After The Crown

When Life Gets Overwhelming… Leave.

I stared at my planner. There were so many colors and scribbles squeezed on top of one another, it made me dizzy.

Yes, I am THAT girl who color-codes her planner. And yes, I still use a planner.  You decide which one is more horrifying.

I deciphered my unabomber handwriting. In just a few short days we were back at iHeart Radio Music Festival for the second year. While this time around meant more responsibility, it also meant the foresight of knowing what to expect. So that was nice, but I also knew exactly how exhausted I would be after three straight days of mania.

Brian & Hilary

We would spend all five hours of the festival on the carpet doing interviews and taking notes on the performances. At midnight we’d pack up and go back to the edit bay, load in the footage, then start editing. We had until 6 in the morning to get the final videos in each day. Then we’d sleep for a few hours, rinse, and repeat.

It was going to be a BLAST. But it was definitely a marathon.

I looked at the festival events that followed. Not two weeks later we had the three-day Route 91 Harvest Country Festival. The weekend after was Wine Amplified. Then came Life is Beautiful, closely followed by the Soul Train Awards.

Jason DeRulo

That took us to Thanksgiving. And suddenly I was nauseous.

It’s not that I don’t love what I do, but music festival season can be overwhelming (especially when I make the mistake of looking at it in my compulsory color-coordinated calendar. And GOD FORBID I incorrectly color something). I sighed.

I flipped back to October and stared at the 27th: my birthday.

Every year I say I’m going to do something crazy out of the country and celebrate in style. You know, go skydiving in New Zealand or cave diving in Brazil. But every year something comes up… Typically Broke Girl Syndrome kicks in so I stay at home.

But screw it. Who needs security when your mind needs possibilities and magic? I mean, isn’t that the point of life? To experience and savor? Or have I read too many Elizabeth Gilbert novels?

Hilary with Compass copy

I mean, I’ve experienced TONS of stuff, and I’m so grateful. But I think I’ve grown a little jaded by Vegas in recent months. It feels like it’s time to go somewhere new, somewhere totally foreign to me… And most importantly, somewhere within budget.

I thought back to the numerous conversations I’ve had throughout the year of places I’ve wanted to travel. I thought back on the number of invites I’ve received to visit different places. One locale kept coming up. It was a place that filled me with mystery and fear, for many reasons. But the thought of it made me smile. And with the involuntary action came a decision.

While it wasn’t an international escapade, it would be a maiden voyage. And with all that I’ve been doing lately with music coverage, songwriting, and singing, it just made sense.

I will be celebrating my birthday in Nashville.

Now… WTF do you DO in Nashville?

15 Comments

  • Reply

    Gene

    September 17, 2014

    First, We really need to see this planner. I bet it’s jam packed with multi colored doodles on top of the to do list.

    Congrats of carving some time out for yourself. You deserve it! So what to do in Nashville? Let’s get the basics out of the way: Opryland Hotel! You’ll love it. It has beautiful gardens inside as well as a stream with floating gondolas (will kinda feel like home.) Have some real BBQ at Martin’s BQ joint. Let’s see if #thisgirlcaneat (Also try the sweet tea. You’ll probably need an insulin shot afterwards for all the sugar, but when in Rome…) Shop at Antique Archaeology – See What the “American Pickers” found and have for sale there. Check out the instrument stores. I bet you’ll love the guitars for sale in Music City. Walk the Music Mile! Enjoy the fall colors at Centennial Park and Gardens.

    Most of all… Enjoy your Birthday!!!!!!!!

  • Reply

    Jess

    September 18, 2014

    I lived in Nashville for a little while, and I think you’ll love it! It is a beautiful city, with plenty to do and see. I second Gene’s vote for the Opryland hotel, and if you want to take a break from the city for a little bit, Mt, Juliet has some beautiful scenery. There is a state park called Cedars of Lebanon that is just gorgeous.

    Have a great time, and happy birthday!

    • Reply

      Hilary

      October 18, 2014

      Thank you so much for the recommendations, Jess! I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish on this list! So grateful for your willingness to recommend. :)

      What was your favorite thing about Nashville?

  • Reply

    Libby Adams

    September 22, 2014

    Hilary, just do what your internal feelings are telling you to do. Every place we go to in this world has something to offer us. You just need to find what Nashville has to offer you. Happy birthday Hilary and many more to come.

    • Reply

      Hilary

      October 18, 2014

      Thank you, Libby. I feel like every time I travel new doors open. I can’t wait to see what lies behind the Nashville gateway.

      And thank you for the early birthday wishes! So much love to you!

  • Reply

    Gry Ranfelt

    September 22, 2014

    In a chemical lab there are safety rules that dictate that if you drop a dangerous chemical on the floor you back away slowly, close the door and wait a while until most of it has evaporated. Otherwise serious emergencies may ensue.
    This reminds me of that, haha.
    Sometimes we just have to back away and let things run their course lest we blow something up.
    Do say if you ever come to Denmark – though I think it may be just as confusing on the “what to do” as Nashville ;)

    • Reply

      Hilary

      October 18, 2014

      Haha! I like your analogy. I wouldn’t say my environment is toxic, per se, as I really love my job and what I do. But maybe without a little rest, this scientist won’t be handling her chemicals with the utmost care. And we can’t be having that ;).

      And indeed! Blowing things up would not be ideal…

      And yes! Of course I will. I’ve always wanted to come visit. How are things in your neck of the woods?

  • Reply

    Brittany

    September 25, 2014

    How about Jamaica?! I know some travel agents that can hook u up and its super exotic!

    • Reply

      Hilary

      October 18, 2014

      Uh, was that a REAL question? Of course I’d love to go to Jamaica! Whoohoo exotic trips! Thanks for always looking out, friend. :)

  • Reply

    Troy S

    September 28, 2014

    Oooooh. I always wanted to go to Nashville. I dunno why or what for. Just seems like the thing to do

    • Reply

      Hilary

      October 18, 2014

      I think everyone must go once. But I feel that way about everywhere, so I’m probably not the person to validate this.

      What are you most interested in doing in Nash?

  • Reply

    Traveling Mo

    October 1, 2014

    I too keep a planner!!! And I really want to go to Nashville! Have an amazing time!

    • Reply

      Hilary

      October 18, 2014

      Whoohoo planner pals! So glad I’m not the only one. :)

      Thank you! I will be sure to let you know how it goes! Where else in the US haven’t you been yet that you’d like to travel? How are things in your world?

  • Reply

    Erica

    October 17, 2014

    Happy early birthday! Hope you have a great time & get some R&R in Nashville!

    Also, LOVE planners. I just got one for next year and am already happily populating the address pages, etc :)

    • Reply

      Hilary

      October 18, 2014

      Thank you, Erica!

      I hope I get it, too. :)

      And hurray for planners! I just started looking at ones for next year. Let the geeks unite!

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About Me

About Me

Hey fellow adventurers, my name is Hilary! After being rejected from grad school, I took off on a solo journey around the world. Now I constantly challenge myself to take on new experiences. This blog documents my journeys from Europe to Fiji, swimming with sharks and living with tribes, to becoming an accidental beauty queen and working for one of the top national media outlets. If you like what you're reading, please subscribe! Here's to the next great adventure!

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