This year, as part of the sex ed conference, they offered a bus trip to Rockefeller Center. I signed up thinking that would be a great way to spend a night out of the hotel and utilizing the closeness to the city.
The bus trip was $50. And I started thinking. Did I want to pay $50 just for a ride to the city? I mean, the hotel has a free shuttle to the train station and the train trip is a quick $4 ride to Penn Station. But then I thought, well...this is an opportunity to hang out with other people from the conference and not have to worry about public transportation. That's what people were telling me..it was a price for togetherness and convenience.
I went downstairs after calling my sister for council--to spend $50 for togetherness and convenience or not... I got on the bus, thinking I'd just take a deep breath and enjoy not having to think about much and gather the energy from the other travelers.
But everyone on the bus seemed to know each other. People returned my smile when I got on, but nobody said anything to me. I took a seat near the back. More people boarded and seemed to know others... And then a woman came towards the back and said "Is this where the wine is?" Everyone laughed... and then I thought... $50 bucks. Everyone knows each other. The bus wouldn't return until 10:00 pm. What was I going to do in Manhattan by myself for five hours.... I got short of breath.. Grabbed the seat and decided not to panic...Then I got up. "Sorry. Sorry" I said as I got off the bus. And asked for my money back.
I took the free shuttle to the train station and bought an $8 round trip to New York. I have lived in London, D.C. and Eastern Europe. Public transportation doesn't elude me. I didn't need to spend $50 for convenience. The train ride was nothing and I loved just walking around the city by myself. I ate dinner while I walked, bought from a street vendor. I felt comfortable navigating my own way to Rockefeller center and not one, but TWO people asked me for directions.
Yep. I had a little social anxiety freak out on the bus..but I had a lovely night in New York City. Just me.
Oh..and Mickey and Minnie.