spontaneity. that’s what my blog posts are starting to feel like. For anyone who follows me on social media you likely know that I spent 6 weeks this summer in Australia. Studying and traveling abroad was amazing and I could go on for days telling you about all the adventures I had and insanely cool people I met, but no one really cares about any of that. (if you really wanna know ask to see the video of my trip). What I’m here to talk about is how adventure ends (kinda). Every vacation, every weekend trip, every adventure comes to an end, be it for school, or reality, or whatever else there is. No vacation or holiday lasts forever.
Anyone that has studied abroad told me that ‘post abroad depression’ is real. Having been home in the states for almost 3 weeks now, yeah, I totally get it. I’ve been lying around sulking, trying to find a new Netflix show, while simultaneously editing every picture I took abroad. The excitement is over and it kinda feels like it never happened, or that I’ll never get another experience like that ever again. Yesterday was a little different.
My natural alarm clock had me up around 11am. I hollered, “Alexa, what’s the weather like today?”, and she kindly replied “The weather today is a high of 87 with a low of 75 and a chance of thunderstorms mid afternoon.” As I sat there not really listening to what I had just asked, I decided that I didn’t want to waste today.
See, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I felt like an adventure-er while I was abroad. Being about as far across the globe as I can get, without my parents, hell yeah I was an adventure-er. How come I can’t be like that when I’m here in Charleston? I have a car (shout out to the subaru with the Nebraska plates on it), money for gas, nothing to do for the entire day, and essentially no one to be accountable for.
15 minutes later I had packed a bag and was asking siri for directions on how to get to Spartanburg, but don’t ask me why because I have no idea. For those who aren’t familiar with the area, not unlike myself, Spartanburg is about 3 hours ish north-west of Charleston. I had about a half tank but I drive a subaru so that meant I could probably make it the entire way without stopping. My musical and Show Choir playlist was set on loop and I was beginning to enjoy some alone time. After the first hour and a half I started to get bored. Naturally my mind was looking for some way to entertain myself. I couldn’t text and I didn’t wanna call anyone and explain what exactly I was doing because I wasn’t even sure myself. It just so happened that at that moment I passed a brown sign on the highway that said “something National Park”. I immediately flipped my blinker (yes I use turn signals) and headed in that direction. The signs directed me there in around 40 minutes. I reached Congaree National Park. Keep in mind that Alexa did indeed warn me it was going to rain but I failed miserably to listen.
I pulled up and this is what I saw.
Yeah.. very underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, really pretty, but had I just drove 2 1/2 hours to see a forest?
Short answer, no.
This place was awesome. I felt like I was playing real life temple run in a swamp.
About 20 minutes deep into this neature walk, I heard, I KID YOU NOT, the loudest roars of thunder I’ve ever heard in my 20 years of living. I’m all alone… in a white tshirt. South Carolina starts to hurricane or god knows what and within two seconds I’m drenched from head to toe, sprinting back to the visitors center out of fear. Sorry mom, I might’ve failed to mention this part of my spontaneous adventure. I ran into several other people laughing at the rain and ended up walking back with them.
My point is, adventure is out there. There is so much of South Carolina that I haven’t seen, hell there’s so much of Charleston I haven’t seen. You don’t need to buy a ticket across hemispheres, you just need to get creative. It always seems like you need to plane hop from country to country in order to go see the world and sure, that’s one way to do it, but you can also just get in the car and start driving.
Adventure is much closer than you think. It won’t be there forever and neither will you.