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        a wild collective blog – original post date: April 5, 2019

        It may seem a bit dorky to break down my trip to California in a multi-part blog series, but honestly? So much happened that I just feel as though it deserves it! And besides, I’m traveling to Chicago for Star Wars Celebration next week and that will most definitely earn itself a multi-part posting as well. So why the hell not recount my first trip across the country…by myself…on an airplane…by myself…

        That last is important to note and I’ll come back to it soon.

        What it comes down to is this: Travels of any sort deserve extra special treatment and seeing as I intend to do far more of that this year, and going forward, I figured I’d get the disclaimers out of the way now!

        So California!

        California has always been on my travel-to list, as I’m sure it is for many folk. But not “standard” CA; I have no interest in LA or the Hollywood sign, and Lord knows I can’t afford Rodeo Drive. I have interest in the film studios there and possibly celeb sightings, but it’s definitely not on my “must do” life list.

        But CA itself is. Where the mountains meet the sea, where the sunny, slow-natured culture is the way of life (be real, I’m from Philadelphia and anywhere outside of here moves slower, it just does) to its vibe and everything in between. *That’s *what I’m interested in and always have been – still am! After all, I only saw a teeny snippet of CA during my week stay and have every intention of returning for more in the near future.

        But let’s begin at the beginning – WHY did I travel 3k miles from home and scare myself to death doing so?

        Well, for friends, of course! I’ve chatted at length on this blog about the fabulous people I’ve met as a result of Star Wars Twitter and this undoubtedly continues to happen still to this day. I’ve lost quite a few of the pocket pals I’ve written about on this blog, but have since formed far greater friendships in the wake of the others leaving. Ya know, people that choose to stay, despite my faults after getting to know me.

        Good people. People worth getting on that Goddamn plane for.

        That’s why I went. That’s why I’ll always go, too!

        So I did just that. On December 1st, 2018, I hopped on an American Airlines Airbus in the frigid early morning hours of winter and jet-setted my way west.

        This was no small feat, my readers, not by a long shot. Up to that point I had flown exactly four times. To Florida (Disney World) and back home and then again, to Florida (Disney World) and back home again, So those two trip combined didn’t even equal the time I would spend in the air going one way to CA. It was scary, to say the very damned least.

        I barely slept and had to be out the door by 4:15 am. Made it to the airport by 5:15 am and waited with A and Bella until I was too antsy to wait a moment more. Went through security (which is now the most intimidating part for me of the whole process now) and then had an hour to kill.

        But really the hour killed me. I bought a few healthy bars and bottles of water and then found my seat, intent never to move again. The sun hadn’t risen yet but I was talking to both my sister and a best friend (a CA-based bff) and they were helping me relax. Until I saw my airplane on the tarmac, just waiting for me. Well, all of us, but I felt it was really just staring at me and only me.

        That was an all-out, balls-to-the-wall trigger for me moment. I saw that plane and felt crippled. Panic set in, my heart rate went through the roof and I started looking around at all the faces and hoping to God Himself they couldn’t see the deathly fear. But also wondering why they weren’t deathly afraid also!

        Long story short, it was A Moment. I recovered only through the help of my sister and bff and a popped Ativan. Then boarded the plane and that was that. Soon as I sat in my seat, 90% of the fear dissipated. Because I knew it was all worth it. To meet the friends I’ve been talking to for literal years and finally have a chance to give them the hugs I’ve so often longed for. Human contact is the tits, folks. Even though I shy away from it and hate being touched 99% of the time, it does mean something when you’re not able to have it whenever you want it.

        Anyway, the flight was long and bumpy as fuck – tons of nasty storms that were unavoidable popped up and it felt like this first flight back was a baptism of sorts. Get over the fears and get over them quickly, because –CLOUDS ARE HERE – so I did.

        The in-flight wifi I purchased took a dump not 15 minutes after I bought it and I was left to stare out the window (which is fine) and pretend I wasn’t actually flying. Crazy, I know. But ya gotta do what needs doing sometimes, to make yourself feel better.

        All in all, I was in the air for approximately 6 hours and when I touched down, that was that. It would only be a few moments (and a quick pee break) before I got to hug two people who mean more to me than they’ll ever really know.

        And then that happened. I ran to her and he snuck up on me (there’s video evidence I hope no one ever sees!) and it was like …I had known them all my life. That’s what it felt like.

        I think that’s what it means when you find your tribe, truly. When you are finally with them and it feels like you were just sharing space and time with them not a week earlier. It’s a funny thing and I want to dissect that in a blog one of these days, because it’s happened four times in my life now, all in the span of three years.

        It’s kismet and I’ll fight to the very end against anyone who tries to convince me otherwise.

        Anyway, this isn’t even the full day one, but if I dare write anymore, I suppose I’ll lose some of you along the way.

        So I’ll continue this in Part II of the series that will be posted in a few days soon but I’ll leave you with some photos for now.

        CA is gorgeous, but my friends are even more so.


        If you would fancy a looksee at some of the photographic adventures from CA (primarily day 1!), you can visit HERE! They’re also for sale, so if there’s anything you need to have on your walls, don’t hesitate! 😉

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