I’m not a huge risk taker; well, at least, not in the sense that others may be. For me, taking a risk means doing something no one believes you would ever do. For me, that is travelling solo to New York, by train.
I was determined to see this exhibit I’d heard of. I was on Facebook one day, late in the summer, when I spotted an ad about something called Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition. So I was curious and excited…a whole exhibition devoted to a television show I’ve been watching since I wasn’t old enough to? Props, costumes, sets, the opportunity to walk among history and take in all the sites and sounds of a show where you just never know what is going to happen, you know, being live and all?
Shutup and take my money!
So I did a little research, and not surprisingly, it is in New York. So that’s where the first problem lies – the only way I’d get there is by mass transit, so naturally, I’d take the train. Sounds great and uncomplicated, right? Um, no, it’s quite complicated. Taking the train would mean having to change trains at one point, as trains in the southern tier of New Jersey don’t run directly to New York City. So, being the researcher I am, I investigated this further, and my searching turned up a roundabout route (albeit, the safest route): switch trains at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia (yes, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) and take Amtrak from there directly into New York’s Penn Station, one hour and change from 30th Street Station. Doesn’t sound insurmountable by any standard, right? Oh, it does? Because I didn’t think so. My dad, on the other hand, felt that way, but since I’ve done some solo travelling in the past, and I’m in my thirties, he could express dissent, but he couldn’t stop me from going.
Not when Saturday Night Live history is the target of my fascination.
Ok, so I know it seemed risky to travel to New York, and then walk around there by myself, but I wanted to do it, and if the travelling I have done has taught me anything, it’s how to be vigilant. There’s always risk, I reminded myself. There could be someone on the train that wants to cause a problem. But you know what? I don’t care, I’m not going to allow fear and risk to consume me. No, I’m going to go, I’m going to have a great time, and I’m going to return home in one piece.
And you know what? I navigated Penn Station like a pro (finding the exit myself, like I’d done this before), I found my way to my destination, I toured the exhibition, brought a few goodies to take home, treated myself to a dinner worthy of a great day, and yes, I got home in one piece. Yes, there were potential risks to my personal safety, but I didn’t care, and because I didn’t (while being incredibly cautious), it was totally worth the risk.
It was the greatest early 33rd birthday present I could ever have asked for.
The second best? Claiming I sat where Garth Algar sat on Wayne’s World.
Read all about it here!