I love my Jeep. I know that’s not your “typical” nerd thing, but if you’ve never gone off-roading, you should give it a shot. It’s the most exhilarating, heart-pumping, scariest roller coaster ride I’ve ever been on. And you’re going less than five miles per hour. When you’re driving on a trail, there are no tracks. You’re off-camber, and there’s a sheer drop-off on one side of you and a wall of rock on the other side, your knuckles are white, gripping the steering wheel so tight it leaves imprints on your hands, and a nervous sweat forms on your brow. With your butt clenched and your heart in your throat, Six Flags might as well be the Teacups ride at Disneyland. This is real danger. This is a real thrill. You’re in control and it’s terrifying.
On our big, adult trip to the gaming convention, Penny Arcade Expo, also referred to as PAX, I realized something. We were going to Seattle. Seattle! The home of Geocaching Headquarters! Not knowing much about Seattle or where we’d be staying or where HQ even was, I waited until we booked our hotel, then I started looking up directions. Elated, I found out it was a few miles away. A little too far to walk, but we could take a bus. Totally doable.
Then came convincing my husband. He’s not a geocacher. I wouldn’t call him a Muggle, but he doesn’t enjoy it like I do. But we were going all the way to Seattle! How can a geocacher go to Seattle and not visit HQ? After much bothering and poking at the map and saying, “See? It’s not that far! See? See? We can take a bus!” He finally agreed. So I made an appointment and looked up bus routes. We had a plan!
There’s being an adult, and there’s being an Adult. I am here to tell you from experience that turning eighteen does not make you an Adult. At least, it didn’t for me. Turning twenty-one, graduating from college, getting married, buying a house, it still didn’t make me feel like an Adult. Age is just a number. The wedding was planned by my parents, and the house was purchased by my husband, who was at that time my fianceé. It felt like I lived my entire life with someone always there, helping me along, validating my decisions, telling me if my choices were right or wrong.
What made me finally feel like an Adult was the very first time my husband and I took a long trip that was planned by and exclusively paid for by us. Before that, it was always family trips, going here and there with mom and dad or the in-laws. Our honeymoon was even paid for, which was awesome, but there was never any of that anxiety that came from this particular trip.