At the moment I’m in the backseat of a Las Vegas cab, on my way to the New York New York casino and its roller coaster, on my very first ever solo vacation.
This is coming at a good time, bracketed by work trips. Last week I was in Nashville and next week it will be New Orleans followed by Los Angeles, then two weeks of staying home and sleeping in my very own bed.
I booked this trip right after my grandma’s funeral. I’m not sure if that’s what prompted it or if it was something else. I just felt like it was something I should do. It made me feel excited, and brave, and scared and courageous. I guess going to a city I’ve never been to before would have been even more courageous, but that was a little too much even for me.
I’ve learned a lot. For instance, when you’re by yourself the hostesses always want you to sit at the bar instead of taking up a table. The servers always ask when someone will be joining you. The guy getting the cab for you wonders why you’re heading off all by yourself. I learned that a roller coaster is still as scary and exciting by myself as it is with someone else, and I scream every bit as loudly when I go upside down.
I went to a country bar last night. My only interaction with other people was with the bartender who could barely hear me and the guitarist of the band. By then I’d had a few too many lemon drops and I bought him a drink – anonymously, I thought. Then while he was packing up his gear I ran away. Why? I don’t know. I think a Vegas hookup was not what I needed, even in my liquored up state. I did, however, inflict drunken text messages on several of my friends and even indulged in a drunk dial that I barely remembered the next morning.
I’ve been to the Shark Reef at the Mandalay Bay and tomorrow, my last day, I’m visiting the dolphins and white tigers at the Mirage. I’ve seen the volcano erupt outside the hotel. I’ve spent half my cash on penny slots and had the most amazing hash browns I’ve ever had in my life. I read by the pool, listened to a live country band, and had numerous conversations with taxi drivers.
I thought I’d be bored, or lonely. But I wasn’t. Traveling for work, usually by myself, I guess I’ve become used to it. Traveling for vacation by myself though…it’s been different. I guess because when you’re on vacation, you’re not distracted by work, you don’t have a purpose other than enjoying yourself, and there are no coworkers around to go to dinner with if you feel like it.
I wake up in the morning without anything to do except what I feel like doing. I was worried I’d be too nervous to leave my hotel room, but I surprised myself.
My friends were pretty supportive of my trip, overall. The girls got it. The guys think I’m crazy. It’s okay. I’m glad I did it.