In yesterday’s post I told y’all my trip was over. And it is. I’m back home sleeping in my own bed for the first time in a week. But I have more I want to say about it.
This trip was exactly what I needed. I returned to work the first week of December and hadn’t taken any time off since. Every weekend feels like a mini trip for me, though I’m mostly lying in bed sleeping. No exaggeration.
It was nice to get out of my routine. I know everyone probably feels this way after taking time off work, but I really needed to focus on myself. I don’t think I have been. Not for a long time. This allowed me to do that. But I know myself. It won’t last. I tend to focus on the wrong people and things in my life. For example, ask me who I’m more likely to respond to in this scenario: a text message from someone who has made it clear they don’t really want me in their life in any capacity and someone who has made the opposite clear. Except it isn’t only texting. It’s hanging out. It’s wanting to do stuff. It’s talking. It’s asking for help. It’s everything. And it isn’t just one or two people.
This last week showed me that it’s okay to just think of myself. That I’m perfectly fine eliminating what should have been eliminated from my life a long time ago. That I can focus on the right people and doing what I love without needing anything from anyone who doesn’t want to be active in my life. It seems so simple when I type it out. But it isn’t. Not for me and probably not for most. In the hours since I’ve been home I’ve already realized how different it is when I’m here. I’ll fail in keeping my promise to myself. But I know now what it’s like not to. And for me, that’s something.
In exactly 15 days I’m supposed to be getting on a plane to Chicago for a week. When I started planning this I’d never heard the term “bomb cyclone” and 90% of the country didn’t just freeze over. But the weather is the least of my concerns.
I told y’all in my 2017 recap post about downloading dating apps last Spring while still on my last vacation. And now I’m doing it again. Going on a trip alone. My time in Boston last year was spectacular, but man, I’m not sure this is the best time for me to embark on a new solo adventure. I’m not sure any time soon would be a good time for it. I mean, what good is it to go to another city and state in the middle of winter just to feel even worse than I already do?
Unfortunately, I think it’s a real possibility I have an extraordinary time in Chicago only to find myself more lonely than ever before. But I won’t let that stop me.
So many people have no ability to travel at all and here I am. This will be my fourth trip in the last 20 months. Sure, I’m not the happiest I could be right now, but that’s okay. There are people struggling with depression. People contemplating suicide. People being bullied on a daily basis. People who don’t know how they’re going to pay their bills. People fighting terminal illness. I’m just a little unhappy and sad.
If all the people in the world who fall into any one of those categories can continue living each of their lives the best they can, then of course I can too. And that’s why I’m going to Chicago.
And yet, here we are. In January I read 10 books. I was off and running. I was going to sprint right past my annual goal. I was devouring each book I opened. Now? Nearly five months and multiple DNFs later my total for the year is 11 books.
Now is when I make excuses. In February I started a new job. In April I went on an eight day vacation. Last month I began a new relationship with a great girl. I mean, those count for something. I’ll just pretend that relationships, jobs, and trips don’t happen for others so I can feel like I have valid reasons for not reading. 🤔
This post is pretty self-explanatory. Every picture in this post was taken by me.
The flag hanging at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum.
The view from the Museum of Science, Boston
What qualifies as contemporary art
Early human skull
This is what qualifies as fine art. Also, I fell inside.
They really love their Dr. Seuss.
Where the armed resistance we know as the American Revolution began!
I also jumped on a spaceship and landed on this thing.
This qualifies as wearable art.
Okay, guys. This is just a tiny snippet of the pictures I took during my trip, which I’ll be sharing on my Instagram account over the coming days and weeks! Follow for more!
I could write a 10,000 word post about everything I loved during my trip to Boston. I could. I won’t.
Boston was simply magnificent. There are 300 year old buildings next to modern hotels. There is history on every corner. And there is water everywhere. Several of the museums and places I visited were on the water. The best view was probably from the JFK Presidential Library. I wasn’t able to do anything out on the water, but that’s okay! It was more than enough to just get a glimpse of it.
The beauty of this whole thing is I know for certain I’ll be going back. I’m not sure if it’ll be in 2017, 2018, or beyond. But I know it’ll happen. And I’ll be just as excited for round two as I was for the first time.
Again, I cannot encourage you enough to visit as many places as you possibly can. Austin, DC, and Boston have been first on my list. What’s on yours?
Over the next few days I’ll likely be posting a wrap up of my vacation. But first I wanted to post once more about why I want to travel to cities all over the world and visit their museums.
It comes down to one thing, but this one thing is as important as any other thing in my life. Learning. I understand that some people kind of give up on learning new things once they’ve earned their degree and gotten a good job. But there’s so much out there I’ll never get to experience. We like to think 70-80 years on earth is an eternity. But it isn’t. Not even close. My primary purpose is to learn as much as I possibly can during my brief time on earth. That’s it. There are other things I’d like to do, but learning trumps them all.
I’m one person in a world of billions. I only know one life experience. Mine. Is it so unbelievable to want to learn about the experiences of other cultures, people, and geographic areas? I don’t think so. Museums work to preserve. And I work to learn.
I’m leaving you today. I suppose we both knew this would be the end result. But there are so many things I’ve loved about you. I wanted to let you Know a few of them.
The history. There’s history everywhere. Which means there’s ample opportunity to learn. And that’s my sole aim. To learn as much as I possibly can during my brief time on earth.
The museums. Boston is a city of museums. This of course is right in line with the history. Museums are about educating, and it seems that Boston is doing a wonderful job of educating.
Education. I’m from Houston. There are a number of universities located within the city. At least one is highly ranked among all universities in the country. But Houston simply doesn’t have the university presence Boston does. Which leads me to believe that the city is a hub for obtaining knowledge. Boston University. Northeastern. MIT. Harvard. I mean, wow. And yes, I realize Harvard is actually in Cambridge but SHH.
The diversity. Again, I’m from Houston. A city regularly touted as the most diverse city in the country. And heck, maybe it is. But everywhere I went in Boston I saw it on display. I heard more languages spoken than I can possibly count. In Houston I regularly hear two. English and Spanish. In eight days in Boston I probably heard 10.
But at the end of our brief time together there was certainly some negative. The roads. The roads here are terrible. And what’s with those weird three way intersections with no stop lights or anything? Are you asking for car accidents to happen?
But this isn’t about being negative. We had a spectacular eight day relationship. Maybe we can still be friends?
A Wannabe World Traveler
I began my day by making the short drive to Concord, MA and visiting the Concord Museum. Though relatively small, the museum had some great information and exhibits. I didn’t know so many prominent authors had ties to the small city. Louisa May Alcott. Ralph Waldo Emerson. Henry David Thoreau. And others.
I followed with a trip to Minute Man National Park about a like away. The park is rather large, but the focal point for me was the Old North Bridge. This was the site of the battle of Lexington and Concord. There’s a statue of a minute man, a statue to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle, and an English gravesite. One of the more interesting places I’ve been to on this trip.
I then made the short drive into Lexington, MA to visit Buckman Tavern. This was where members of the rebellion waited for the British to arrive just prior to that first battle. It’s very small, but on the second floor there’s a new exhibit on 18th century social media. It gives such great perspective because we think we have so many advancements in how news is spread, but in reality all we’ve done is speed up the process a bit. The exhibit compares Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and even fake news to the different methods used during the 18th century. A great exhibit. And that was my day.
I planned on visiting the Louisa May Alcott house and Ralph Waldo Emerson House, but one was closed and the other closed very early in the day. Too bad.
Ugh. Today was not the most productive day. I began the day by picking up my rental car. But it didn’t go smoothly. At first they wouldn’t give me the car because they said Equifax declined it or denied it through their system even though the score requirement was well below what my score actually is. When I called customer service he told me he could cancel the previous reservation and start a new one. I’d pay $217 for four days instead of the $90 I originally paid. Not happening. Eventually the woman at the counter figured it out and I got the car after almost an hour.
I began my day with a 60 mile drive to Springfield to visit the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. It wasn’t worth the time or the $24 admission fee. It seems like they put in the bare minimum as far as exhibits and information. There’s a basketball court that takes up most of the first floor. Seems like a giant waste of space to me.
Followed up with a trip to Springfield Museums. It’s four museums located adjacent to one another around a Dr. Seuss sculpture garden. Yes, a Dr. Seuss sculpture garden. Honestly, the sculptures were pretty great. The Dr. Seuss museum is opening here later this year.
The first museum of the four I went to was the Museum of Science. I’d hardly call it a museum. It was mostly dioramas. Which are nice, but an entire museum made of them isn’t worth the price of admission. Then moved on to the Museum of Fine Arts. A much needed pleasant surprise. They had an exhibit on loan from the Smithsonian. I think it was called Jeweled Up. It was regular everyday objects JEWELED UP. Absolutely stunning.
I planned on ending the day at Six Flags New England. I love roller coasters and it had become a nice day outside. I went to the main gate and told them I have a Go Boston card. Which grants me free admission. I was told by two workers that the people who deal with my card had left at 5:00. It was 5:19. The card is extremely simple. I pull it up on my phone. They scan. That’s it. But they said no. The alternative was I pay $63.99. Absolutely no chance of that happening. I left. And that was my day.
I began the day with the Walk Through History tour along the Freedom Trail. The guide was in full costume and had lots information to share. It wasn’t even that bad that it started raining on us.
I followed with a brief trip to the New England Aquarium. It wasn’t high on my list so I visited for less than 90 minutes. The main attraction was the whale watch I was planning to take part in. It was going to be my first time on a boat. Of course it was canceled. So I walked across the street and watched two features at the IMAX theater. One on whales and the other on the Galapagos Islands.
I followed with another trip to Faneuil Hall. I ate and got to see three different street performers. All different acts, but all extremely entertaining. And that was my day. Today I pick up my rental car to visit some things a little outside the city.
I’m about halfway through my trip. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite photos tomorrow. Stay tuned!