Oh, hello, bloggydoo! I almost nearly forgot about you! Not that I haven't been writing, but I haven't been writing long-winded, thought-provoking pieces. Poetry is easier to write on the go than a bloggy post, of course.
There are many things that could be thought about, discussed, and presented here, but since I am quite excited about the latest adventure I've planned, I think I will talk about that. Last night, inspired by exhaustion, lack of enthusiasm, and a little wine, I decided to book a trip in July to 5 states I have never been to before. Those are: Illinois, Arkansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Once I have visited these states, I'll have covered about half of the United States in my travels. Pretty exciting, but much left to explore.
Some people think it is insane for a single female to travel alone. Especially one like me who is fairly trusting and much too friendly. However, this does not dissuade or worry me at all. First of all, one only learns from experiences, even the bad ones. Now, I don't plan to be kidnapped and/or murdered, let's get that straight. My confidence in myself and my common sense is above that point, but there is a slight chance that I will have one or two negative encounters whilst making my 22-day Northeastern pilgrimage. There is always a risk of this when living. However, the magical part of it is learning how to overcome these things, how to turn them positive, and how to continue without fear; simply new knowledge and experience under your belt. These are tools, really. Potentially, they are also weapons. Not to mention, if you still think being a female is a disadvantage, I disagree. Of course, being female makes one a target. Yes, it's more likely that a man will attack or harass a woman wandering around on her own, but that does not mean that said woman on her own cannot defend herself; that she can't runscreampunchkickkaratechop. Or, simply avoid a bad situation entirely. It's very possible.
This trip will also be a new experience because I have not yet booked any housing. There's still plenty of time for it; 5 months, just about. This leaves plenty of time to make arrangements and ask around. It's tempting to wait, though. Wait until last minute, or not make any plans at all and see what comes from it. Will I sleep in 24-hour diners? Meet some lovely youths who will take me in? Sleep on a sidewalk? These options are unlikely. Chances are, couchsurfing will pull through or I'll meet up with a long-distance friend, but that thrill is what makes the trip a real adventure. That full sense is what really fulfills that deep craving for adventure! No one ever thinks about it, but what else differentiates humans from other animals? We can find pleasure in our fears. No other animal experiences that! Hippos don't laugh when an alligator misses their butt by inches. A rabbit doesn't get pleasure from his nose just nearly being knocked off by a car flying past. They just don't get that excitement. Humans are fortunate because our survival drive is almost equivalent to our death drive. So, if being human is a source of pride for you, if you love bragging about your 5 bendy fingers and all your humanness, then why not take full advantage of everything we got out of the deal? Be scared, be brave, and heck, be weird while you're at it.
As for money, yes, this is the most fun part of all! Something like that. First of all, thank G-d Megabus exists. With Megabus's help, I will be traveling to these 5 new states for a grand total of $50 for travel expenses. Ah, yes, it's a beautiful thing. I book early and am flexible on dates and times, so it all works out nicely. Most of my trips, which range from 3 hours to 15 hours have come out to a grand total of $1. Beautiful, beautiful Megabus. As for food, I'm sure I'll be picking up little snacks along the way, so even if I want to go to special restaurant or diner to check out the local cuisine, I won't be starving. I can get an appetizer or a side (for what, $5?) and a glass of water and be good to go. There's a chance I'll splurge if I come across a vegan restaurant or something really cool, but these are luxuries, certainly not necessities. As for clothing, I am sure I'll be sink-washing some clothes, wearing some things a few times over, and trying to bring as many simple tees and jeans as possible. Packing light is essential. Lugging a 30 lb. rolling bag around with me is not in the itinerary. Being a little gross and dirty is fine when traveling. No one will judge you, and if they do, you'll never see them again. You're not looking for your true love here! Well, I'm not. If someone doesn't like it, they can step aside. Presumably, you'll also be taking care of basic hygienic needs- soap, shampoo, deodorant, tooth tools.... Don't interpret this as me giving you permission to be nasty. I'm just saying not to get too hung up on being pristine at all times. Sometimes a faucet, soap, and hand towel shower in place of a real shower one morning is not too awful.
At the same time, seriously, don't give up on cleanliness. Especially if you're trying to score housing or a friend and a good time. No one's going to chat up and offer a tour and/or a couch to the smelly dude or dudette from out of town. Don't expect them to, either. If you're going to rely on the kindness of others, you're going to have to make them happy. Don't smell gross is what I'm saying.
This has kind of turned into a "How-to", hasn't it? This wasn't intended to be instructional. Oh, well.
What else is there? Oh, right, of course the temptation to bring my wittle, tiny dog with me is there, but this probably won't happen. First of all, I'm not taking the risk that a bus will reject me because of her, I don't want to be rejected from shelter because of her, and if I want to go in somewhere to eat, they definitely won't let me have her. I'm not going to tie her up outside while I go eat! So, for her safety, for my safety, and for the good of all mankind, my dog is staying safely back home with family members. Don't be stupid, yo. She or he will survive without you. Don't think your dog loves you more than she or he does because you're probably wrong.
This post is becoming quite wordy. I think I will take a break now and maybe come back to this as the trip gets closer and I begin to plan more. Good luck!