Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's Fall! Or Autumn! Or Both!

My first few days back in Charleston were hot and unpleasant, but since then, it's started to feel a lot like fall. I've been sleeping with the windows open at night and I've had to start bringing my Meyer Lemon tree in at night because the temperature has been dipping down into the low 50s. I'm happy. And because it's getting cooler outside, it means I get to start eating more warm meals and fall-flavored things. And drinking lots of hot beverages.

In honor of all of this, I took time away from doing absolutely nothing to bake some cupcakes. And, let me tell you, they are awesome. They're vegan pumpkin chocolate chip cakes with cinnamon icing. The icing, despite the obviousness of this statement, tastes exactly like cinnamon rolls. The recipe is here for those who are interested.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Trip Stats

I also wanted to give some brief numbers. Before I forgot. But I did forget, so here's a second post!

The trip was 28 days long.
I visited 5 new cities (but Seattle twice) in 5 new states.
I traveled through 8 airports.
I took 14 flights.
I stayed in 8 homes.
I bought 66 records.
I did laundry a total of 2 times.
I spent less than $400 (excluding my parking fees at Charlotte-Douglas).

I'm home.

I haven't updated since I've been back in Charleston because, as expected, I was very unhappy upon my arrival. I feel aimless enough because I've spent the last month without a "home" and without any real obligations, so the fact that when I returned back to all of that, I was also returning to a place I pretty well despise weighed very heavily on me.

However, I'm slowly starting to settle back in. I haven't had a full day of rest with nothing planned since I've gotten back. I'm still trying to fit that into my schedule. Much of my time has been spent catching up with friends, unpacking, and cleaning up my apartment.

A mere two days after my return, I attend Kulture Klash here in Charleston. It was the first year that I had made it out and I was kind of excited. Some of the art on display was nice and some of the stuff going on throughout the night was pretty interesting. And I got to hold a chainsaw, so my evening was made.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Nearing The End

The end of my All You Can Jet month is drawing very near. Tomorrow will be my last round of flights and then I will drive back to Charleston Thursday morning. I have to say, while it will be nice to sleep in my own bed, I'm not looking forward to being back there. I was unhappy there to begin with, and now it just seems like a chore to have to drag myself back into it all.

I spent a few days last week in Austin, TX. I really liked Austin, but I feel like I could have enjoyed it a lot more than I did. My hosts, while good people, were just not very helpful in giving me ideas of what I should see or do. Add that to the fact that I was getting tired and starting to be a little burnt out on hopping around from place to place, and it just makes for a fairly uneventful trip. I did manage to take a short little hike thing and buy some (read: a lot) of records. So, despite the fact that the trip could've been much better, I'll call it a success.

It was hard to put Austin after Salt Lake City, because SLC just was sort of a crazy experience all around. I liked it there quite a bit, but I don't think I'd want to live there.

I had a flight booked from Austin on Saturday morning that would take me to San Francisco, Long Beach, and finally put me in Seattle at about 8 p.m. However, there was a mechanical failure on the plane that was to be flying in from San Francisco the night before, so that morning flight was delayed by like 4.5 hours. This would've made me miss all of my connecting flights. So I spent the entire day Saturday sitting in the airport until I could catch a 5 p.m. flight to Long Beach. Because JetBlue would not help me in any way to get me to Seattle that night, they put me up in a hotel in Long Beach, which wasn't so bad. But I was still irritated about losing a few hours.

When I finally got to Seattle the next morning, I was exhausted but very happy to be back here. I like it here. A lot, really. I have a feeling similar, but of course a little different, to the one I have when I'm in New York. Something clicks and it just feels safe or like home or something. It's really strange. So I'm glad that I decided to come back here and finish out my trip in a city that makes me comfortable. I was even able to see the people who hosted me when I came to Seattle earlier on this trip and catch up on their lives. They're such nice people and I'm so glad I got the chance to meet them. But, even though being here is a happy thing, I know it will be very heartbreaking to leave. Especially to leave and go back to Charleston.

This trip as a whole has been a major event in my life. I've learned a lot, seen a lot, met a lot of new, great people (and learned to have a bit of faith in humanity), and just had a fantastic time along much of the way. Like anything, the trip has had its ups and downs, but in the end, they were all very worth it and I'm glad I didn't just throw in the towel at the first sign of things not going as planned. Looking back, this all came at a time when I really needed it, and it has slightly changed a lot of things for me. It'll be strange to see what happens when the traveling is completely over.

I've got a lot on my schedule for the remainder of 2010. But the one thing I've learned from all of this is that I definitely need to get my shit together. I need to figure out what I'm doing as far as finishing college or going to culinary school goes. I need to make a conscious effort to get in with a particular company that will allow me a job I can tolerate and that will allow me to pay my bills while also giving me the option of mobility in the future so that I can get out of Charleston and go some place that will make me happier. So, yes, there will be fun things to update on, even when all this exciting jetting is out of the way. But, at the same time...I've gotta put my game face on. I think the end of this trip is really the start of some new chapter or something of my life in a way. It doesn't mean drastic change will occur right away, but I have the opportunity to grab a little bit of control back and try to fight for a better situation for myself away from the Southeast.