- Travel Location; Country, etc.
- Overall Review of the Trip and Travel Agency;
- Overall Review of Attractions, Accommodations, and, Restaurants;
- Most Enjoyable and/or Memorable Moments;
- If Trip were Taken Again, What Would I Do Differently;
San Diego County, California, United States of America (“SoCal”)
Overall Review of the Trip and Travel Agency:
No travel agency. No Bookings. No AirBnB. Not even Couchsurfing. No Uber, no Lyft, and, except for those really risky situations, no thumb extended into the road.
I set across the southwest from El Paso, TX not only as a miniature vacation for myself, because everything is a dumpster fire in the United States, but also as a touch upon doing whatever I could manage to do as a broke, single, lone, white trans female Millennial under 25. Because while the entirety of the United States is, more or less, a hot steaming pile of Buffalo Patties at this current moment in history, there are people who have suffered great distances, losses, and disappointments, especially upon arriving here, in order to escape, possibly, somehow, worse conditions. And here I was thinking I would just travel and self-educate while finding temporary work along the way in order to maintain a consistent digitally nomadic lifestyle that attempts to seek out news and other ways to add positive realism to the environment of information today which is widely propaganda alone. How privileged!
If I were a vacationing me, vacationing through the southwest using this vacation service ran by me on vacation, well, it wouldn’t be much of a vacation at all. Typically, someone or some organization that plans vacations for vacationers, would plan, well, I don’t know, vacation stuff. Things such as the vacation’s attractions, the vacation’s accommodations, and the vacation’s restaurants are usually planned out well in advance of said, multiple times, vacation.
While, yes, I did find myself some attractions along the way, and many photo opportunities with birds and beautiful flowers, these were completely unplanned. In fact, to be clear, nothing was planned at all. The only thing that was planned, was practice, self-discipline, and that p-word, that means you don’t give up, and instead of being honest with yourself about the magnitude of the undertaking, you risk your own undertaking to be that s-word.
Oh yeah, persistence. And, stubborn. Or if you prefer: Pointless, and, Stupid.
But hey, if I were a vacation planning organization in and of myself, while also on vacation, without overhead, or the funds to cover any head-over-water situations, to be fair, I didn’t do too badly by selecting myself as my vacation planner for my vacation. Because as I said, I’m more broke than the political system of the United States of America.
So that in mind: Great job! Would… not select this vacation planning organization, which is just me, under it’s current management, which is just me, or it’s current management style, which is just me. And if you know me, you know, I don’t have style. Also, if you disagree with that last sentence, thank you, I love you, please shower me in similar or further endearing compliments, I like that, it makes me feel warm — oh wait, that’s the desert, anyway — that’s great, please comment that compliment in a complementary comment below these comments. Thanks!
So yeah, great job, me. I set out to do a thing, and you know what? I did it! And I didn’t die!
Desert. Highways. Junkies. Animals. Mother nature. And random acts of fear, loathing, and violence. All of these things, and I didn’t get fleas, mosquito bites, amoebas, leeches, lions, tigers, bears, gila monsters, rattlesnakes, scorpions, or jackalopes. Coincidentally, I also didn’t get sick, I didn’t run out of my oral hormone replacement medication, and I didn’t think about suicide, much.
I’m still alive. Unharmed. Not attacked. Not assaulted. And aside from a few shitty white bros driving by, wasn’t even harassed. Wow! Am I lucky? Have I really been blessed by God? Is there some relative, deceased, and just bored enough to watch out for my dumb ass? No.
The truth is, this shows more that I’m privileged. Privileged enough to feel some sort of comfort in this racist nation, and yes it is, don’t fight me on this, we’re still dealing with our own original sin of slavery while the world grapples with the nationalist, separatist, and altogether common issue of identity and its politics. And privileged enough to pass through a country that straight up attacks and murders people of color, because I’m pretty freaking white for a half-Puerto Rican with blue eyes, and yeah, English is my first language.
So as far as vacation planners go, I did pretty well, vacationing through my vacation service which was just me on vacation. Because while most of the accommodations were national parks and few and far between friends’ pads, and restaurants were grocery store produce departments, McDonald’s’s, Taco Bells, Circle K’s, and the rare, and most definitely unplanned, vegan restaurants, and, attractions were just “oooo pretty flower,” I did pretty well with myself as a vacation planning service for myself. And here’s why:
I’m fairly attractive, or so I’ve been told, even by normative standards, let alone the standards my trans community struggles to uphold for itself as a way to respect everyone in their transition in a country, and maybe frankly, world, that does not make it at all easy to live as a transgender individual. So that helped a lot in just passing under the radar. Pun intended.
Not only that, but because we value and make so many assumptions about attractive people, there was rarely a doubt or concern from anyone that I had met. Not about safety, besides being assaulted, or attacked by animals, but rarely ever a blink of an eye at financial needs, friendship, or anything like that.
To be honest, safety and basic needs aside, I was asked far more often about my sexuality and presumed need for companionship. Presumed, because I’ve always felt quite alone, and the open road, was actually a really welcome distraction from my anxiety, depression, and fears of being alone forever. Yeah, I’m totally okay with being alone by choice, than being randomly alone. Not too different from how Americans would rather risk their lives for some, even banal, reason, rather than die randomly without cause.
TL;DR: I did well in selecting myself for the services created by myself in order to be provided to myself. I would rate myself, a solid, and totally fair, 9.9/10. I would not recommend these services at this time, but as the service provider also suggest paying me a large lump some before hand, and deny my own non-recommendation as I recommend that everyone try my services at an exorbitant and astronomically ridiculous cost.
Overall Review of Trip’s Attractions, Accommodations, and, Restaurants
Attractions of note here include: the ocean, Mt. Soledad, flowers, hummingbirds, roadrunners, Saguaros, and many many sunsets. Oh, and the Border. The Border multiple times. That was… awful and depressing, but mostly boring. It’s… for the edginess: a Wall. Boring. 2/10
Accommodations, such as my sleeping bag, which I only purchased while passing through Tucson, trees and large bushes, as well as beautiful sandy beaches and breezy deserts under the starry Arizona skies, were undoubtedly remarkable. In fact, this was probably the most beautiful part of the entire experience, in addition to seeing firsthand the decency of strangers. Not to be confused with those moments when I saw the indecency of strangers. It would be offensive to pigs to call these people pigs… 8/10
Restaurants… Did I not cover this embarassing fact enough already? I’m vegan, so maybe I wasn’t clear. I ate coffee, coffee, and more coffee, when I got to California. I stopped at a couple places that were more than accommodating such as Craft Burrito Co. in Del Mar, CA, and the Daily Jam. I recommend both.
However, if you’re vegan and broke, but still can somehow manage to spend greater than or equal to $5 a day on a small meal in between fasts, I do not recommend McDonald’s, but… wait for it, Taco Bell. Their order kiosks are easy to use and the prices stay about the same everywhere, so you can always order that bomb ass burrito with black beans, rice, and veggies for under $2. Stop at grocery stores and buy emergency Larabars for under $5, at most notably, Walmarts, and on the third day, buy a gallon of water. Fast your ass off, lose over 20 lbs like I did, and wow, a vacation that you get a tan and toned body from. Fantastic!
Now if you’re a coffee fiend, you’r in luck! Most local cafes have free refills, because they rule. However, McDonald’s also does this. Starbucks on the other hand, where you would pay about $2.75 for a large, or venti, coffee, charges $0.50 per refill. Great WiFi tho!
Finally, if you’re just too broke to afford food and too American to stand fasting, or, morals, but have a phone that lacks only the data well here’s a pro-tip: Find a Food Pantry or Food Bank! Can’t find one? Well, you, with the lack of ethical fortitude to simply fast instead, are in luck. Hospitals stand by a “do no harm” Hippocratic Oath, and most acknowledge that if you look homeless, calling the cops on you for “borrowing” food from the cafeteria would do more harm than good. So yeah, why volunteer on a farm and learn valuable skills in exchange for food, when you could just grift it.
Above that shit? Even better! Subway always has that bread and rarely ruins it with broiler grease like Burger King, and from my observations, you know, just passing by, they look to often keep their dumpsters unlocked. So check that out. Good luck being your own vacation planning service, although I recommend just using my own choice service: my own service… once it’s in service. 4/10
Most Enjoyable and/or Memorable Moments
While I met a lot of incredible people, sometimes literally incredible, the most memorable and enjoyable moments of my trip were those I managed to capture in photographs, seen above. As for the memorable, well, those were rocked by the people I met along the way. To respect them, I’ll leave this section at that; check out the above photo gallery.
If I were to take this trip again, this is what I would have done differently, and why:
If I were to take this trip again, I would get a few friends together and go by vehicle, either car, RV, or bus. I would certainly still choose to sleep outside under the stars, but once in a while use Bookings.com and share a room with my friends. Then we would probably follow the Pacific Coast Highway 101 all the way up the coast, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and then cut into the state towards Weed and up to Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, being sure to hit every trail along the way.