If you follow me on Facebook or Buzzfeed, you may have seen the article I wrote called, “The 15 People You’ll Run Into on Vacation”.
The title is self explanitory, it’s about the different people you’ll bump into while you’re slurping up your oyster shots at the pub on the Oregon coast. (Which are as slimey as slugs..) It pokes fun at all types of vacationers- from the first timers to the locals.
I wrote this piece because I find myself guilty of almost all of them.
- The First Time Vacationer
I grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and never remembered a trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes. The dunes are about 160 miles from Grand Rapids and two of my friends were exploring Michigan for the first time- so I thought it would be a cool place to check out. Well, it turns out there are more trails than I’d originally thought and the reserve was fairly big. The lack of research I did was evident as I almost got my station wagon stuck in a local’s snowy driveway turning around. Google Maps has led me astray many times, but eventually we made it to the actual dunes. It was pretty crazy climbing up icy sand dunes! Needless to say, it was clearly my first time there in November of 2017 and I lived too close to justify that.
- The Seasoned Vacationer
I love talking about my other trips. When someone starts a conversation with me I’m likely to tie in the trip with, “Well, it was rainier in Alaska!” or “The strawberry hotsprings in Steamboat were so nice.” And…. I’m doing it again.
- The Romantic Couple
We’ve all been there. It does not matter whether I’m with my partner or my best friend- I ask people to take our picture. It just happens! Usually, I’ll offer to take a picture of another couple first and hope they offer to return the favor. Sometimes selfies just don’t do an area justice!
- The Solo Traveler
I moved to Skagway, Alaska for the summer season of 2017 and Steamboat Springs, CO for the 2015 winter season without knowing anyone else there. It was a wild experience going somewhere with an unknown past. It was interesting having the opportunity reinvent myself by acknowledging what my priorities were and the contrast between what I wanted them to be. I was able to leave behind old habits, create better habits and discover what direction I wanted to take my life in.
- The College Student with Big Dreams
When I first arrived in Mackinac Island, MI for the summer of the 2014 season, I was a college student working towards a bachelor’s degree in Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services. I was guilty of attempting to encourage others to go back to school and being overly passionate about youth programming. I was a part of the 50% who eventually did finish and have been finding seasonal work in outdoor adventures or youth programming- so I suppose I’m technically using my degree.
- The College Dropout
After that first seasonal position, it was very hard for me to return to school. I did return that fall and finished the last classwork needed to continue. However, I had an internship year that I put off for too long. It was tempting for me not to finish- I knew how to travel from seasonal job to seasonal job and I didn’t think I needed a degree to continue that. I finished my second season on Mackinac Island in 2015 and knew I needed the opportunity to settle down if I wanted to. So, in retrospect, I was an almost college dropout.
- The Drifter
This is the category I relate to the most. I thrive in new places and enjoy meeting new people. I loved returning to Mackinac Island for a couple years, but there was only so much to explore before I needed new trails to conquer. Sometimes I wish I had a settle down personality so that I can keep up with finances and family life, but it’s not for me- yet. For now, I’m slowing down to get my freelance career off the ground, but I’m always on the edge of my seat waiting for the next adventure.
- The Road Trippers
From Phoenix, AZ to Grand Rapids, MI in a 16ft rental truck, a young vagabond and a retired history teacher set off for an adventure on the road. The two women saw amazing sites from the Grand Canyon to Graceland.. and yes, this is a true story that would make an strange documentary. I know it’s not the true live-out-of-your-van lifestyle I discussed in the article, but I ‘m going to count camping down the 101 on two separate road trips as close enough. It’s fun, you get smelly and you learn to find a place to stay before dark.
9. 10. and 11. are categories I can’t relate to. I’m not on the run or famous by any means (yet..). So, scratch off incognito. I was not even close to being considered a “not-so-local” local anywhere and I’m a local to Grand Rapids, MI which is not a tourist town.
I am guilty for updating my Instagram regularly and I do hope to gain a following from my photos, travels and writing. I’m not vain about it, but I will absolutely make sure I have the perfect picture and will retake it until I get it right.. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.
13. 14. and 15. are from a distant past or are in the distant future. I barely remember what I did yesterday and I have no idea where I’ll be even three months from now, but I will leave this right here: