One of my biggest dreams is to go somewhere, totally unheard of, totally spontaneous, and without a plan. I want to literally lose track of time. Lose the phone. Lose everything but the shoes on my feet, the clothes on my back, and a couple bucks to get by.
This year, I refuse to endure yet another one of Utah’s merciless, endless summers with nothing to do and nowhere to go. I’ve been begging my parents to let me fly across the world to embark on an adventure in a new country somewhere, by myself. I’ve got the funding and even found a program especially for wanderers like me.
How fantastic would that be? To jump on a plane to a foreign destination all alone to spend 20 days exploring, seeing, and experiencing a whole new culture?
Here’s my parents’ argument as to why it wouldn’t be the best idea:
1. I’m a 5’2 blonde girl.
2. There is no number two. That’s it.
Now, my naive, teenagery mind says “so what? What’s the worst that could possibly happen?” To which my parents respond “neither of us are Liam Neeson. We lack the resources and smarts to come rescue you if you get taken.”
Anyway, the whole summer travel thing is a work-in-progress. Wish me luck with that.
Today, I was feeling particularly adventurous, so I drove my little self to the city to do some aimless roaming.(I am a self-admitted loner. I love doing things by myself. I’ve become an expert at keeping myself company.) I started at the mall, thinking I’d just mindlessly browse the clothing shops and try on articles way out of my price range as I usually would on a day when I have a few hours to kill. But then, I started browsing through Barnes and Noble. Let me tell you, I could spend an entire day in a book store, just reading the backs of novels.
Also located on the back of the book is Barnes and Nobles’ price sticker. Those suckers are the most discouraging, heart-breaking numbers to a girl after she’s immersed herself in the excerpt from a book. And I’m sorry, but $17.99 for a paperback novel is just plain ridiculous.
Stay with me, this story relates to the topic of this post. I’m getting there, I swear.
After getting my heart broken by too many overpriced books at Barnes and Noble, I decided to go searching for a used book store. So I set out on the streets of Salt Lake City in pursuit of a reasonably priced read.
I walked maybe two miles before finding one. And I crossed some very interesting, somewhat frightening people on my way. But it was well worth it once I found that bookstore. It was a labyrinth of shelves and shelves of used books. The selection was slightly overwhelming. I spent a solid two and a half hours raiding those shelves.
There were two young sports browsing the shelves of the store rather close to me. After a few minutes of awkwardly browsing the same shelves simultaneously, one of them finally broke the ice and introduced himself. We shook hands and immediately after telling him my name, he asked me if i’d ever seen the basement. I hadn’t.
He explained to me that the bookstore used to be a dance club, and that the basement still had contents from the building’s night club days. I asked him to show me, so the three of us-me, him, and his friend- went down into the basement and he gave me a tour of the entire bottom floor.We talked for a while before I decided it was time to wander myself back to my car.
In summary, today was a blissful, unscheduled, and spontaneous day. I made two friends of whom I may never see again, discovered a location at which I can purchase discounted novels, and lost myself in time and place.
That’s the kind of “vacation” I want. I want to go somewhere previously unknown to me and just wander. Go where the wind blows me. And one of these days, I’m going to do just that.