In early October, a woman based in San Diego as a travel and hospitality specialist reached out to me asking if I’d be interested in escaping the Minnesota cold for a few days to work with and meet her. Excited and flattered, my first reaction was to respond immediately and accept the offer, but it’s the Internet- there are fraudulent people and horror stories in the realms of interacting with strangers online, so I did my research. After scouring the Internet and confirming that both the woman and her offer were legitimate, I enthusiastically agreed. After a few emails back and forth, she explained to me that she discovered WhittyJ.Com through a blogging forum, and that after realizing I came from a hospitality background with InterContinental Hotels Group, she thought I’d make the perfect candidate to travel to San Diego, write reviews, and submit an article piece to be published on her Travel Agency website. Now if you know me at all, you know that this opportunity couldn’t have been any more perfect. To travel, to write, to share, to collaborate… That’s my dream. That’s my passion. So with no hesitation at all, I packed my bags, hopped on the plane, and found myself leaving behind the Minneapolis snow and trading it in for some San Diego sun- all expenses paid.
When I arrived in San Diego, I called Kathryn (the woman I had been corresponding with) to confirm our lunch plans for that day. My call went directly to voicemail, which was odd, but she contacted me the following day explaining that there was a family emergency that required her to be In San Francisco. Unsure what to do now that my itinerary was no longer something I was required to stick to, I decided to venture off and explore as much of San Diego as I could while I was there. This ended up being one of the most wonderful blessings in terms of travel mishaps. No longer having a local companion to direct me on where to go and what to see, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel on the fly- No outline for my days, no deadlines to meet, and no expectations. I made new friends, went to the ocean, got up close and personal with seals, discovered the gold that is San Diego micro breweries, and fell in love with every new place I went to. It was an unbelievably lovely trip. Although it certainly did not go as planned, I discovered the beauty in traveling solo and gained confidence in doing so again. That in itself made it one of my most memorable trips yet.
San Diego was certainly the first of many more solo adventures, and I can’t imagine a better place to start. This city is, by far, my favorite city aside from Minneapolis. The weather is perfect year round, the views are spectacular, and the food is unbelievable. Luckily enough for me, I get to head back soon to do what I originally went down there to do- Write.
Anyway, I just wanted to post this because I feel ridiculously lucky to have been given this experience, and I genuinely recommend that anyone with the means to do so heads to San Diego at least once in their lifetime. It’s sincerely a spectacular place to visit. I hope you enjoy the photos I took along the way, and be sure to keep an eye out for posts in the near future on my favorite bits of this trip!