Activity: Travelling Solo
Where: Las Vegas (for a work conference!)
Cost: Let’s not talk about this…have you seen the exchange rate lately?!
The Story: Okay, so every year I have a work conference in July, and it is held in either Las Vegas, NV or Orlando, FL. I missed the first two conferences because I hate flying so much, and was so intimidated to go not knowing anyone. Finally, 3 years ago I attended my first conference in Las Vegas, but I traveled with some of my best girlfriends to celebrate my bachelorette party at the same time. Then last year, I went to Orlando for our conference, but I stayed with my very best work friend, and traveled with friends as well! So what’s different about this year? Let me tell you…
So obviously amidst all this divorce craziness, money has been super tight and I really didn’t think I’d be able to make things work for the conference this year. So as all my favourite work friends started planning their trips, and booking with their roommies, I just kind of sat back and waited, and by a major stroke of luck, I ran into an old friend who was able to help me secure a corporate deal for my business, which gave me a small windfall of cash to travel with…unfortunately, I literally got the cash like 2 weeks before our conference was to start, so everyone was booked and ready to go, and I was roommate-less, and travel companion-less. Anyone who knows me can attest that I do not travel well, hate to fly, and basically spend the days leading up to my trips in a state of sheer panic…I want to be one of those people that looks forward to their holidays with excitement and happiness, but I haven’t quite figured it out yet lol.
So long story longer, I ended up finding a coworker who wanted to go, but still hadn’t booked, so we booked our trip together, and got ready to head to Vegas on July 14th (hey, I told you I was late with this post!)! Now, I was super nervous about rooming with someone I didn’t know super well, and about flying with her too – I’m always worried people will think I’m just a little too crazy for their liking, or that I’ll ruin their experience by being a mental case. Luckily for me, I was so excited to get away from the city I live in and my ex-husband, that I kind of became one of those people who gets excited about their trips! My ex’s girlfriend was in town, and I was just so thrilled at the thought of being in a different country from them that I didn’t even get nervous about my flight!
I’ll sum things up quickly here, because I could honestly write SO much about this trip it would take up pages and I don’t think I’d keep your attention. From the personal, fun side of things I got to spend days at the pool with people I knew in passing, but got to know much better; I became very close with my roommate and travel partner, and formed a friendship I know will last; I got to spend loads of time with my team member who joined me, and loved getting to know her even better; I spent loads of time with my work besties, and enjoyed amazing meals and nights out with friends; went to night clubs (ummmm, SO not me!) and danced the night away with friends and strangers; and generally just had the BEST TIME EVER! From a work perspective, I was moved beyond my wildest dreams by the inspirational, motivational, incredible women who work at my company, and I feel like I’m dreaming bigger than ever before…bigger than I’ve ever dared to let myself dream, actually.
I took so much away from this trip, but I suppose I would say the most important things I learned are these:
1) Confidence comes before competence – fake it ’til you make it, and don’t let them see you sweat!
2) LIVE BIG – don’t be afraid to dream big, and live the biggest life you can imagine – I was born to do something great, and I can finally see myself doing that, and not letting fear stand in my way!
3) Be brave – doing things that scare us every day is the only way we can overcome our fears and live a life of absolute greatness!
4) Own who you are – there is only one YOU, and that is the beauty of this life – no one else can be you, Own who you are, own your power, and be proud of what you have to give the world!
The Verdict: I will continue to travel, and travel broadly! I will do it alone, do it with friends, and continue to face my fears of flying and being alone so that I can enjoy everything this world has to offer! Whether it’s the bright light of Vegas, or the rural countryside of a small town in South America, or a village in Europe, etc., I want to take something away from everywhere I go, and can’t wait to chronicle it all here! XO