Let’s be honest: one of the major gripes about any relationship that I have is the feeling of being left out. Be it friends or family, I feel alone and isolated when I’m not included in something, particularly with certain individuals I feel close to. Initially, it gets me depressed and makes me wonder why the fuck I’m not doing the same thing or seeing the potential of outside/unfamiliar places, events, and people. Of course, these sentiments have made me stronger – at least in my own head – and have forced me to become more independent and less co-dependent. I want to see what this world has to offer, and even if I feel left out, I push myself to explore outside the comfort zones of my city (New York) and the known world (America).
When I went to Tokyo a few years back – the only foreign country I’ve visited, other than the Philippines when I was 4 – I got a taste of outside Midwestern and New York culture. I’m forever grateful for that trip, but with the stresses of life and my un/underemployment of 2012 to 2014, I’ve been financially and emotionally hindered to travel anywhere, much less go to a concert or nice restaurant or whatever the hell most people do.
And so, since I’ve been able to settle a promising and permanent job, coupled with some of my friends who went outside of the country this past winter, I made it a goal to travel and experience life more, with or without the company of other individuals.
For instance, I went to Montauk by myself as soon after I visited my family in Chicago for Christmas. I was inspired by this article and subsequent psychological paper, both of which proposed that experiential purchases are more memorable and fulfilling than material purchases. At this stage of my life, I feel I own enough shit to be comfortable, so why not spend my money on travelling – be it outside of town, a museum or concert, or any other fucking shit other than a new TV or a piece of furniture?
Anyway, after arriving at La Guardia airport in NYC from O’Hare, I rented a car and picked up my dog from my friend who was watching her in Manhattan. I drove the 3+ hours (sidenote: I miss driving), straight into the night, and booked a pet-friendly hotel right by the Atlantic Ocean. For the next two days, I was able to reflect and relax, completely removed from any and all outside factors and forces in an otherwise completely deserted Montauk. I know that it was winter, but this kind of solitude gave me piece of mind and further enforced my wanderlust. I was a stranger in unfamiliar territory, and without the stigma of obligations or people I know, it felt good to fucking travel. I felt refreshed.
Here are some of the photos I took:
Ultimately, this is the first step in me traveling more – a newfound wanderlust, if you will. I feel I’ve wasted the last 31 years being sheltered, sticking to my own comfort zones, and being completely emotionally invested in the people and places and things that, in retrospect, don’t bring me definitive happiness or fulfillment. So cheers: to living life.