I drove up to Vegas a couple days before the rest of the bachelorette party to explore, and I've been surprised to learn how ridiculously beautiful it is just outside the city. I've been staying at Red Rock campground, where a lot of climbers camp, and basically everyone looks like they stepped out of an REI ad. Every campground I've been to seems to have a general 'type' that stays there, most being retired Canadians in huge RVs, but this has been one of my favorites so far. I've spent the last couple days sleeping in, making a big breakfast, reading in my hammock, biking to the springs nearby, and practicing yoga in town, which is only 10 minutes away.
This morning, I met my next door 'neighbor', Sam, who left his lucrative job at Intel to travel around the country in his sprinter van. There's a culture of van-dwellers that's become really popular in the last few years, and if you don't know what I'm talking about, just search #vanlife on Instagram.
We got to talking about how undervalued happiness is for some reason and how, for a country filled with people who value independence, the same people value working for corporations that have little to do with finding your own way. He told me about how negatively his coworkers had reacted to what he was doing when he returned home after being gone for a while. I told him that I thought it as strange that they would even care, given that they're not his family or friends, and because what he's doing isn't hurting anyone.
I personally haven't heard too much negativity towards my own adventure, likely because the people I keep close are crazy like me, so if there's any disapproval out there, I'm not hearing it. The only time it's been questioned at all is by family or friends who worry that I'm being reckless or unsafe, which I know comes from a good place, and they seem to be satisfied after I assure them a million times that I'm being super careful about safety. We agreed that if people are upset about something that has little to do with their life, maybe it actually does affect them because it goes against their belief that there's no other way than the way they're going, even if it makes them unhappy. Sam told me that he took a picture of himself on his last day of work to document how unhealthy and stressed out he looked and how he barely recognizes himself now, and I told him how I'd encountered a similar thing. A few people have made comments on how happy I seem, and they can't believe there was a time when I was known for having an RBF.
I also met my other next door 'neighbor', Alex, who invited me and Sam to join his group for a fire tonight. I told him I was sorry I couldn't make it, but also that I'm excited because the first of Dom's friends is getting into town. I've only met Amanda once before, when we went wine tasting for Dom's birthday, but she's one of those people who becomes your friend as soon as you meet them, because she's so genuinely nice. When I asked her where she's staying tonight, she told me her boyfriend said you can get a really good deal on a room if you wait until the last minute, so she's going to look for something after she lands. I can already tell we're cut from the same cloth.