Austin and the Year Ahead

It's funny. After spending the past 2.5 years almost constantly traveling, I was convinced that by the time my funemployment rolled around, I would be ready and willing to throw my suitcase into storage and say goodbye to boarding passes, at least temporarily. 

This has not been the case. I've continued to travel almost every month, logging Santa Barbara in October, New York in November, and during a quick trip to SF in December, I allowed myself to be (easily) convinced to take a semi-spontaneous trip to Austin with Ramsey right after the New Year. 

Our goals for the trip were simple: eat at Franklin's and be sluts. Being slutty has never been my forte, but eating difficult-to-obtain-food is one of my shining talents. We easily got Franklin's out of the way on the first morning of our trip, waiting only a comfortable 2.5 hours before being rewarded with 1.5 lbs of the best barbecue I've ever had. 

The rest of our time in Austin is a blur of freezing temperatures, breakfast tacos, shots, and dancing from one ratchet hip-hop bar to the next. Considering how we arrived in Austin with no plans except barbecue, the trip was a blast and gave us the opportunity to connect with old friends and get our fill of some of the best food Austin has to offer. 

Now this is a little bit of a digression, but bear with me: New Year's is one of my favorite holidays. It represents a kind of collective optimism and determination for the year ahead, and one of my favorite parts of NYE is getting fucked up with the people I love and counting down to the new year with a room full of strangers, everyone sharing in this energy and hopefulness that the coming year will be better than the last.

Every year, I've had at least a vague idea of what the year ahead had in store - whether school or continuing the job grind or traveling, etc. But this is the first year in a while where I really have no expectations or ideas of what comes next. I have no plans. This trip was one of my first spontaneous decisions for the year, and perhaps a harbinger of more spontaneous decisions to come. I'm learning how to live a little more spontaneously, a little less controlled, and if the success of this trip is any indication, I'm sure the rest of the year will have more positive surprises in store. 

Below are some pictures I took during the trip (killing two New Year's resolutions with one stone, what what).