This post was contributed by Steven Knollmeyer.
As a chaotic Aries, I find peace in operating on rash and unplanned decisions. When I got laid off from what I then thought was my dream job out of college, the same week that my roommate turned 25, we both decided that this was the universe giving us a sign that we needed to wake up at 8 am on a Thursday, down 3 bottles of champagne, jump in a rideshare to the airport, and take the next flight anywhere. So we did just that.
Well, I would be lying if I said there wasn’t some planning – realizing that if we just showed up to the airport we would still need to make some choices that would hinder the spontaneity (choosing an airline, being limited to where they fly, choosing one airport in the NYC area, etc.) so we enlisted the help of one of our other roommates. We handed her my credit card, gave a conservative max budget, and let her run wild on third party travel sites to book any flight she wanted to without telling us anything.
Cut back to that Thursday morning- with the bubbly got us feelin’ all sorts of ways, our roommate handed us a slip of paper with an airport name, flight number, and boarding time. I quickly opened a rideshare app on my phone, we jumped in a car, and off our a$$es went to LaGuardia Airport. We arrived, our sloppy selves schlepped our bags [full of articles of clothing for various seasons since we had no idea the climate we were going to] to the American Airlines self-check-in, entered our booking number [after a few tries- reference back to the ungodly amount of champagne consumed prior] and the screen began to load our fate:
The hot mess Olympics commenced as we unnecessarily made a mad dash to security despite being a healthy 2 hours early, simultaneously curated a Miami playlist consisting exclusively of bad Pitbull songs and “Cool” by the Jonas Brothers, and obviously picked up some essential mini wine bottles from one of the maybe three open vendors in the old LGA terminal. Once arriving at the gate and cracking open those little bottles of breakfast, a new thought that had yet to enter either of our minds hit us: We probably need to find somewhere to sleep tonight. I opened my HotelTonight app, saw the first option was a 4-star beachside hotel in South Beach for only $65/night, immediately booked without looking at any other options, and was later greeted by a knock-off Pitbull doppelgänger at the front desk to check us in.
Despite having traveled around the globe to so many truly incredible international locations, this little Florida weekend ranks high on my list of best trips. I learned that you don’t always need to travel across time zones to have the experiences you crave, you don’t need to carefully plan out every detail of your “trip of a lifetime”, and sometimes not knowing what you’re looking for is exactly what you’re looking for.
If anyone is feeling lost or uncertain about anything in their life, I cannot recommend doing something like this more. Whether it’s getting on a flight or simply pointing to a random spot within driving/walking distance of your home on a map, letting go of the control and allowing yourself to immerse in the adventure chosen for you with no expectations will do more for you than you can imagine.
Meet Steven: Another twenty-something New Yorker that can be found anywhere tacos and bottomless mimosas are served. Keep up with him on IG.