I'm going to Vegas...

I’m going to Vegas on June 8th for EDC.  I was there last year and it was a lot of fun.  This year, I’m even meeting a few friends from high school that I haven’t seen in forever.  I’m pretty excited to catch up and party with them.

This is actually an anomaly.  I don’t usually travel for events like this.  I hate being on a plane, but concede that it is the best way to travel long distances.  I’m not much of a sight seer, and I hate tourism, crowded areas, and tourist attractions.  However, I find myself traveling a lot, specially to the East coast.  

So why do I travel then?  For me, it’s a very simple motivator:  To see people that I otherwise would not be able to see.  The dispersion of college and high school has helped me accumulate friends in many different places.  Unfortunately, I’m not that good in staying in touch by other means, such as email, Facebook, texts, and the like.  Thus, I opt for the more extreme approach, seeing them in person whenever I can.  From my lens, the sole purpose of going on a trip is to see one or more people and spend as much time as possible with them.  

One thing that I have noticed quite often is people’s desire to want to meet up at different locations.  Usually I’ll be casually talking about my future planned trips when people will chime in saying that our itineraries intersect, and that we should venture forth together into the night sky of a new city conquered by our ridiculosity.  

As much fun as the proposal sounds, I almost always reject the new venture.  What surprises me the most though is how hurt people seem to be by my rejection.  Almost as if it was a personal attack of me not enjoying their company even though I’m in the middle of doing just that.  Once I’m aware of how hurt people get, I find myself having to explain my motivations for travelling, and how I’d rather spend my limited time seeing the people that I don’t usually get to see.  Though my explanation helps provide reasoning behind my rejection, I can’t really do much about their disappointment.  

I understand where they’re coming from though.  Enjoying experiences with others in new locations is a great and easy way to cement relationships.  It puts you in a position where it’s “us against the world” which is hard not to bond over.  

So what is the best outcome in this situation?  I don’t want to lose the opportunity to create tighter bonds with the people I interact with daily, but I also would like to spend as much time as possible with the friends that I long to see. 

I’ve recently been thinking of trying a hybrid approach, were you perhaps join social groups and give a try at hanging out together.  My past attempts at this have failed as one side of the group quickly indulges in past nostalgia, neglecting the outsider and making him/her feel uncomfortable as they don’t know what people are talking about and also can’t contribute to the conversation.  

My hopeful solution for now is to simply be more attentive of the situation and try to make sure everyone is engaged and can contribute.  However, there’s still a lot that I need to learn about juggling these two sides.  What is the best outcome when combining these two situations?  Is everyone actually benefiting from this compromise?  Or am I merely cheating both sides from their respective time?

Written on May 28, 2012