Trying to travel better
First of all, I haven't posted about New York. It was great, I saw some improv, some comedy, I saw a Broadway show and I went to Sleep No More which was fantastic and I want to go back. Although I might read Macbeth before that though.
And New York had the best day ever, which is a Halloween puppy parade. In costume!
Look it's hulk dog!
And these guys won best costume, lobster and chef dogs.
But, as good as New York was, and as wonderful as the people I met were, there was still that same feeling that I had in Paris. That I wasn't entirely satisfied with my trip.
I don't want to say that it was too easy because I don't believe that my travels should be difficult. Rather that I haven't challenged myself to grow or change. Before continuing I have to say that I'm super grateful to my friends who have let me stay at their place. Staying with friends has been wonderful (and cheap). But the longish stays with no plans (or job) and the fact that they go out during the days means there were quite a few days I would stay home rather than go out exploring. The worst were the days I would sleep in, then spend the rest of the day on the internet.
This is a problem for me, because I tend towards laziness, which leads to a downward spiral of bad days. Cindy very insightfully said to me on a morning in Lyon when I was delaying getting off the couch and outside, "Being in a different country isn't going to cure depression.” It is inevitable that I'm going to have down days still. And I'll have the occasional manic day too. But if I'm being someone I don't like on normal days, how am I supposed to get through the bad ones.
So, there are some things I need to work out. Short term and long term. In the short term I wanted to get out of bed and get moving everyday, to have new experiences. So I stayed in New York for Halloween, but now I have left.
No safety net. I'm on my own and via hitch-hiking and other cheap transport I'm going to attempt to cross the country, or as much as I can do before I leave. So far I've caught a bus to Atlantic City, where I spent a few days. I caught another bus to Washington D.C. where I'm sitting now in a hostel writing this post. The rough plan from here is to head south, aiming for New Orleans. Then West across Texas and the southern States, a stop in Las Vegas and L.A. and hopefully all the way to San Francisco to meet up with my friend Andy. If for some reason everything goes much quicker than planned and I don't then fly back to New York, I'll come back via Chicago to watch some more improv. Hopefully this plan also helps me with another problem I feel I have which is a fair bit of social awkwardness.
Some other things I've started to implement include timeboxing some things, to limit my internet usage and to instigate constructive things like blog writing. Also, I've been dabbling with meditation and being present and focused.
In the long term I need to find what I want to do next. The plan at the moment is to alternate work in the UK with travel in Europe. And this may be fine, I don't know yet, I haven't tried. But I feel a better solution is going to be a digital job that I can do on the road so that I can live more of a digital nomad life.
With this in mind I have a few things I would like to get better at: my art and to get back into making comics; more performing, predominately acting and improv, but also get back into stand up; writing; possibly editing; and music. This last one is giving me a bit of a problem at the moment. I'm still carrying around the mandolin I was given by a friend in Sydney. But I really don't play it enough to justify carrying it around. The mandolin itself isn't that heavy, but I've put it in a case and it is big enough and awkward enough to get in the way. I'm otherwise carrying around just one bag, and that bag is almost light enough that I could carry it around all day without worry (There is a whole post to come on bags and what I'm carrying with me). The mandolin means I always need to find somewhere to dump my luggage for the day. So I either need to make this a part of my daily routine or it's time to let the bulky instrument go.
A final related skill I want to start learning is animation.
Anyway I'm going to post this and go out and explore Washington. I didn't really take any photos of Atlantic City, it's a weird place and I spent a lot of it at the poker table anyway. But I did make sure I walked the boardwalk. It was cold.
So I'll finish this post with two photos of central park. This one was my favourite.
And this was great. I had walked halfway around the lake before seeing this sign.
I was walking the wrong way. I kept going.