WANT TO KNOW A SECRET?
I’ve never traveled anywhere alone before. Ever.
I’ve gone on trips with friends, classmates, family, random strangers and even took a really long train ride alone to visit relatives once. But never, ever have I gone somewhere alone where I didn’t know anyone or where someone wasn’t with me (holding my hand).
And when I’m on these trips, I never leave the side of anyone. Ever.
WHEN I WENT TO LONDON, ENGLAND ON A SHORT CLASS TRIP with my classmates, I followed everyone around like a lost puppy. During the trip I even hung out with one of my professors while he shopped for men shirts. Because that’s, apparently, how I roll. I didn’t want to roam the streets and get lost. I was especially worried since I didn’t have an international cell phone. The only time I went out by myself was when I had to work on an article for my class about International hotels not meeting American expectations. I went to a few nearby hotels to interview them. That was it.
WHEN I WENT TO NEW YORK CITY AFTER GRADUATION WITH MY FRIEND, KATIE, I never left her side. On this trip, she bullied me into going to a musical where this happened:
And I bullied her into spending an afternoon in Central Park where this happened:
Then she got sunburned and this happened:
And a random guy started talking to us on the streets and of course I made Katie take a picture with him.
The only time I left her side was when she wanted to go to another musical and I was crabby from being soaked in the rain and asked her for directions back to our hostel so I could shower instead.
THEN WHEN I RANDOMLY WENT ON A ROAD TRIP TO TORONTO, CANADA WITH A STRANGE girl I met on the internet, I never left her side. Ever. We did some touristy stuff, and I spent at least 2-3 hours in line to go up to the CN Tower when I knew that I really didn’t want to go. I mean, I’ve never even gone up to the Willis Tower, formally known as the Sears Tower, and I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life.
This is what the view from the CN Tower looks like.
AFTER I SIGNED UP FOR THE WORLD DOMINATION SUMMIT FOR THIS UPCOMING SUMMER a couple of months ago, I had a rush of excitement and I was all: Yeahhh, I’m going to dominate the world. Then I was all: Yeahhh, I’m totally going to turn this into a trip and I’m going to go all by myself and it’s going to awesome and I’m going to be awesome.
But, you guys, shit is getting real. The WDS is approaching in a couple of months, which means I have to, like, go pretty soon. Alone. All myself. Without anyone.
Who am I going to follow?
I’m hitting Portland and Seattle. That’s like two cities really far away from Chicago.
I know it sound ridiculous for someone my age to be afraid to take a trip alone, but I’ve been sheltered all my life, you guys. I can’t help it. I mean maybe if I was dropped off into the jungle as a baby I would have learned a few survival skills by now. But nope. I was not raised in a jungle, unfortunately.
It also sounds ridiculous coming from a girl who really wants to travel.
A couple weeks ago I finally purchased my flight ticket. I don’t know why I waited so long. Oh, right, I know. It’s because Unbrave Girl convinced me to take a 45 hour train ride because her recent train experience was sooo much fun. And I was going to do this. I really was. But then I decided to not take the 45 hour train ride. Sorry, Unbrave Girl. Next time.
I’VE NEVER GONE ANYWHERE ALONE. EVER. So it’s quite possible that I won’t know which flight to get on. And I won’t know which line to stand in to get on the flight I don’t know how to get on. Do you see my dilemma here?
Since I’m going alone, I actually have to pay attention to where I’m going instead of just following the person who’s with me around. I may even have to look at a map, which means I may have to learn how to read a map. I have to figure out where I’m going to stay and what I’m going to do and how to get to and from places. Alone. All by myself.
And since I don’t have a fancy schmancy phone like everyone else in the world, I can’t rely on the internet on it. So I have to take my really heavy laptop with me. And, then, I actually have to do things.
What do travelers do?
When I attended Joel’s meetup a few weeks ago, a bunch of people said they were going to WDS. I guess it’s like the thing that all the bloggy/internety cool people do.
All these people are going.
Plus this person to my left. Or your right. Or, you know.
WHEN THEY ALL SAID THEY WERE ATTENDING, MY INITIAL REACTION WAS: OMG-You-Guys-We-All-Have-To-Go-Together-And-Stay-Together-And-Never-Leave-Each-Other’s-Sides-Ever. Only I didn’t actually say that because, you know, it was the first time they were meeting me and it would have been really creepy. And they probably would have walked away and then when they ran into me at the WDS they’d probably just avoid eye contact and tell people to stay away from the clingy girl who may or may not have a proper sense of direction.
Watch out for this girl. She’ll never leave your side.
IT MAKES ME FEEL A LITTLE better knowing that my friend, Katie, is also going to Seattle and Portland on different dates and our trips may merge at some point.
Oh, and here’s another picture of her. A little nicer than the ones posted above.
She’s one of the reasons why I started a blog. Because she was all: if you start a blog, I’ll totally comment on it. And then she never comments. On anything. But secretly reads everything I write. That’s OK though because I have like 50 million pictures of her and can post them on the Internets anytime I want.
I still love you, Katie. Even if you don’t comment on anything and have a slightly unhealthy obsession for musicals. And museums. And Harry Potter.
That’s OK. Because we all have our little obsessions, right?
And Mariah Carey.
There you have it. My secret is revealed. I’ve never traveled anywhere alone before. Ever.
And I think it’s time to start. What do you think?