When I used to think about travel (and I’m sure most do), I thought about the expensive trips abroad that you see on Globe Trekker or from your friends who just posted their trip to France on Facebook. As most know all too well, that “just get out and travel the world” idea is not achievable by everyone whether it’s due to finances, job schedule or lack of vacation time. Therefore, this blog is not about that; rather, it’s about that “weekend warrior travel” that I have grown very fond of. By weekend warrior travel, I mean taking your 2-day weekend (or if you’re lucky to get a 3 or 4-day weekend) and not spending it on the couch. Most of my trips over the past 5 years have been less than 5 days around the east coast; and let me tell you, the east coast is AWESOME (and affordable)! From St. Simons, GA to Nashville, TN to Rothbury, MI and back home to Washington, DC; the East Coast has so much to explore and enjoy. However, you must be able break that gravitational field of the couch; so, don your rocket thrusters and blast off to your driver seat instead (mind the landing, it can be rough)!
My motivation for breaking the couch’s gravity has varied throughout my time as a wanderer. It began with the need to get to tournaments for the Frisbee team. I recall not driving to only 2 or 3 tournaments out of the roughly 25 I attended. I’m not complaining, I loved driving 5 sweaty/dirty and sometimes soaking wet guys around in my cars, plus I’d rather trust myself with a 2-ton projectile barreling 75 MPH down I-95 than anyone else. My wanderlust was kindled during my time with the team, yet it was only just starting to take flame as I was leaving my stint in organized Ultimate. When I graduated college, I found myself getting stir crazy on a regular basis; and with no tournament to need to go to the motivation fell upon my shoulders to get out and go. I would often set a destination to something I missed or wanted to get back to (such as my friends I left in Erie) but, that does not offer much room for exploring new areas; just reliving old memories. Don’t misunderstand that phrase as negative, I loved every second of my visits to my friends, however, my wanderlust was not quite fulfilled. Enter, Firefly!
At Firefly Music Festival, I took my very first solo trip to uncharted places without anyone around that I knew. Wouldn’t ya know it, when pushed out of my comfort zone I made some great new friends to go meet and explore new areas with. My motivation was reignited with new vigor; my friend from Firefly, Alicia has just the same wanderlust and “just get out” spirit that I do. We would find a middle ground neither had been to and go hangout in said area for a few days. I have been lucky to be able to continue this exploration of new areas with friends, as my friend group splits around the East Coast and I have been able to go visit them. My final motivation I want to talk about is opportunity. Mostly job opportunity for me; this gets away from the weekend warrior travel yet is relevant none the less. Often, I hear people (myself included, ugh) talk about how they would love to move somewhere else and live. But, they’re afraid of the idea at the same time, thus they go back to their safe place (often, that damn couch). My search for opportunity has led me to South Carolina, D.C., Erie, Pittsburgh, Grove City, and most recently, Ohio. I’ll be honest, I’ve failed in most places whether it’s because a job didn’t pull through or I wanted to be back in my safe place; but it wasn’t failure without awesome experiences, and I’m still alive so no harm, no foul.
In conclusion, what I’m saying is don’t waste another second in front of that couch. Whether your motivation is a prior obligation like a team, old friends, new friends, or opportunities in new places; break free of the gravity of the couch. Become a fellow wandering “astronaut”, a fellow weekend warrior and start your space voyage to a weekend of new faces in new places.