My day started at five o’clock this morning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
After making sure I was presentable for the world, got my kitty ready for my long absence, and had my sweetheart stop by my place for a quick farewell — I was off!
The drive felt kind of long
After about three hours in the car, I started to feel it. I had been listening to George Orwell’s Animal Farm via audio book, read by a man with a British accent. At hour three I started doing impressions of his voice, replying back to him, and eventually acting as his hype man during some dramatic scenes in the story. Things got a little weird.
Luckily, once I crossed over the border into Minnesota, I started to get my own hype back. At this point, I was excited and tired and excited and ready for the drive to be over with.
(Tried to take a photo of the Welcome to Minnesota sign, but I was driving and that’s dangerous, so imagine there’s a pretty picture of the sign here.)
First Stop: Mall of America
For my first stop, I decided to be touristy and hit the big one: The Mall of America
I knew it was big, but I didn’t know how big. I can’t tell you how many times I got turned around in this place. Between four flours and an amusement park inside, it definitely lives up to its name.
After over five hours in the car and already over 5,000 steps under my belt, I was craving nourishment. So, for lunch, I stopped for an Impossible Burger at Burger Burger and it was delicious! I have recently made the choice to significantly decrease the amount of meat that I consume and the Impossible Burger is an infamous vegetarian option I’ve been wanting to try. After more than half the burger downed, I had to remind myself that it actually wasn’t made of meat. It was that good! Defying the odds.
Of course, I wound up buying a couple of things, shoes and a fleece. When in Rome, right? But, overall I was able to hold my composure and restrain myself from buying a few too many more things. Shopaholic suppressed.
Then onto my little Airbnb
I’m not sure if I can share details about the Airbnb that I’m staying in (for the respect of my hostess), so I’ll be vague. It’s adorable, clean, and my hostess is kind and thoughtful. It is the perfect little getaway for my first solo trip. ❤
Onto more exploring: Midtown Global Market
After visiting New York and also just living in Milwaukee, I have become pretty spoiled when it comes to being exposed to a melting pot of culture. Needless to say, I was not prepared for the awesomeness that is the Midtown Global Market.
Within this indoor market are dozens of stores for goods and groceries and food vendors abound! Since I am from a beer state, I had to give the craft brewery in here a whirl: Eastlake. Being the sour fan that I am, the brew of choice was the Kirby Pucker; a passion fruit, guava sour that will do just that — make you pucker!
As I sipped on my craft beer in a strange new land, I continued to read the odd fiction find that has been keeping me intrigued: Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun by Lois Winston. It’s a quirky mystery novel that keeps you wondering. I haven’t been able to put it down.
My falafel fix
Basically, if you know me, you know I love falafels. I once accidentally ordered 24 of them at one time, because I doubled the selection in the cart due to my sincere determination.
Since I was surrounded by foods ranging from Italian to Mexican to Middle Eastern to East Asian to American, the natural choice was to order ten falafels and a Greek salad to-go. ❤
Back to nature
After spending some time walking around Midtown and being exposed to the quite interesting characters that were on the strip, I decided to go back to the gorgeous park that I had driven through on the way in from the Mall of America.
Lake Nokimis park took my breath away on my drive in. It was the first moment that I realized that I was here to do something beautiful for myself and take my trip for what it is — to relax and enjoy a new place.
Lake Nokimis offers beaches, walking paths, biking paths, and numerous places to sit, read, reflect, and meditate. I took some time to listen to my new favorite podcast (Pursuit with Purpose hosted by Melyssa Griffin) and just relax with myself.
What taking a solo trip actually feels like
My mom asked me why I decided to take a solo trip. My response was that I wanted to find out if I was interesting enough to hang out with on my own.
It’s interesting how we spend so much time trying to bond with others, but never take the time to bond with ourselves. By the end of my trip, I’ll have formed a new connection with myself.
I gotta say, so far so good! I’m not as lame as I think I am. 😛
Your comfort zone is suffocating you
I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone to find methods of transportation, seeking new places to explore, and keeping an eye out for new experiences. And, I am loving it!
I have always had an adventurous spirit, but have never truly embraced being alone. For many years, I’ve always made sure that I was never alone. It wasn’t until I lived in my own apartment that I was able to discover essential parts of myself.
Being alone forces you to recognize things within yourself that you wouldn’t notice if you were being distracted by someone else’s company.
Day 1 is complete
My first day in Minneapolis has been wonderful. I was able to take my first leap into adventure girl status and I am not looking back!
Day 2’s update is going to come with a few surprises and I am looking forward to bringing you along with me for another adventure!
Have you ever been to Minneapolis? Tell me about your favorite places in the area and I will try to make it there!