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I occasionally post personal updates here. Because I expect they’ll influence the way I travel and how I plan trips.
I wrote about getting a job at a PR firm in Manhattan, paying off my credit cards and starting FIRE, and leaving New York for Dallas: all personal things that influenced the scope of my thinking, and subtleties about how I travel.
Now it’s table for one, breakfast for one.
And with my trip to Brussels coming up in a few weeks, I realized I’ll be traveling alone for the foreseeable future. I started researching a RTW trip with stops in Hong Kong and South Africa (my first time in both places!) on brand new (to me) airlines.
I was also thinking of visiting Vermont in the fall to see the changing colors. And it hit me so hard that I’ll be doing all of this alone. So I’ve been gathering my personal power. It’s been good getting to know me more.
I’ve also never felt so alive. And I’ve never felt so alone. Solo travel.
I was with Jay for seven years. We traveled the world together.
Always looking for two award seats, double occupancy, two tickets – everything came in pairs for so long.
The last time I was single, I was a (literally) poor and (literally) starving art student in Chicago. Each year, things changed. No year since has not had staggering change.
We moved to New York, started working, got Fenwick (our dog), moved all around the city, and of course I got deeply involved with points and miles somewhere in there, too.
In 2013, we went to Hawaii (I started Out and Out in March of that year). And saw Maui, the Big Island, and Oahu. From there, it’s been a journey to so many new places (and returns to some places I hold in my heart). We went to Australia, Japan, Ireland, Alaska, and most recently Cancun. And so many other places.
On a bit of a petty note, I also recently got the Southwest Companion Pass. And now I don’t have a companion to share it with.
February and March were rough for me. We were together a long time. I don’t have anything bad to say about any of it. I just want to make sure I honor the time we had. And move forward in a way that gives me care for myself.
While we’re at it, I should also say I got rid of my Airbnb business partner.
Now I have one in Dallas all on my own and another I co-manage. The other guy, I think, had some sort of nervous breakdown. And the reason I had to go to New York at the end of February was to completely and utterly scrub him out of my life.
With that trip, I cut my final tie to New York – that was the last thing I had there. It was also a bit of a sad trip – nostalgic, say – to see the places I used to love and close some doors for the last time.
What do you do when you know you’ll never go back? Just shut the door and sigh as you walk down the stairs. Try not to cry while you walk back with so many people all around you.
I got to see two dear old friends while I was there. We sat and talked for hours and walked around the city. Got drunk and laughed. Lots of hugs. Definitely needed that. Anyway…
Clearing out the energy
Everything you do taxes your energy.
Holding things in your mind requires energy.
I was holding on to all this mental sludge for so long I could barely think straight. Things I had been putting up with for years finally caught up with me. I suspected they would at some point.
When I moved to Dallas, it was because I didn’t want to give New York my 30s. I gave that city my 20s, but I thought – I’ll be damned if it takes my 30s.
Now I don’t have to deal with those things any more. Just like that, they’re gone.
That’s the hardest part, too. All the emptiness. Empty drawers, empty closet. Empty empty empty. I’m not trying to fill it up just yet. But it’s still there – pictures of empty.
I’d been avoiding writing this because putting it up here, on my blog baby, makes everything so real. And I didn’t want it to be truly real. Until now, I guess.
Solo travel is bringing new philosophies into my little world: being the travel companion you want to meet, taking myself out because I want to, the freedom and scariness of exploring alone, and finding the open-heartedness to go through with it all. I hope those are topics I can think and write about later, as they’ve newly become very real to me.
On another note, thanks for the continued support as I took some time to sort of work through this. Back to regularly scheduled Out and Out goodness – and hopefully a lot more of it. Just wanted to post an update – still here and thankful.
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