So, I have a confession. Sometimes (many times) I wish there were two Me’s, just so I didn’t have to convince other people to do all the weird crap that I want to do. The other Me would need no convincing. It would probably be her idea. People give all sorts of reasons for why they can’t: I can’t take off work, I need to save money, that sounds like a nightmare, too busy, no one to watch the dog. Maybe I have it backwards, but I have a hard time letting lack of vacation days, worry from taking too many “sick” days (or as I like to call them, mental health days), or my love/hate relationship with money prevent me from experiencing something with potential for awesomeness. Sometimes I wonder if I should care more, but then I remember that’s stupid. I mean, who fondly reminisces on all of the money saved, work accomplished, and vacation days accrued because of all of the things they didn’t do? Nope.
Instead, I remember the time Alex and I drove to Harvard, Illinois to catch the Metra to Chicago, enjoyed a 12 hour Amtrak ride to Memphis, then hopped on a Greyhound for 2.5 hours to Tupelo, Mississippi, made friends with the local barkeep who just happened to have a break in 10 minutes and drove us to see the birthplace of Elvis Presley equipped with free roadies, and later had our minds blown in a high school auditorium by the Avett Brothers in the greatest live music performance ever, before we turned around immediately to come back home. And it makes me smile.
You’d think it would be easy to find someone to do that with me. It wasn’t. Sounds like a nightmare. If someone were to ask me to do that, the only question I would ask is if we could get sushi from that place in Union Station before catching the Amtrak. I pride myself on being that person for other people.
In six months I will begin spending money and earning nothing, so yes, I should probably be saving more dimes than I am. But my friend Christina was itching to get out of the country on a budget, and I’ve always wanted to check out Québec City, and she was easily sold when we remembered it was a French-speaking province. So we took a week off to drive the 18 hours to Québec, loaded with our bicycles and camping gear and almost zero plans, except to spend as little money as possible.
Will I regret not having a couple extra bucks next year when I need it most? Maybe. But more likely, I’ll remember seeing beautiful Lake Erie on our first dreary morning in Canada after sleeping in the car because we were too tired to set up the tent, the Mountie (you know, Canadian police) who gave me a baseball because I was a Brewers fan rooting for the Blue Jays, biking up the biggest hill in the world to find this insane utopia at the top, and through the streets of Montréal as an equal (superior?) to motorized vehicles, experiencing the city through new local friends at the neighborhood bar…and we still have five more days of Canadian love.
I’ll live the experiences now and deal with consequences later.