6 Days in Denver and Los Angeles

Since I’ve began this blog, I’ve always written some sort of monumental post on or around my birthday to reflect on the previous year because I like to see how far I’ve come, how much I’ve changed, and how much I’ve grown. It’s never a dull journey to get to where I am and thankfully, I have these blog posts to serve as a reminder that life doesn’t get any easier with age.

I just turned 25 about 2 weeks ago. A quarter-century old. A quarter-life crisis to come. Again, to no surprise, I have a laundry list of events that have happened in that previous year.

In the span of 1 year, I had 2 different jobs, lived in 2 different apartments in New York City, and broke up, got back together, then broke up (again) with my boyfriend.

When I turned 25, I was job-less, boyfriend-less, and at the border of a mental breakdown. It only seemed appropriate to take a trip to escape the realities of the environment that I was currently in.

On November 20th 2015, the Friday before my birthday, I was let go from my job – A “promising” position at a startup company that I had only recently started working at in September after being at a large Publishing company prior.

Clearly, it wasn’t a great fit for me.

The night that I got let go, after experiencing hours of complete and utter shock, I had decided that I needed to get away. I needed to travel. I needed to escape.

Please note, to fully comprehend what led to my course of action in taking this trip, I must summarize the events that took place prior. The following situations were brewing in the months leading up to my trip:

  • I left a stable job
  • I started a new job
  • I reconnected with my ex-boyfriend
  • I disconnected from my ex-boyfriend
  • I got into a 2-month long argument with my sister
  • I reconnected (again) with my ex-boyfriend in the wake of the Paris attacks
  • I re-disconnected with my ex-boyfriend
  • I got let go from my job
  • I turned 25

A person can only withstand so much before they reach their tipping point. And for me, I was just about there.

On November 21st, the day after getting let go, I spent 6 hours booking one-way flights from New Jersey, to Denver, to Los Angeles, then back home to New York City.

I left on Friday, November 28th, the day after Thanksgiving and just returned a few days ago, this past Thursday morning.

It wasn’t a long trip, but it was enough. 6 days in Denver and Los Angeles. It was exactly the right amount of time that I needed to process exactly what had happened in the past few months.

When I arrived at Denver International Airport, I hit the ground running, as I typically do when I travel. Whenever I’m in a different place, I always want to do anything and everything in order to take complete advantage of the time that I have wherever I may be. And boy, did I do that. To summarize the events in Colorado, this is what I was able to accomplish in 4 days (And these are only the events that I’m at liberty to disclose):

When I said goodbye to my friends on Monday, I was sad to go, but overwhelmed with excitement for the second part of my trip to Los Angeles. And here is a summary of the events that happened during my 3 days in California:

In the time that it took for me to emotionally breakdown, I was inadvertently able to revive myself through this trip.

Looking back, although this trip was much needed and an extremely pivotal point in my upcoming year(s) of growth, I must say that I am most grateful for the fact that it was such a safe and successful journey. On my last day in Los Angeles, the San Bernardino shooting also happened. I was an hour-distance from San Bernardino, California. I had no idea that was happening at the time, but I am now aware that I could have been and I thank God that I wasn’t.

You never know what’s going to happen in life. In a second, everything can change. Good things happen, bad things happen. You can never fully prepare for the obstacles that are thrown in your way. The best you can do is get through it and hopefully come out stronger.

At 25, I’m still alive. I’m still breathing. I’m still healthy. I still have much more living to do and I know I will come out of this stronger than ever.

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The Travel Bug

Recently, I’ve been noticing an abundance of articles being written about the growing trend of leisurely travel within Millenials. I, myself, can see this trend occurring throughout my own close friends and friends of friends. The more people that I talk to, the more that I see a pattern of people my age having an overwhelming desire to escape from wherever they may be at the moment. Even more so, a lot of people that I know have actually taken the initiative to pack up and leave.

They say that birds of a feather flock together. Well, it’s no surprise that some of the closest friends that I have made in New York have all escaped from wherever they were to be in New York City. It’s also no coincidence that a lot of the people that I’ve encountered in New York City are from the other side of the country, California in particular. I mean if you’re going to make a move, it better be a big one, right?

A few days ago, I mentioned to my sister that I wanted to try to see what it was like on the other side, over in California. I’m not exactly sure what I’m looking for or why I think I would find it over there, but I’ve been curious to find out.

In around two weeks, I’ll be leaving for my first big international trip. Back in March, I earned a bonus check from my job and had no idea what to do with the money. Sure, a wise thing that I should have done was to put it away in my savings account or use it to pay off bills. Instead, I wanted to reward myself and splurge. And what better way to splurge than to book a flight somewhere and enjoy a nice trip?

Well, that trip ended up being a flight to Melbourne, Australia with one of my closest childhood friends. We just sat down one day, went on the computer, bought the ticket and that was it.

Only recently has it finally dawned on me that it’s actually happening, and the more that I think about it, the more excited and anxious I become. At the same time, I’m also scared. Scared about loving it there and not wanting to snap back into reality and never coming back.

It’s easy to run away from your problems; to leave everything behind when things are getting tough. I do that a lot with running (and I mean literally running) Whenever I’m frustrated, upset, or angry, I go for a run with the mindset that it will magically solve my problems. It does, but only temporarily. Of course, it’s never a permanent solution. No matter how far or fast I run, my problems are always back at home waiting for me, silently sitting in my mind.

So this makes me wonder about my generation, the Millenials. Where is the sudden boom of travel desires coming from? I hate to make assumptions or say that everyone is like me when they get the itch to go somewhere, but I also refuse to deny that it’s not a part of the reason. We have to be running from something. Maybe it’s growing up, or maybe it’s the fear of missing out, but it has to be something.

Are we all just running away from our problems whenever we catch the travel bug? I like to think that I’m not the only one with these feelings. I like to think that I’m not alone in this and that there is really something lurking in the waters of my generation. There has been a shift in the mindset of Millenials. We’re making moves. And it could be a good thing or a bad thing, but I hope that we all find whatever it is we’re looking for.