I started planning this trip as a way to celebrate a part of me I held back.
I cringed while typing that first sentence. Why would you ever hold yourself back to begin with? I guess the answer is simple… I was in a relationship with someone who was insecure. The more my talents and strengths showed – the more complicated the relationship became. I had to hide, and stunt, my growth in order to avoid arguments, jealousy, fights, or even the attention of other people. It was crippling. I felt dead, everyday. So when everything started falling apart – I asked myself, “Why not now? What’s holding you back? What can you possibly lose now that you’ve hit an all time low? Take a risk, do what you’ve always wanted.” So I did.
I left high school with a long bucket list and I never completed any of it because it was ‘too much’ for the other person. Nonetheless – it didn’t mean that their bucket list wasn’t crossed off. I fueled the growth of the other person but never my own.
“I have always wanted to travel alone.” So I did. I packed my bags, booked a hotel, and planned my trip to the Valley of Fire in Overton, Nevada. It was amazing.
The first day: I canceled going to the Valley of Fire because I got caught in a sand/dust storm. The winds were rushing at 56 mph. I tried capturing a photograph but I ended up getting sucker punched by trash, sand, dirt, and my tripod fell over. If you have asthma/allergies (like I do) I highly recommend that you stay in your vehicle and avoid photos. You will find it to be a very unpleasant experience. I checked the weather Wednesday morning and the forecast had indicated “high 90’s with very little wind.” So do you want to guess what was packed in my vehicle? Shorts, tank tops, sports bras, one set of pajamas and socks. Yup. I spent most of Thursday trying not to get into a car accident, buying ‘storm’ gear, and checking into my hotel room early. By 7:00PM everyone in the region was alerted to stay indoors until midnight. You can imagine how exciting this ‘liberating’ night was. I walked downstairs to a nearby gift shop, bought a huge can of Mike’s Hard Lemonade (8% alcohol I might add), ordered a large bag of Peanut M&M’s, and partied hard by myself in my hotel room. Like a boss. It was amazing. My first trip solo and it had gone wrong by all accounts. But I could not stop laughing… I was smiling ear to ear because it was hilarious! I always joke that I have the worse of luck – but this was like the nail in the coffin. This was Mother Nature saying, “Have fun while getting shitted on.” And I did. I enjoyed it. I like the curve balls in life … and I like making the most out of the weirdest experiences. I was so happy that I could have this hilarious tale to look back on. A fellow instagrammer said, “those are the best moments.” And I could not have agreed more. In a time of sadness and heartbreak – I am choosing to learn from the experiences and to grow.
Day 2 … more on that tomorrow.