I was first inspired to write this post right after I’d gotten back from Tennessee last month. I noticed a complete shift from how I saw Memphis to how I saw Nashville. There was a complete shift in my energy from exhausted to calm. I believe this can be attributed to how I travel solo and how I travel when I’m with someone and I wanted to write about it.
When I was in Memphis, there were so many things I wanted to do and see, and I scheduled myself by the hour. I walked around for miles and miles on my first afternoon and evening there. On my first (and only) full day in Memphis, I got up at 7 am and didn’t sit back down until 8 pm. I was rushing from one thing to the next, which was very expensive considering how far apart everything was, and I needed to fit in everything!
Right?! Didn’t I????
Well, for the most part, I did. But what was the trade-off? The tradeoff is having not mental space. No time to meditate, and no time to journal, which have both become really big parts of my daily life regardless of where I happen to be in the world.
I got on the bus in Memphis for a 5-hour journey to Nashville (those buses drive REALLY slowly) and I was totally relieved. Grateful, even. Five hours to do nothing but read, browse my phone, and journal.
When I got to our AirBNB in Nashville, I put my stuff down and waited for my boyfriend outside. When he arrived, I felt a sense of calm rush over me. Not just because my dude had arrived and that’s awesome, but because he is better at being patient and is generally more chilled out, ie. not rushing from one thing to the next. I have daily to-do lists on my phone and my Google calendar is usually at least half full. I drive myself nuts for the most part. He does not do this and thankfully so because I’m not sure two people could be together if they both lived like that.
We’d technically traveled together when we were in Israel, on Birthright, but this was totally different. We’d just met on that trip (despite having gone to the same high school over a decade earlier) and we were with a group and our itinerary was preplanned for us. This time it was just the two of us and our relationship was somewhat different, to say the least.
I was looking forward to getting to Nashville and slowing down. Had I been by myself, I probably would’ve spent money going into every museum there was, despite how little I could’ve cared. Sure, Johnny Cash is awesome, but do I need to go visit an entire museum about him? No, but I probably would’ve had I been by myself. But Nick didn’t need to do that. He was willing to go to the aforementioned museum had I wanted to but when I gave it a second thought, it really wasn’t worth it. Nashville seemed more like a city to just chill out in.
We spent time just hanging out in bars and restaurants, listening to live music, and talking.
That’s just not something I do when traveling alone. Is it the fear of missing out? Quite possibly. Most places I visit I know I’ll likely never visit again, so ya know, I better get it all in while I can and make the most of my time there.
But while I was in Nashville, and not doing every little thing there, you know what I realized? It didn’t really matter. Do I regret not going into the Johnny Cash Museum? Not one bit.
So I’m super grateful that we traveled together last month. I learned a lot about myself, not to mention that we can travel pretty well together which is super awesome, and I was reminded that I don’t need to see everything.
I’ll keep this in mind when I’m in Iceland next month because I don’t have the budget to do everything at this point in time, and maybe it’s OK if I only go to the Blue Lagoon and the Golden Circle.
On second thought: It definitely is okay.