Returning home usually means I'm in recovery mode. And when I mean recovery mode, I....would be wiped out from all the adventures outside the parameters of my country, needless to say. I'll be a complete hermit, going home straight from work as I stay in, watch Netflix with a mud mask, and scope out the next flight deals for my future trip. Sure, I have friends, and I do live in a great city to explore, but my wanderlust would haunt me saying," No, girl. Save money and stay home." I was conditioned to believe that stepping on a plane would be my saving grace, because that's the only time I would ever consider having any fun.
As much as I hate to admit, I don't know much about Austin, TX prior to this month. The fact that it was two hours away from where I lived still wasn't enough to intrigue me in seeing the capital city. Although I had many childhood friends residing there, I never felt like I had an opportunity to visit. Yet, Austin undoubtedly has so much to offer in the Lone Star State. The city is known for being weird with it's young, free-spirited population, interesting history, innovative businesses, and unique nightlife. Yet, my life has been revolved around the prospect of finding another tropical island to swim in, so taking a drive to Austin was long overdue. However, when I was able to have one free day to travel to Austin with a friend, I thought, "Well, when will I ever get the opportunity to visit again?" So, my one day getaway to Austin began.
I wouldn't say this trip was "picture perfect" since the "April" (more like March) showers came early this year as my friend and I traveled to Austin. However, catching up with my friend and chatting about life made the time go by. Despite the early hour, we ended up meeting a group of friends to explore around the city. With all the questions I asked about Austin, they all assured me, "Just you wait and see- Austin's a mini LA" as we hiked up a steady mountain.
I easily saw the resemblance of Los Angeles when I reached up top and peered down the hills, fancy houses, and winding roads. Sure there was no Hollywood Sign or LACMA lights around, but it was a view that deeply comforted me. It made me realize how small trips can also be equally satisfying to travels abroad. Because I was blown away with the magnificent hills and landscapes around Austin, the entire morning was spent enjoying the city as a tourist. Then, I spent my time as a social media creative during the evening at SXSW! My group of friends and I took lots of photos capturing Austin as we attended some of the major networking events in SXSW and were able to listen to profound panels. SXSW was an experience that flowed from one memory to the next, and I was enjoying the time spent in each passing adventure. Although the day was brief, I walked everywhere in 6th St, laughed in the rain, met friendly strangers who later became newfound friends, and enjoyed the fresh, innovative energy of Austin.
Aside from my hometown, Austin was the most welcoming city I ever came across in Texas. The vibe of the city and festival goers were filled with elation, and it's a feeling that you can't resist embracing! The combination of attending the first weekend of SXSW, exploring Austin, and accepting the fact that I was completely soaked in the rain made the experience one-of-a-kind; and in that moment, I didn't care about picture perfect weather. I liked everything about the day, in a weird way. So thanks for the fun, Austin. I got no rain in my parade. Until next time- Ressa