As you read this, the chances are likely that I’m either at the Austin airport waiting to board my flight to New York City, on the plane, or I’ve landed in the city and am trying to figure out the subway.
This entire year has become my year of “actively living”. My dad passed away on February 3rd, and although I have always felt a sense of urgency when it comes to living life, his passing amplified that for me.
Before my dad died, I’d already booked a trip that would satisfy the only real thing on my bucket list: fly to a city I’ve never been to and see a concert. I flew to Denver and saw Khalid at Red Rocks in May.
I had such a fantastic time that I decided to keep on rolling with this loose plan of really GOING FOR IT, in terms of, well… my life. So, I rented a car and drove to the edge of the country and slept at a campground for a long weekend in June.
When I got home, I went paddle boarding on the Colorado River to watch fireworks on July 4.
A few months later, I met my best friend at the beach and chartered a captain that took us deep sea fishing. We caught a 7-foot bull shark, tossed it back, and kept a dozen snapper that we ate immediately afterward.
Then I went to all three days of ACL.
And now, I’m off to New York City for the first time ever. When I return? I’ll be planning my first trip overseas, to London (my trip is booked for March).
For years, two framed posters have been hung in my room: one of Central Park and one of the Eiffel Tower. And I’ll be visiting both of those iconic sights within a span of three months.
In a way, New York is just a place that’s always been in my head. I know it’s where a lot of writers live, and where a lot of writing and publishing happens. Naturally, I’ve always been curious about it.
When I was younger, I dreamed about working in a skyscraper at a big magazine – and sometimes I still have this dream. Could I hack it? I’m not sure.
But luckily, I don’t have to figure that out today.
The truth is that I never really thought I’d be able to afford a trip to New York. Yes, I’ve taken trips where I had no money – and I still had a great time! But I wasn’t sure how much a trip to the city would cost, and I never really looked into it.
But then I saw a ticket deal for a flight that seemed okay, and pulled the trigger. I will admit I choked a little when I booked my hotel (it’s more money than I ever paid for… anything), but it’s whatever.
This year, I had a goal to pay off two credit cards, and I did that. And then I booked my entire travel without using a credit card – so bravo me, and let’s party.
I wouldn’t say I’m someone who loves to travel – it gives me a little anxiety, and sometimes I worry so much about things back home (I get really paranoid) that it’s difficult for me to stay in the moment.
But every time I’ve traveled, I feel like it gives me so much life experience and it makes me a more well-rounded person. This whole year of doing all of these adventurous things gives me less anxiety about my life, if that makes any sense. It just might be the first time I’m finishing a year with really no regrets – it was the best and worst year of my life.
As much planning as I’ve done for this trip, I have no idea what’s in store for me once I arrive. I could be skipping through the streets laughing or I could have an anxiety attack and hole up under the hotel comforter.
But that’s life, and no matter what happens, I know I need to have this experience.
So what better way to close out my adventurous year than with a trip to New York City?? I know I’ll laugh, I’ll cry, and I’m going to learn even more about myself than I already do.
Let’s hear it for New York!