My flight leaves for New York in a little less than 12 hours. This isn't the first time I've flown solo; I've gone to a few weddings in Ontario, but this is my first time flying from Canada into the States, and the first time I've crossed the border in 16 years.
It didn't actually register that I was going until the other day. I don't know if it's just that the world outside the bubble I've existed in for the past three years or so has become an abstraction, but this trip only became real instead of hypothetical when my sisters (who are meeting me there) headed to New York from New Brunswick by car. The process of getting a little bit of American money at the bank was the precise moment I realized "Yes, this is happening".
Not much is mapped out for this trip, aside from the tickets we have for Fun Home. It's also NYC Pride this weekend, which I expect will be particularly celebratory in the wake of today's Supreme Court decision upholding marriage equality across all 50 states. More than anything else, though, I have a feeling the weekend is going to be spent taking in the experience of being in the city.
This is the closest thing I've had to a vacation in almost three years; I'm back in Canada on Monday and back at work the next day, but maybe some spark will come back to me while I'm away. The trouble with living paycheck to paycheck is that it's very difficult to make any long-term plans when your biggest worry is whether you're getting the hours to make rent or whatever bill comes off that week. I do the photography thing as a way to make a little money so I can afford to be social, but it's not a steady source of revenue as of yet.
My family moved a lot when I was a kid so I've seen a fair bit of Canada. I haven't been to Europe, or anywhere in Canada west of Saskatchewan, east of Cape Breton, or north of Hecla Island in Manitoba. I've been to the United States a few times growing up, but mostly to the northern border states. I live vicariously through people's social media accounts, but eyestrain is not a substitute for experience.
I love Halifax. There's a lot I'm able to do here, even if I often feel guilty when I spend money at my favorite local food spots or having a night out with friends. When things get a little less precarious on the employment front, there's still so much here (especially on the cultural and dining fronts) I want to take in, but I hope to be at the point where making long-term plans doesn't seem like quite the luxury. I know so many people that are in the same situation.
For now, though, as I continue to live week to week, I'm sure that next week will be spent processing and sharing my New York experiences.