For those of you who follow me on social media, you were aware that I traveled to Claremont, California for work for a couple of days, followed by a solo mini-getaway to Los Angeles.
For the record, I would be lying if I told you that I was not scared to be traveling to the West Coast all by myself. Now I am all for taking myself out on dates and embracing my "me time" but taking a solo mini-trip was immensely new for me. All I could think about was randomly being followed on the streets of LA to my Airbnb and being kidnapped. I know that sounds a bit extreme and you have the Lifetime network to blame for those thoughts.
Anyways, me being kidnapped obviously did not happen but a great deal of learning, clarity and new discovery occurred.
1. The beauty found in discomfort
As I mentioned earlier, I was scared to spend a few days in LA and I almost opted out of the trip. Looking back, I am so glad I did not despite my initial discomfort!
What most people do when visiting a new place is to arrive at their location and immediately make their way to the closest car rental office. I could have done the same, maybe I should have, but I am so happy that I did not. Instead of renting a car, I used the train and bus to get around. This is not an easy task for a woman who occasionally gets lost using a GPS so you can imagine how challenging this experience was for me. As a FYI, I did get lost, I missed my stop train stop and I got on the wrong train during my trip.
I could have bypassed all of the unnecessary mishaps that occurred to be seated comfortably in a 4 door navy blue toyota car rental but I did not.
Instead, I chose to get a bit uncomfortable and at times a bit sweaty. Using public transportation coerced me to have random conversations with people and ask people for directions (which I did a lot of) and as crazy it may sound, the moments of stress and confusion while riding the wrong train for 20 minutes or walking in the wrong direction for 30 minutes was a moment to reiterate the value of patience, resiliency and focus.
Overall, being away to explore a city alone, eat out alone (with the exception of dinner one night with my old co-worker), and capture experiences alone had its awkward and uncomfortable moments. However, I realized that my initial fear and various emotions that accompanied it such as discomfort, actually cultivated empowerment and bravery. All of which is what made the experience beautiful.
2. There is literally someone who is working while you're sleeping...literally
I know many of you have heard the saying, "the early bird catches the worm" or probably, "your competition is always 5 steps ahead of you" and if you literally put things into perspective as it relates to time zones; those quotes are actually pretty deep!
I was about 3 hours behind from the East Coast while being in Cali and on the second day when I woke up at 4:00 am ready for my day to start, I noticed that most of the state was probably still sound asleep. I then realized that while I was forcing myself to go back to sleep, my people out in the East Coast was making their way to work, school, or out and about to start their day.
The time difference really put things into perspective for me as it applies to the value of time. Too often, I have forgotten that time really waits for no one and while I may choose to sit on unfinished things, someone is up getting their business done. In other words, there is a world out there hustling, while I am sleeping. The time difference was also a constant reminder to make each and everyday count. In the moments that I choose not to do so, someone else is...literally and that person may be in the West Coast.
Now you know I had to be super deep and extra with it but that is very similar to the reality of the world we live in.
Now I can go much deeper but I will save that for another day.
3. Confidence is literally key...actually bump that... it is a GEM!
Since I spent a majority of time with myself, I had no choice but to make the best out of it and I had fun doing so. As I was enjoying my own company, something magical began to happen. My confidence began to grow because in order for me to have a good time, I had to focus less on what other people thought about me in order to focus more on me being and feeling good.
Having confidence will have you walking down the street with a big ole' smile on your face. It will attract random people to you and cause random conversations. Confidence was a gem for me during my trip because it unlocked laughters, random conversations with strangers, peace, and excitement.
People generally say that confidence is key but I believe that to be a false narrative. In fact, confidence is actually a gem that will push you into doing something new and enjoying the newness of it all.
As you can see, my mini-solo trip to Los Angeles was fun and very rewarding. I now see why people travel abroad by themselves. Please share some of the places you have been to or would like to travel to alone?