“YOLO” – and I want to enjoy life while I can

YOLO. You only live once.

picture of gulf ocean water in late afternoon, panama city beach, YOLO, spioaertriac
Panama City Beach, FL, July 2010

This post will be short and sweet. Why? Because it’s 1am, my brain is singularly fried from creating this blog and everything attached to it (and that’s for a later post) and I still plan to work an 8 hour shift tomorrow. Somehow.

Of course, tomorrow is my Friday so I will take pleasure in that…

My About section speaks more on what I’m about to reveal, but, for the last six months or so, I’ve been restless, stuck. As if what I want and have worked hard to attain is just right outside a glass window I can only look through, but can’t pass through. No doors, not even a latch to open.

looking through wide hotel window into Atlanta skyline, YOLO, spioaertriac
View from Omni Hotel, Atlanta GA, June 2012

I cannot begin to explain the level of frustration that brings to a person who hates idle time. I can plan my way through the Chamber of Secrets and through the maze at the Tri-wizard Tournament, but I can’t plan around God’s plan. Well, I could, but if I were going to do that, I may as well try and drive a car without a steering wheel, tires, or gas. And since that would be pointless…

Remember! YOLO…

A conversation about a week ago with a good friend of mine started with my lament on being single. And my frustration with online dating. The remark that came back was (and I’m paraphrasing so):

“You won’t do it, but you should think about travelling.”

sign in Savannah candy shop, reads "We always leave you with a sweet." YOLO, spioaertriac
Riverwalk – Savannah GA, September 2013

The best part about friends is that they know you well. It’s also one of the more frustrating things when you don’t want to hear the truth about yourself. Because that statement is very true. Traveling is fantasy, not a reality. In my mind, I would never have the time or the resources to just get up and fly out at a moment’s notice. That was the dream, but I’m a practical woman.

Not to mention I need time to plan the flight and book the hotel and create the itinerary and save the “in-case-of-an-emergency-that-probably-won’t-happen-but-I’ll-overplan-for-anyway” fund.

But, another thing about me? I enjoy doing the very opposite of what people assume I’ll do. Or expect I’ll do. And the longer I turned the words over in my head, the more appeal they had. Fantasy blurred into possibility. But, actually going through with my decision to travel meant accepting a few things.

One, I would most likely travel alone. This is both scary and comforting at the same time, Two, I would have to leave the hotel room/B&B/hostel/insert shelter here I resided in while I travelled. That is just scary because, three, again, I would still be alone.

The great thing about groups of friends is you can insulate yourself when you want to blend into the background. Alone, I imagine everyone is staring at me wondering why I don’t have any friends. (They say in your 30s you stop worrying about such things…can’t wait).

Needless to say, traveling, the way I wanted to travel, would prove to be a challenge for an introverted woman who crawls into her safe spaces with glee. All the more reason for pushing through the nerves (and slight anxiety). And so, the day after my conversation with said friend, I made the decision to do it–I would travel.

candy apples on a conveyer belt, YOLO, spioaertriac
Savannah, GA – Riverwalk, Sept 2013

Not just travel, I would go to all the places I’ve ever wanted to go, places, I’d been before but was too young to correctly enjoy, places I’d never heard of, places I’d only seen in stock photography or movies.

But, still, only in the United States. I found resources, but I didn’t find s gold mine–a planner like me has to work her way up to international travel and fun (2018 anyone?)

Being me, I immediately sat down and wrote out all the places I could go. No, that’s not accurate. I wrote down all possible locations, mapped out hotels for each city, began researching local restaurants and tours, and, of course, airline tickets (and this will make for a great future post!). I have literally planned out my year:

One state per month.

I was already scheduled to go to Washington D.C for Memorial Day weekend, a yearly trip I make to visit one of my oldest friends. What better way to kick off a year of travel than a mini reunion in the nation’s capital?

artificial yellow flowers in front of a sign, reads "we'll ship your sweets anywhere." YOLO, spioaertriac

I won’t disclose all my locations yet. To be fair, nothing is guaranteed, and I do occasionally, every once in a while change my mind.

Check out my Rules for Travel to get a better idea of just what I’ll be up to on each trip!

Oh and all this “sweet?” It’s because You Only Live Once and I don’t eat ANY of these lovely, sweet temptations during most of the month. Not unless it’s my cheat weekend.

Which begins Friday. Oh. Boy.

Final Note: The initial title for this post is from the ABC show, Scandal, Season 3, Episode 9

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