Don’t Go Alone

By Gino DiGiulio 

Traveling can be a load of fun, especially when you are with a group of awesome friends. What makes it even better? Exploring the sights, sounds, smells — every city just has that smell — and down right fun that America’s weirdest city, Austin, TX, has to offer. This week, I’ll be doing just that. But seriously y’all, the city’s slogan is, “Keep Austin Weird.” Weird and quirky is my aesthetic. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

Traveling is something I feel everyone should do periodically throughout his or her life. Now, that doesn’t mean get on a six plus hour flight to London. Why do that when there are so many great and exciting places to visit within our own country? It broadens your horizons and teaches you not only a lot about the city you are exploring, but a lot about yourself. Domestic travelling, or any travelling for that matter, is a great time to soul search.

Now, with all that aside, this trip has me anxious for some reason. My job allows me to travel the country for the majority of the summer and fall, and I have never been anxious about a trip before in my life. And I have a feeling that it is because of down time. I normally never have it when I am in a new city because I am working for the majority of the day. This time is different.

I am now being forced to fill down time with exciting activities, quirky trips and weird, fun things to do. Listening in on conversations the group is having and hearing all of their plans and exciting adventures they want to go on during the trip made me realize that I have no idea what I want to do, what I want to see or where I want to go. Anxiety set in immediately. Am I going to be the loner that has nothing to do? Will I be the one tagging along to things that necessarily don’t interest me, but will still be interesting to see? Am I going to be wasting this trip?

I am addicted to travel shows of all kind, and I want to have a great experience in Austin with my friends. So I have come to the realization that regardless if I have one thing planned, or a million things planned, spending time and goofing around in America’s weirdest city is going to be good enough. If I find something I want to do, I’ll do it. Maybe I will talk to locals and see if there is something that I should absolutely go see or experience. Who knows? Hell, all I want is a cowboy hat and some boots from the city’s most famous boots store, Allens Boots, and I’ll be set for whatever weird adventure life takes me on.

After thinking it through, I have come to the conclusion that traveling with friends, especially a large group of them, is always going to end in a good time. Whether you get to do everything on your list, or just go along for the ride, fun times will appear without even thinking — especially in Austin. The city just screams quirky and fun. For example, they have a fake Prada store right outside of the city, in the middle of nowhere that you can’t even go in! If that doesn’t scream weird and quirky then I don’t know what does.

So the next time you decide to travel, go with friends. Good times will arise and you won’t be so stressed about it. Just enjoy your time in a new city with good company.