Solo Traveler

So many things I’m finding myself doing that I never thought I’d do before that I’m realizing I’ve always secretly wished I could do.

Organizing swing dances. Surfing. Road trips. Snowboarding. Road trips alone…

For Christmas I’d received some cash to buy something for my apartment. wasn’t sure what to get, contemplated a bookshelf set or a papasan chair, and did some online shopping. Surfing Craigslist for furniture, I happened across a Yamaha Keyboard for $50. I had just been thinking about how much I miss playing music in band, and miss having a piano to dink around on.
Around this time, I’d been invited to go snowboarding with friends, so rented some gear, and had a blast. darn it! I really didn’t need another sport to sink a ton of cash into. Renting gear is expensive, and buying new gear is enough to make you choke. I started hunting craigslist for some used boots, (my friend offered to let me borrow her board) and found used boots didn’t run very cheap, but found several breathtaking deals on snowboard+boots+bindings packages. Fully drawn into the hunt at this point, I regularly checked craigslist to find a package with the right sized board, right sized boots, in the right price range. It only took a few days.

All that intro to say, I bought a Keyboard in Olympia, and a Snowboard in Seattle. Road Trip!!

Except I ended up going alone. I’d expected it to be a long, lonely, boring drive, but was sweetly surprised. I left my place at 8am, and listened to Josh Groban and Michael Buble all the way to Olympia. I arrived at our meeting place (Starbucks!) with no problem and plenty of time, and enjoyed a London Fog tea latte and a little boy smiling and laughing at me over his daddy’s shoulder. I got a little restless fifteen minutes after our meeting time and I hadn’t met her yet, and didn’t have her number to call. But she arrived, and was very sweet. It’s so strange to meet someone knowing you will probably never see them again in your life. Getting back on the Interstate to Seattle was no biggie. Once I got into Seattle was when the fun began. In short, it took me about 45 minutes to get from the exit to our meeting place, when it should have only taken me 10. I did have Tara’s number, and she was very sweet helping me trying to figure out where I was and which direction I need turn around and head towards. I got to know Fairview, Mercer, and Pike streets real well. I finally arrived, and loved the snowboard twice as much as I thought I would have. It is a deep, bright blue on the top (it looked black from the picture) and the bindings are top quality, the boots fit perfect, and the overall quality and shape of the board is outstanding.
I started really enjoying myself after deciding to park down by the ferries and walk to Pike Place Market. I ended up in a parking garage without wanting to (oh well) and was feeling quite daring for walking downtown Seattle alone. I felt so independent, so grownup. (and I mean that in the non-cheesiest way possible.) I actually quite amused myself. I was feeling so daring, that I started taking pictures of random people. It was quite fun! I also made a point to visit the Lush store, as I’ve been dying to get my hands on some Ocean Salt face scrub. mmmm, gotta love Lush! and have quite a lot of fun taking pictures of tourists. Something about taking pictures is so personal. Even taking pictures of a crowd of strangers, it’s like being able to express my mind, to share my view. It was such a lovely day, all to myself. I feel like I just got back from a soothing vacation. how odd.

I decided to take the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge, and on my way to the ferry, was hoping I’d just miss the ferry so I’d have time to walk down to get some clam chowder from Ivan’s and take pictures of the guy playing the drums on a bunch of plastic buckets. he sounded amazing. unfortunately, I made the ferry on time. Adventures for another time I guess. On the ferry I spent most of the time out side (of corse) still snapping shots of random people. A Dad and his little girl were feeding chips to the seagulls and made an adorable subject. I also saw and snapped a few photos of a jet skier racing the ferry with a shark fin on his wetsuit. A few guys standing near by thought it was awesome and hilarious. I thought the same to myself, and was oddly very contented.

The rest of the trip home provided little to share, I made it back home around 5:30 and almost peeled with joy when I plugged my keyboard in and started tinking around on it and playing with the settings, and got rather frustrated when I couldn’t get a decent snapshot of my snowboard.

I suppose it might not have been such a satisfying trip if I hadn’t been buying myself Christmas presents, but who knows? maybe being alone on a solo trip to Seattle to take pictures of the general public is therapeutic. who would’ve known how much I love traveling alone? I am certainly developing my love and interest for travel in general. I shall definitely be doing this again in the near future.

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