My summer has been spent doing new things in life and experiencing the world free from judgment, and free of large amounts of stress, or corporate lighting and the sounds of a bustling office; instead has been about the sun, and building new long-lasting relationships.
I understand that seasons are very distinct, but when you are a college graduate, you still think of seasons as semesters – at least I do. Well my summer began back in April when three friends of mine and I went to Las Vegas, Nevada and Long Beach, California. Some may call it a trip of the year, others may call it a trip of a lifetime, or simply just a giant party; however, I call it a trip with life lessons.
Now in order for me to explain the life lessons it taught me, I may first tell you about my “vacation.”
The trip began as an idea between a friend and I, and was meant to be just us flying to Long Beach to hit the town and explore something new together. However, logically, we decided to help decrease costs it would be better to drive and take a couple of other friends with us. Sure enough we rounded two more up, and before we knew it we were off to Long Beach with a stop in Las Vegas, Nevada!
We were only in Vegas for a night so we had to make the best of it, and that is exactly what we did! My friend and I checked in at the Luxor (cheapest rooms ever!), and spent quite a bit of time talking to the employee who was checking us in, with the flick of a wrist it seemed the employee had upgraded us without even telling us exactly what she had done, just that we would be taken care of.
My friends and I met up at the bar, where my other friends had been waiting -because of course we didn’t tell the hotel four people were staying in the room – and headed up to our room to change and hit the town running. When we opened the door, to our amazement, we had been upgraded to a suite literally three-times the size of my apartment or larger! It was so thrilling that we dropped our bags and just checked the place out – we could not have been more excited! I even remember making several videos. Cough, cough… watch the video below.
For the sake of making this story shorter, I’ll just give a few quick highlights from the night. Few drinks in the room, a walk on the strip with one of those iconic frozen drinks, dancing with some hilarious women at the bar, jump roping on the strip with random strangers (VIDEO BELOW), meeting new people and taking pictures with them, and trying to get into a club in shorts that required pants. Trust me, it was way more fun than I may have just mentioned.
After an amazing night it was off to Long Beach, California! When we arrived we simply asked the hotel if they had any upgrades, and sure enough we were put on the top floor with a balcony, and were treated so very nicely by the one staff member who got us into the hotel bar after hours for a drink with her and a couple other people.
Then it was time to hit the town again, this time exploring somewhere that none of us had been. My one friends uncle came to our hotel and picked us up and took us to see the bars that would be most appealing to my friends and I, and from there the night just got more fun! While in Long Beach we visited the beach, went to Knott’s Berry Farm, visited West Hollywood – which is a whole other story to tell – and experience Long Beach by wandering around. It quickly became a city that I fell in love with, I don’t care what anyone says about it, I love the feel of that city and can’t wait to return!
This is all a very run-down version of the full-length story, but the key take-a-ways are the important pieces to the puzzle; all beginning in Vegas where we simple had a nice conversation with the employee checking us in.
Kindness gets you places that nothing else can do.
All we did was have a nice conversation, ask a few questions about Vegas and what we should do, teased her a little, asked if she wanted to come out with us, and soon enough we had a suite larger than the place I lived back home. Be kind to those you interact with, and you would be amazed at the experience you may have. I know I need to work on this myself, but it’s amazing when you show kindness and compassion what it brings back to you.
All we did was simply ask after already being nice and kind to her was ask if there were any upgrades that could be provided since we were only here for one night, and it was my birthday. Her response, “I’m already one step ahead of you.” So honestly, we didn’t even have to ask. Ask a friend what they may think about a situation, ask someone you like a serious question. I’m not sure why we are all afraid to ask the questions we have. In the end you find out the answer, so why not know before you get hurt.
Live a little.
Take a break from life every now and then and live a little. I work too damn hard to not take a break. You have to do something for yourself every now and then, and it doesn’t matter what someone may say about it. You deserve your break; no matter what reputation you may get for taking one.
I also learned a lot about my friends, and what I need in my life, and don’t need. It was this trip that I began to realize I had taken too long of a break since school; that I needed to get back to the core things in life that I cared about just a year before at graduation. I was so focused on an amazing career, growing my personal brand, volunteering, and having new life experiences.
I got caught up in my new found freedom with meeting new people all of the time and going out with the same friends every weekend to the club or a house-party to realize that I need to remember where I wanted to go in life, and who I wanted to be.
Sure I had amazing experience and memories created from a trip like my californication, but it taught me something greater. If you aren’t doing something or with friends that can help you in the future, why are you in that situation in the first place?
It’s a question I’m still struggling with myself. You want someone that isn’t just like you that is either that serious or fun person, but don’t let him or her fool you; know what experience you want to have in life, and make sure that you have them. You have to find that balance between fun and your future. All it takes is right people in your life that keep you determined while having fun, without judgment; all while caring about you for who you are.
This is my promise to changing my life. What is your promise to yourself?