I’m in the throes of a last-ish minute throwdown, getting all my ducks in a row for a weekend in NYC. I’ve got a week to go, and I’m feeling a little under-prepared. No plan. No accommodations. No budget. No idea!
All I know for sure is that I’ll be meeting an old friend for fun and hijinks in less than a week, in a city neither of has explored.
Sitting on the couch this evening, I starting to sweat a little, but then I remembered a few other epic weekenders in my past, trips that had some key points in common with this upcoming one. There have been other weekenders and road-trips to visit more friends and places, but it’s the really random and unforseen trips that stand out.
There was the classic Fraser Lake Grad Weekend: Months previous, I had met a traveling highschool drama group from a tiny northern BC town, some members of which I had staying in touch with, and who subsequently invited me to attend their graduation. I hitched and ‘hounded my way north, and spent a crazy and memorable few days in the company of these near-strangers. I crashed at different houses, met great families, enjoyed immense hospitality, and witnessed Trooper in a school gym (?!). I had no idea what sort of experience I’d have once I got there, and frankly I’m still amazed at how wonderful it turned out.
Then there was the Toga Party. I’d been a patron of a (then) new restauarnt in Kamloops a few times one summer, and gotten to know (or at least be recognized by) a couple of the staff. One of them had casually thrown an invite my way, for their inaugural staff party. Staff Toga Party, that is. I hitched back to Kamloops later that week with a toga in my backpack. Got tipsy. Swam clothed across a backyard pool. Was loved by waitresses, hated by boyfriends, and traded joy with all.
And of course, Hallowe’en in Squamish. Again, befriended by travelling students… months later, hitching to Squamish to show up at this party where I was unknown to 7/8 of the other attendees. My costume: Clean-Cut Guy; shaved the wooly ‘burns, got a crewcut, lost the earrings, wore pleated khakis and a Gap turtleneck. Strangers wondered why I didn’t have a costume, while the folks who’d met me before said I had one of the best costumes there.
All three times, I had no idea where I was going to stay, how I’d get around, or what would happen on the ground. Each time, my experiences so outstripped my expectations as to make them inconsequential.
NYC is bound to be a little big, but I have to remind myself that the city is the backdrop, not the event; the experience is bounded only by the friends I’ll meet and make, the good times I’ll have, the tall tales I’ll live to tell, and the simple unexpectation of the epic weekend.