only spent a day in Germany. I thought, “I could go back and spend more time in Germany.” I also would love to have the Daddy/Daughter international trip part 2, this time to Scotland to finish out our roots tracing agenda… and then my head starts to buzz with all of the things I want to do internationally, places I want to go to, food I want to eat (big foodie over here), cultures I want to experience… And the more I think about all of this, the more I think I just want to make it happen and how much cheaper it is with just me anyway. Plus, think of awesome things you get to see and do when it’s just you! My head keeps buzzing. My bucket list is so full of places to see. I turn 33 this year. And while I realize that is still young (-ish), I also know how fast time flies… and I don’t want to regret not going someplace.
So here’s where the selfish talk kicks back in and we revisit that ideology. I have always felt that a big part of my life, for it to be well-rounded anyway, would be through travel. In fact, the main reason for this blog is to hopefully create an opportunity for me to travel wherever and whenever the fuck I want. And without having to stress over the obligations of “adulting.” I won’t spend time this post on the financial aspects of my selfish AF ideology. That’s a topic for another day. But traveling… thinking about it, planning for it, building hypothetical itineraries, nearly consumes my mind. And the windows on my laptop and cell phone browsers. Here’s another thought: to travel is to escape. A vacation from your life, for a few days. Getting away from the stresses and obligations of being a grown up because #adultingsucks. I think that may even be considered selfish. But have you ever heard, or been given the advice, to step away from your desk for a minute? Get up and walk away for a bit. Why are we advised to do that? Because we need that refresher. For our own mental clarity. For our sanity. I suppose everyone takes it differently, but I know whenever I can get away, it’s like hitting a reset button.
When was the last time you hit your rest button?