What’s great about coming home after being away on vacation are the memories you bring back, the stories and photos you have to share with your friends and family, and the feeling of being rejuvenated and ready to resume your regular life with a new vigor.
I typically go on vacation with friends or family, but this time I opted to do my very own solo trip. I traveled to Arizona to get away from the hustle and bustle of my every day New York City life to be around nature, instead of concrete and tall buildings. I traded in the cacophony of car alarms and sirens for the coziness and charm of a college town.
Doing a solo trip on my own has got to be one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I was going to a place I wasn’t familiar with and I only had myself to rely on to figure out how to get around. Family and friends were admittedly puzzled and terrified for me. I’ve been asked why I would want to travel alone, or it has been implied by some that I’m a sweet looking girl that predators are just waiting to pounce on me if I’m not careful––stuff like that. I know they mean well, but they weren’t exactly helping my situation any further by telling me all these things. Then there are those who were concerned, but were supportive and encouraging. These were the friends who thought it was empowering and exciting that I was doing something I haven’t done before. They also believed I was smart and capable enough to take care of myself and to use plain old common sense.
Forging ahead with my solo vacation has proven to be a fantastic and enriching learning experience. I’ve been to beautiful places and I’ve met interesting people along the way. I’ve been lucky to have a safe and fun trip without ever feeling like I’ve made a mistake at all.
I realized the best thing about being on your own in a new place is the sense of independence and confidence you gain after you’ve done it. You know what you’re capable of and you prove to yourself that there’s nothing to be afraid of when you act as you would normally act when you’re at home. You follow your heart, dive into the unknown, and let life unfold in very beautiful and surprising ways.
What made this trip really special isn’t just the solo aspect for me, but I did something I never thought I’d be able to do, or at least not right away––I officially met with some of the crew of At The Buzzer. Considering I was in the town they lived in (minus David Robinson because he lives in Phoenix and currently has his hands full with a new baby), it was only natural to make a meeting happen.
Now this part might seem crazy. Most people would think, “Are you insane? You’re meeting guys you’ve only met on the internet and you’re a girl traveling all by yourself?!” I’ll admit, I probably never would have done this. I’m usually pretty cautious and wary of most people I meet online. However, I have interacted with them a fair amount through their podcast, their blog, and Twitter for about a year now. They’re friends and I felt I could really trust them to do an in person meeting. Call it intuitive knowing, but it didn’t feel wrong to me when I told them I’d be in their neck of the woods for about a week and we should try and set something up.
How did that turn out? Better than I expected, not that I expected a disastrous meeting, although it could have gone that way too. Thankfully, it did not. In fact, meeting them felt as natural as if I’ve known them for years, even if that isn’t true. I know the guys have expressed that much when I was there. I didn’t expect the meeting to be so comfortable and almost familiar. Usually taking interactions from online to offline can be pretty awkward. Not in this case. I can’t explain why it turned out that way. Maybe I’ll never understand it. Regardless, I’m glad I was able to meet most of the ATB crew and I only hope we’ll see each other again soon. Although, I did tell them they have to visit me in New York City sometime!
As for the gaming end of the spectrum, I didn’t get much done. I managed to play Episode 3 of The Wolf Among Us before I left for my trip. The verdict: Best episode in the game so far. I did take my 3DS on this trip, but I hardly had any time to pick it up much. I played a tiny bit of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, but barely enough to call it actual game time during this vacation. When you hardly feel bored while on vacation, you really aren’t going to be playing your handheld much or even reading that book you brought with you.
We are in our last week of April, which means I’ll be back to doing my one video game a month challenge. Check back next week when I unveil my game pick for May. Let’s hope I’ll actually succeed in meeting my goal next month.
8 thoughts on “Vacation Reflections & Mini-Video Game Progress Report For April”
As soon as I saw Arizona, I thought “did she meet…?” And you did! That’s so awesome and I’m glad to hear things turned out well.
There’s something magical about traveling solo, and there’s more to it than just being able to go and do whatever you please. It comes with a sense of conquering, overcoming fear about being alone in a new place and making the experience something truly memorable.
It would have been bad to be in Arizona and I didn’t contact the ATB guys to see if a meet up was possible! It was a really lovely time, and they’re just as funny and entertaining in person as they are in their podcast and Game Ons. 🙂
Once I got over the initial fear of being completely alone on this trip without anyone there with me, the magic really happened. I did gain a lot from just deciding to do it, despite all the concerns my family and friends had. I can’t trade that experience in for anything else. I’d do it all over again too!
Glad to see that you went on a personal vacation on your own and made it through feeling stronger and renewed! I’ve traveled on my own a few times and always felt both scared and excited about the journey ahead–and none of them turned out bad. Like you say, the experience is enriching and you learn a lot about yourself and the world around you just being in a new environment.
And hooray on your offline meeting! Isn’t it crazy how easy it is to meet up and chat with people for the first time after having spoken to them for months or years online only? I did that at my very first anime convention, and look forward to the experience every year with Anime Expo and Sakura-Con. I hope to meet you someday, too ^^ If you’re ever in Seattle, let me know!
After doing this trip on my own, I’d do it again if I felt like I wanted time to myself but in a completely different place. I think if I planned a trip somewhere else or even to places I’ve already been to before, I don’t think I’d be scared anymore. I’d be more excited and eager to plan everything I want to see and do.
I definitely want to come out and see Seattle at some point. I’ll be sure to let you know when I have the chance to head your way! 🙂
Great post, thanks for sharing! Glad you had a great vacation and it’s very cool that you set out on your own to do it!
I had a similar experience last year setting out for Toronto by myself. Not only the first time flying by myself, but the first time leaving the country solo. Terrifying but also very exciting at the same time.
I feel a little different since coming back from my trip, but in a good way! I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to travel to a foreign country on my own just yet, but it isn’t something I’d rule out either. There’s really a sense of achievement having traveled solo by yourself and it has been nothing but good the entire time you’re away.
That sounds like such a fantastic trip! Your photos are beautiful. I would love to take a solo trip sometime. It’s hard to pin down other people’s schedules, and I’m sure there’s something satisfying about being able to choose exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it! It sounds like it is really empowering too, like you said.
It’s so funny what you said about your family and friends being scared for you, though — because that’s totally how my mom is. Sometimes I’ll be pumped for something, and then she’ll come up with some little horror story that scares me off. Or I do it anyway, but inside there’s a little damper on the fun of the event because I feel more wary about it now. Of course I love my mom, though, and she’s always supportive of whatever I decide. Mostly. =)
Thanks Ashley! 🙂 I think everyone should take a solo trip at least once in their lives, if it’s something someone wants to do and is comfortable doing. It’s not for everyone, but the solitude is nice to have sometimes. It’s also better to just go on the trip anyway if you can’t find anyone else to go with. As much as you want to have someone with you, it may not always be possible. Why stop yourself from doing something if you’re able to?
I did feel like my mom and a few friends were trying to make me doubt myself about if going on this trip was right for me. I don’t think it was intentional. They were legitimately concerned. I spent a lot of time thinking about it before I booked the trip and came to the conclusion that this is really the right decision for me. I’m glad I didn’t let anyone hold me back. At the end of the day, you do what you think feels right for you. You’re the one living your life, not them, and I’d do this all over again in a heartbeat!