When I was in college, and my parents paid for EVERYTHING, I found that I had way too much free time, and not enough extra cash. So, I did the natural thing and got a job — specifically one working front desk in a prestigious hotel. I also got an internship, acquired leadership positions in a couple clubs, and worked as a teacher’s assistant for a couple different professors. Your basic over achiever to the max.
In addition to building my resume, I was building my life — growing my group of friends, dating mason.
I am aware how lucky I am to have such a wonderful net work, but I always wondered, if I didn’t have the steady job, the steady boyfriend — would I be like my friend KP and backpack through Europe alone? I met Mas on a train trip up north to visit my girlfriend for a week. Would I continue to go on spontaneous trips to other parts of the country?
In the past four days I’ve had three conversations with people whom I really respect and relate to about taking off and going on an adventure to another country. One friend wants to take off to South Africa and work at an animal sanctuary. Another wants to live in Thailand. A third wants to travel the United States playing music on street corners, living in hostels.
I’ve had quite a few people — friends and strangers (awkwardly enough, including the woman waxing me at the Pretty Kitty) — commend me for being brave enough to live in another city where I don’t have a network or a community of friends. I love living here. I love the huge buildings, the intimidating free way structures, the tags, the street art, the homeless people, the music, the street food… LA is a place filled to the brim with culture. And yet, I don’t know if I’m fulling taking advantage of the opportunities this place holds. Moving to LA could be just as cool as living in Thailand, as long as I stop running home to Orange County every weekend.
So, I’m making the conscious decision to have adventures and take advantage of the copious opportunities presented here. And I’m going to do it sober. A vodka tonic is lovely and an excellent social lubricant, but I’d rather remember all the craziness I have a habit of getting myself into. Not to mention, I need to be able to socialize dead sober anyways, even if it’s difficult to learn.
Thus, I’m starting a new bucket list — an LA List : Los Adventures List
(If anyone happens to stumble upon my blog and has any suggestions, I’d love love love to hear them! )
- Join Meet Up and find some friends… and probably some weirdos.
- Discover free concerts (and events of all kinds)
- Attend the Buddhism Young Adults sessions…even if it’s alone
- Eat at new (gluten free/vegan) restaurants… even if it’s alone.. I’ll bring a book ( I need to read more anyways)
- Go out with my friends who already live here…even if their new/undeveloped friends
- Use my weekends to go other places besides Orange County — Slo/San Fran/San Diego/Palm Springs/Santa Barbara… I’m sure I can find thrifty ways to make it happen
- Write about it all.
I’m so lucky to have found the love of my life — a fellow adventurer at that. But I used to do everything on my own and I loved it, and I don’t think it should be any different now that I have this wonderful partner. So many of my friends are settling down — getting married and having babies, but Mas and I talk about how it’s too soon for all of that. I might as well take advantage of all this freedom now, so that I can fully appreciate settling down with Mas later. It doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to go on adventures with Mas, but I want to make the conscious effort to fight the urge to hold back when he can’t go exploring with me.