Hello my beautiful blogging fam!
It has been a hot minute but I am mother fuggin’ back ya’ll. I’m going to keep this intro short and sweet (kinda like someone you know, hey *wink wink*), but if you follow me on social media, you would probably know by now that I spent the month of March traveling and training my way around America eating waaaay too many bagels.
Travelling solo was a whole new world to me, honestly. So today I wanted to take some time to compile 5 things that it taught me and also why I kind of admire the dude mentioned in my title – who we shall now call ‘The Butt Sniffer.’
1. Selfies with a view are really damn hard.
Even with long ass deadlifting arms, it was pretty much impossible to capture all of my face AND the Manhattan skyline/Golden Gate bridge/Brooklyn/Silent Mike… Wait, what….
Scrap that last one.
Anyways, the key is to lowkey put your phone on video, run and jump, highkey sprint back to your phone, and look up to see the people around you laughing/staring. The joke will actually be on them though because you just got a hella dope photo with a plane photobombing and you’ll probably never see them again. Win-win.
(These may or may not have been inspired by actual events. Most definitely fake if you’re reading this and your name rhymes with Violent Wike).
2. There is a huge difference between being alone, and being lonely.
There are only a small handful of times that I believe I’ve actually had time to be truly alone, and this was definitely one. The thing with being physically alone is that often people, myself included, automatically assume it links in with feeling ‘lonely’. So naturally, when you are on the other side of the world by yourself, the amount of people who assume you are a lone soul who will probably die surrounded by 484948 cats is increased quite significantly.
The thing I realized though, and what I think we should remind ourselves of the next time we see a person doing something by themselves (traveling or not), is that it is often a choice.
I chose to travel solo. I chose not do a Contiki or Top Deck. I chose to go to The Lion King musical by myself (anyone else cry in the opening scene or nah?). I chose to take myself out for kickass dinners. I chose to walk around the streets of San Francisco and go to some amazing bars solo. And I chose to eat way too much froyo by myself in an attempt to break the local stores record. I felt the furthest thing away from ‘lonely’ in all of these adventures, despite what it may have looked like to the outside world.
Being able to be alone and content is a beautiful and rare thing to both experience and observe these days. The next time you see a solo traveler, or even just someone grabbing dinner by themselves, drop the pity party and give them a swift hi-5 and perhaps my number. Kidding on the second one…
Lion King night… LIT.
3. Freedom is an amazing feeling.
This links in with above, but there is a certain extra amount of freedom you can exercise when you are completely alone and in a different country/timezone. I say extra because I think that when we are ‘home’, there is a natural level of consideration that comes when we around those we care about. I want to stress the word ‘natural’ here and want to say in my loudest most Beyonschae voice that this is NOT a bad thing. BUT, when you travel halfway across the world, that external influence and level of care becomes removed in ways that you can’t even comprehend happening in your normal environment.
My tip is to embrace the damn freedom, people. And use the time to question yourself as much as possible. My favorite question that I would ask myself before I got up from bed in the morning was “what do I genuinely feel like doing today?”. Literally just that. A simple question, yes, but one that would have been answered a differently if I wasn’t so removed from home and couldn’t be so selfish.
Sometimes my mornings would turn into afternoons because I would grab a bagel and coffee and sit in the dog park with my non-existent dog and read. Some days I would be out of bed and straight to city to be a tourist. Others I would just wander and see what took my curiosity. Whatever my day looked like, I was confident in saying that at the time it was exactly what this short/chubby cheeked/weirdo who sits in dog parks for way too long WANTED to do on such a genuine level.
And that’s a really empowering feeling.
4. Make the damn effort to talk and get to know people.
In the words of Mark Manson (BAE):
“Remember, its your job to look for something cool in everyone you meet; its not their job to show you. This is life, not a fucking sales convention.”
This goes for everyday life but especially when you are in a new place entirely by yourself. People are fucking interesting, yo. Stop waiting, ask questions, get to know someone, and let them get to know you. If you come off as weird then just remember what is often embarrassing for you, the other person involved will literally forget it in roughly 2 minutes and 23 seconds.
It makes number 5 a little easier, too.
5. You can learn a little something from absolutely everyone – even The Butt Sniffer.
One thing I love about America (New York in particular), is people just literally say whatever the fuck they want – and to your face! Australia and its people in comparison tend to be a little more passive and just quiet, really. Neither way being better or worse, just different.
So, anywho, we all know you’ve made it this far for the sniffing butt story – ya’ll don’t have to lie. When I was walking down the street at 7am in my a pair of gym tights and a jacket (something different, I know), I had a guy yell at the top of his damn lungs:
“DAYUM, CAN I SNIFF YO BUTT?”… literally exactly how you imagine.
So I let him. The end. (JOKES MUM PLEASE DON’T REMOVE ME FROM YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS LIST.)
Hello, its me.
Anyways (Mum, you still here?), LIKE WHO THE FUCK SAYS THAT? Not any dude in Australia that’s for sure (hint: another charming one-liner that doesn’t work, fellas). My point of this story is that although I didn’t want this random to come anywhere near my glutes, I can kind of admire him for not giving a single fuck and just impulsively saying what he actually felt like at that moment in time.
Now, before someone takes this way out of context, I don’t mean to this EXACT extent. I don’t think the wisest way to ‘woo’ a female is ask any question about her butt upon first impressions (unless its Paige Hathaway, someone please finally confirm natty or not status). But, I truly believe that I, and maybe you, could channel this a little more in our lives and more specifically, our relationships.
For example, when was the last time you spoke out of impulse (with good intention)? Or even just offered the less processed/censored version of what you really meant to say? For me, honestly, its near never – but the more I thought about it, when I do offer my realest thoughts on a whim, its always the words and sentences that put me in my most vulnerable position. Vulnerability in itself is a whole separate blog post, but we all know that when we have the choice to exercise it, often even the mere thought of willingly making ourselves appear ‘vulnerable’ to another is actually pretty paralyzing. Which is ironic, because we also all know just how beautiful it can be as well.
Anyways, here this dude was, 7am on a weekday, asking to sniff my butt 2 seconds after I came into his view. No fear of ‘weakness’. No fear of rejection. Just simply practicing the art of asking and consequently putting himself in his most vulnerable position to a complete stranger.
Kind of beautiful in a weird way, huh?
New York, ya beaut.
Just jump sometimes, friends. A little like our pal here, The Butt Sniffer. He asked me something ridiculous and look how it turned out (I still don’t recommend this question though).
Until next time,
Impulse the shit out of someone this week for me and take yourself out for a hella good cup of coffee.