January 25th. Thursday. Kalispell, first stop: Vegas
Today is the day. The day I wake up as a newly 21-year-old (my birthday was yesterday). The day I pack, prepare, and fly to Vegas as the first stop of my “West Coast Adventure!”
As I get ready to leave for my 3-week (21 days) adventure, I have accomplished very little planning. My current plans include my one-way flight to Vegas, an idea of the states I’ll be visiting, and much excitement to read, write, and share along the way. Day by day I will be tracking the places I go, people I meet, the food I eat, insights I gain, music I listen to, and more! So join me! I hope this is a blog series that is fun and helpful for both you and me!
Firstly, I’d like to share some of my personal goals/boundaries I’ve set for the trip.
- NO SOCIAL MEDIA SCROLLING! This I learned from my dear friend AC. We had a day out with the girls, and we all held each other to a standard of not scrolling through any news feed. Photo taking: okay. Following new friends: okay. Snapchat stories: fine. But no looking, no comparing, no stalking, no zoning out, no aimlessly moving your finger up and down on that little screen to scroll through other peoples posts. It was a great boundary to not shut out social media completely, but still maintain focus on each other and share our own experiences without comparison. Whether or not social media scrolling has a negative effect on my happiness (which over time, it usually does), it’s still a distraction to what I want to accomplish on this trip. So I will be blogging, posting on Instagram, and checking my email; but, I won’t be looking at your posts, my friends! At least for this carved out time ❤
- QUIET TIME FIRST. This is a practice I try to remain faithful to every day at home, but while traveling I know it’s easier to excuse spending time with God first thing in the morning. Since having several early morning shifts at the coffee shop (like 6am early) I’ve learned that even if it’s not a lot of time it’s a time that counts more than anything. Waking up to spend even just 10 minutes in Gods presence sets such as reading my bible, praying for perspective, setting small goals, or meditating on a worship song sets such a unique and special atmosphere for my day.
- TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME. I’ve already found this challenging in regards to booking tickets, and notifying friends of arrival and departure dates. But, overall I am aiming to be open, available, and accepting of any change in plans. By knowing that anything can happen in just a moment, I want to focus solely on being present in the now. It’s then, that I can relinquish control in fully trusting God for the next. Felicia, surrender control, let go, and just be here now!
- ONLY BUY THINGS YOU LOVE. Food, clothes, coffee, jewelry, gifts, whatever it may be, only buy it if you love it. This is another habit I do my best to maintain at home. Yet, while traveling, it’s easy to make impulse buys and purchase things solely on current feelings. Including the time I will spend eating out, I want to ensure I’m only stretching my budget to eat, experience, and purchase things I highly value and enjoy. Does this add value to my life or the life of another? If yes, then put your finances towards it. If no, then no.
- TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A FRIEND. Honestly, I have no idea what this may entail beyond being friendly, asking good questions, and taking time to learn about strangers, but we will surely find out! Today already I forced my rushed self to go to the bank and deposit my money in person instead and attempt small talk over going in the machine ran drive-thru.
Money Spent Today:
Flight Kalispell to Vegas, $86. Carry on bag $25.
Coffee at home and BLT’s made by Dad: freeeee
Last minute travel buys $50. This included a travel set of Clinique Acne Solutions Clear set $28 and a pill case (like what grandma always had) to carry my daily vitamins and medication $1.99; two travel buys I totally RECOMMEND.
Dinner before takeoff: A delicious meal at Pho Ly: also for free, because I have awesome friends.
Out of everything to forget, I️ surely left my phone charger plugged into my wall at home. Good thing they aren’t too hard to find!
After boarding the plane on time and getting comfortable to take off, they sent us back off. At the least an hour till a mechanic can show up to check an oil leak? I plug in Frank Oceans album Channel ORANGE and wait for further notice.
I made it safely to Vegas, and notified Lyft for a ride from the airport to my grandparents! Ashley my driver, is a younger woman who grew up in Portland and moved to Vegas a couple years ago. In Portland, she owned a hair salon with a business partner for 8 years, which eventually came to a rocky end. She expressed how happy she’s been since the move and shared stories of her love for driving, travel, and her 8-month-year-old son who is already a signed model! I was excited to hear how her story played, that her hard work and trials now began to pay off, and she was now happy. What I appreciated most about my new friend were her overall joy and bubbly personality. I could feel it in the way she spoke and engaged with me over the short ride.
Grandma and grandpa even stayed up until midnight waiting to hear about my day and travels. A birthday cake awaited me at the counter. (Breakfast tomorrow?)