Day 323

Well folks, I’m officially 30. I wouldn’t say I was ever afraid of leaving my twenties behind, but I totally understand those who find it to be a stressful occasion. I mean, now that I’m in my thirties, I’m really running out of excuses to grow up, aren’t I? Hopefully, it’ll be another ten or so years before people start questioning why I own so many toys (fingers crossed).

Thankfully, I didn’t have to start this new chapter of my life alone. Two of my best friends in the entire world hopped a plane from Cleveland to help me celebrate in style. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see someone you haven’t seen in almost a year. I knew I missed my friends and family, but the emotion that poured over me when they got off the plane was a bit unexpected. Exactly one year ago, the three of us spent my 29th birthday fire-roasting marshmallows in our backyard, slow-cooking pork under coals and building a pillow fort in the living room. Now, we’re on the other side of the country. It’s crazy the difference a year can make, right?

I won’t go into detail about the weekend, as I know my grandma keeps up on my blogs. So, I’ll just say that we had a really good time and Seattle showed me it’s a city that knows how to party. We ate a lot of food, drank a lot of beer and swapped a slew of stories. My only complaint about the whole thing is that the weekend ended far too quickly. I wish they could’ve stayed a few more days. But, alas, I’ll see them again in three months—a time that doesn’t seem too far away at all.

Having said that, we did pack a lot of fun into two short days. We ventured to the EMP Museum, grabbed a water-side breakfast at Lowell's, where we devoured more than our fair share of crab. On Sunday, we also ventured outside the city and enjoyed an afternoon of hiking at Rattlesnake Ledge. Finally, after we walk no more, we headed back and finished the whole thing off with a birthday dinner at Quinn's Pub, where I tried Foie Gras for the first time (It was pretty darn good!). All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday.

Sorry I don’t really have anything project-related to report on. We’ll be back to our normal routine come this Thursday. In the meantime, I encourage everyone out there to go do something unexpected today.

-Steve-

Day 148

As I begin my final week in Charlotte, I wanted to take time to answer another question I received through the #TGAA website. I'd also like to preface it with a resounding, “Thank you,” to everyone who continues sending me questions and comments. It means a lot. 

This inquiry comes from Allan T. of Altoona, PA:

“Hi Steve, I’ve been reading your stuff for the past couple months and I’m curious; does it ever get lonely out there on the road? Thanks and I hope things continue going up and up. It’s cool to follow along with what you’re doing.”

Thanks for the question! Truth be told, it can get rather lonely from time to time. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s hard to leave my friends and family for such an extended period of time. I mean, even when I was living in Brooklyn I’d still visit home every few months. However, this project is 14 months of non-stop travel. I do my best to call or text people regularly, but sometimes it just doesn’t feel like enough. I’m experiencing so many wonderful things on my journey and I wish my friends were here to take part—but it is what it is. They understand and support what I’m trying to accomplish, so even though they aren’t here physically, I know they’re here in spirit.

Having said that, I'm not as alone as it would seem. I did manage to catch up with a lot of old friends and co-workers at my stop in the Big Apple and I have some friends in three of my future stops too. Another great thing is the number of people I’ve been meeting along the way. It’s been a blast getting to know everyone and becoming a part of their lives. Sure, it isn’t very fun when I leave after a month, but just encountering all these interesting people is a blessing in itself. I also think I’ve changed a lot personally from when I started this journey. I’ve never been the most social person, but experiencing so many new things has really forced me to open up. If 6 months ago you had told me I’d be taking part in run clubs and bar hops, I would have called you crazy. 

In the end, nothing feels the same as having good times with best friends, but I like to think things are going rather well. I also believe that by keeping this blog, I’m bringing everyone along for the ride. So, in a sense, I’m never alone. I’m only a few clicks away from sharing my next experience with the world.

Thanks for following along! I’m glad you could join me. 

-Steve-