15 of the things I learned on my first solo road trip

1- You do not need anyone to accompany you in order to have an amazing time trying something new; For me it was almost more exciting to be alone on an adventure. I got to go where I wanted and stop when I wanted. It also helped me realize #15

2- I am still not a fan of catcalling (what-so-ever); Yeah yeah some guys catcall as a form of complimenting someone, but how are girls who are from 16-29 supposed to take it as a compliment when all our life our parents have been drilling thoughts such as: “You can’t do that, you’re a girl.”…“No you can’t walk there alone, someone might take you”…”Go change someone might get the wrong idea”, into our heads causing us to feel constantly afraid in certain situations? (like when we are being catcalled) I mean the amount of times I have heard those phrases is ridiculous and now its all I can think of when I get catcalled. 

3- Your thoughts can be destructive; My mood can go from 100 to -36 with one negative thought about myself, where I am going in life, or what someone might thinks of me. Man, I learned on this trip that I do not only need to filter what I allow myself to say, but what I allows myself to think. This is because my thoughts may not effect other people but it can effect me and my mood tremendously.

4- People take life WAY to seriously; Driving down the road stuck in traffic what is more entertaining and rewarding then letting yourself rock out and bob your head to your favorite song? Sitting in silence without a smile on your face apparently, because that is what every car I saw on my 8 hour drive was doing…. UGH this aggravates me, and to be honest makes me fearful. Why is it so hard for people to let loose, be crazy, and let anyone and everyone see the raw version of yourself. So what someone thinks you are too loud, or are annoying. So what if someone gives you a weird look because they don’t get your joke. Just be you!

5- It is so important to make connections with people in college because they will be the ones to drop everything, loose sleep, and open their home for you; I could not be more grateful for the friends I have and the friends I stayed with while in LA. They opened their home and fed me and loved on me, and wow I would not have had that amazing of a trip if I had stayed in a hotel alone. 

6- True friendships are not defined by the amount of times you talk on a weekly basis, but by how easily it is to reconnect once you finally see them again; This is an important one to me. So many people that I have known (and even me myself) has taken it offensively when one of their friends did not talk to them every so often or make that effort. When in reality why does that matter. What matters is the moments when you haven’t talked in months and you get a random text message saying “Hi, how have you been? You’ve been on my mind.”. And what matters most is that you have the ability to pick up right where you left off, no buried anger, no awkwardness, just joy to be talking to them again in that moment. 

7- Hugs oh hugs are my favorite; I will never turn down a hug (unless you are sweaty) because they have the power to speak 100 phrases whether it be saying I love you, I’m SO glad to see you, or I am here to support you. 

8- Sometimes it only takes a few words to comfort the worst of feelings, and sometimes silence is the perfect way to ruin an entire day; Do not disregard the power of words and the lack there of. 

9- The thought of seeing certain people can make your stomach drop to the ground (in a good way) those are the people you need to fight to keep around, because even if you don’t know it they mean a lot to you in some way; That feeling ^ is not something you feel everyday, it is not a feeling you get when you are walking in the front door of your home, or when you see a stranger walking past you. That is the feeling you get when you cannot even express how much you wish you could see that person, that is overwhelming nerves, that is someone you want to be around so you should make that happen. Get over those nerves and hangout with that person that makes your stomach drop. 

10- You find out who is first on your list of people to tell the most random things to; Mine is my mom and dad lol I called my mom about 100 times and when i saw random things I couldn’t help thinking “dad would love this”. And I believe you need to remember that because they mean a lot to you, obviously my choice does lol they raised me but even if it is not your parents make sure you appreciate them.

11- I do have voices in my head; Not the “I’m crazy and need meds kind”, but the type Chris Young talks about in his song Voices. While on my trip I could hear the voices of my friends and family telling me advice such at my dad telling me to “Keep your distance, because you never know when the car behind you will get distracted and hit you”, and my mom telling me “You look amazing in that, and I can tell you love that outfit.” reminding me not to second guess something I feel amazing in. Plus the lovely advice of my friends telling me ” You are you, and who you are is unique. Not everyone will understand, but those who know you, love everything about you. So don’t let those who don’t have the honor of knowing you tear you down.”

12- Some people don’t care about you as much as you thought they did; When I have those moments where I think “I could totally break down right here and be stranded”  it is normally followed by me mentally making a list of people I could call. Well I learned on this trip I shouldn’t be so sure about that list I made (same goes for you if you do this too). Because I definitely learned that the people I thought were on my list actually could not give a damn. While people I thought didn’t care, actually should have been on my list the whole time. And the only reason they weren’t is because I disregarded them thinking that since I would think twice about going to pick them up, they would do the same. That leads me to the next one ->

13- I want to be on EVERYONE’S list; I desire to be the person that would drop everything to drive an hour and a half to pick up my friend stranded at an auto shop only to drive back home, feed them, let them stay the night, and then drive them back when their car was ready. Think about how much that would mean to you if someone did that for you – then think about how amazing you  would feel after you did all that for someone. Yeahhh, I want to be on everyones list. I want to be known as the person who absolutely cares about everyone so much so that they would drop everything in time of need. 

14- Pay attention to the things you think about around the 5th hour of a road trip alone it teaches you a lot about who you are; This one relates a lot to #3 (your thoughts can be destructive) but really long road trips alone can tell you a lot about yourself. For example I thought I was the prime example of a positive person, but man did I go head on with my dark-side on this trip. Everyone has one and it is very likely you will meet it, if you haven’t already.

15- No one can make all the decisions for you. Only you know what will make you happy; Unknowingly everyone is influenced, maybe even just a little, by the people around you. What type of food you might eat around them, of how much you spend, or what types of places you go might change according to the people you are with. Yet when you are alone it is only you and your desires to influence you, and make the hard decisions. This is when one gets to learn about what makes them happy, and their actual desires. 

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