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Challenging Myself with Travel, Part 2: Going Solo

I recently took my most solo trip. Now, this doesn’t include the months I’d lived in Spain. However, I have some really close friends who live in New York and suddenly I’d gotten the overwhelming urge to see them. It was January, so since not many people want to be caught in NY during that time of year, tickets were cheap. And that didn’t even matter so much because I had points and miles that I was able to use in order to get myself a free flight.

But, who would I go with? I wouldn’t want to fly across the country all by myself would I? I asked a couple close friends if they wanted to join me, but they weren’t able to. I started to think that I’d just have to call it a day and plan on heading out there another time.

Wait, I told myself, I don’t need to have someone there with me. I have friends there, I really wanna go, why not?!

Getting Along with People

I do my best to position myself as someone who’s easy to get along with. I’m not one to say “I don’t like so-and-so”. Granted, will be times where rudeness presents itself. Between encountering less than friendly householders in my volunteer work or guests at the restaurant, I’ve developed a pretty thick skin to rude people.

However, many in these circumstances have been mere strangers, perhaps someone I would be around for a period of minutes, but never expect to see in the near future again. But with those I have to be around often, that’s a much different story.

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Challenging Myself with Travel, Part 1

My dad traveled quite a bit for his business when I was young. He’d bring me back knick-knacks and other gifts from his exotic travels, whether they be in Singapore, London, Paris, or any other of a list of locales. However, as a kid, the idea of traveling never appealed to me. I was content to stay in Orange County and watch Nickelodeon and Pokemon instead. The idea of staying with Grandma, while my parents set off on a vacation to tour Europe sounded infinitely better.

But somehow this changed. I’m not exactly sure how, but it did. In 2011, freshly graduated from college, I went with a friend on a two-week tour of Europe. We visited a friend who was living in San Sebastian, Spain (which, to this day, I would say is my favorite city in the world), while also visiting Barcelona, Paris and Rome. Neither of us had ever been to Europe before, so it turned out to be an incredible adventure.

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On the Run

It’s been quite a while since I’ve gotten to be regular with blogging. I remember thinking at one time that it wasn’t for me. When I took off to live in Spain, I remember getting asked to write about my journey. At first, that didn’t especially appeal to me. Would people really care THAT much about my time overseas? Will I care enough to write about what I do? Will I even have the time or interest?

Fortunately, the answer to all of those questions was YES. I wrote a lot when I was a kid. I wrote series of books while I was in elementary school, mostly concentrated between ages 5 and 14. I’ll never forget the first book I wrote, The Boy Who Wanted a Dog. It was a semi-autobiographical tale of sorts. It was a story about a boy who, yep you guessed it, wanted a dog from his parents. Guess what other five-year-old had the exact same desire. Yep, yours truly! Now, the little protagonist of this stapled-together-on-lined-paper story GOT his dog at the end of the book. The young, hopeful author did not.