When was the last time you did something completely new and out of your element? How was it? Will you do it again?
For a person consumed by an insatiable wanderlust, I’ve done an abysmal amount of actual traveling. I’d never actually taken a vacation for myself before, never picked out a destination and simply gone there. I’d never done a single impulsive thing in my life. And last spring I was feeling sluggish and stalled and full of pent up energy.
At the time I was working at a gas station, part time and minimum wage, and going to school taking classes that I hated. I was living in a shabby rental house that had more problems than perks – although it did have a tree swing, which was kinda fun. I was, to put it succinctly, miserable.
Now I have to preface this by saying that nothing fun ever comes to Utah. Sure we get some concerts and stuff but the things I’m actually interested in – i.e. nerd stuff – never ends up here. Things like book signings and theatre companies and the Tour de Nerdfighting. So the opportunity to go to events I like is a very rare one and usually involves driving a state or two away. Hence why I never go.
But Team Starkid was in the middle of their Apocalyptour and out of curiosity I checked their site for dates. They were performing in Denver, Colorado on a Thursday night. I casually checked my calendar and, by some miraculous stroke of luck, I had that day off. So on the spur of the moment, I bought a ticket to the show and booked a cheap hotel room. The day of the show I got in my car at four o’clock in the morning and began the ten hour drive from Northern Utah to Denver.
It was a long and tedious drive, lonely and exhausting. I nearly got lost in Wyoming twice and got a speeding ticket along the way. Then I actually did get incredibly lost in both downtown Denver and in Commerce City because the google map I’d copied to get to my hotel included a highway turn-off that didn’t actually exist anymore. So finally, after calling my mother at home to get on the computer and get me unlost – I didn’t have an internet capable phone at the time, don’t judge me – I finally dropped off my bag and went into Denver.
I had to park two miles from the music hall because there was a Rockies game across the street and hiked up through the city toward a music hall that apparently none of the local cops had ever heard of because none of them could give me directions. Thankfully I finally walked far enough to see the line running out of the front of the hall – which went all the way around the corner of the block – and I jumped in at the back.
So there I was, a socially awkward and anxious person who had driven a total of eleven and a half hours – factoring in the time I was driving around in circles lost – standing in a line full of people I’d never met to go into a noisy, crowded, loud concert. I had never been further out of my comfort zone.
And it turned out to be one of the greatest experiences of my life.
The concert itself was amazing. If you ever get a chance to see Starkid perform live, do it. They know how to put on a fantastic show. In line I met a couple other girls who had come out from Utah and we spent the evening together. I jumped around in a nerdy mosh pit and sang until I couldn’t speak anymore. I had the time of my life.
After the concert ended I went back to my hotel room and crashed for all of five hours before I had to get up and start my drive back – my best friend was coming up to spend the weekend and I had to get back before she arrived. So I grabbed a quick breakfast from the hotel dining room and then drove the ten hours back home. I went back to my awkward, miserable, menial life without a voice but with a speeding ticket to pay.
I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.