My travels continued across the lower States. I wanted to visit Austin, Texas, to visit friends that I had made when I was on the Big Island, HI. Yet, any stops before arriving there were going to be spontaneous, as the respite at the cabin along the river was in Louisiana. I was beginning to gain the confidence of traveling alone, and my sense of free-spirit was starting to surface more consistently - meaning my fears were starting to subside, consistently. I was meeting people along the way who were not only friendly, but supportive as well, even though nothing really required much support yet. There was a sense that we are all connected, even though our experiences, food, music, etc., were different.
After visiting New Orleans, I crossed into Texas early one evening. I ran straight into the Ego of the state. I am not one to function with stereotypes and usually stay clear of them because I think it is unfair to have such generalizations - we are all individuals and I like to honor that. Yet, at the Information Center at the border... BAM...it was there. Wow...they're not kidding. It wasn't that they weren't nice, but they weren't as nice or as helpful as the other states had been. It was subtle yet not. I felt as though I walked into another dimension where Texas was another country, with such different rules. Attitude, the underlying tone that draped each answer. Good grief. After a few experiences, I started to agree with the miscellaneous comments that were made about our president being a Texan...but I guess I should keep politics out of this. For me, there is a difference of being proud of where you live and come from, compared to a 'better than' belief about where you are and come from.
That being said, I headed for the coast. I ended up in Galveston, at a State Park where I camped on the beach. I spent the warm day setting up my camp, soaking up the sunshine and was in joy to be near the beach again. I was one of few tent campers, RVs monopolizing the camp sites...later, I found out why this was so - at night it got so unexpectedly cold. Shivering all night was so not enjoyable. Yet, I stayed. It was a clean campground, affordable, easy access to the beach where I spent my days and I was not ready to head inland to Austin.
While exploring, meeting others and sharing my story I met many who were in awe of my travels, yet almost all of them provided me with well-intended remarks of caution about traveling alone. Wanting to keep my own fears at bay, I had to turn away from the negativity. I truly believe that whatever we focus on comes to us, so I didn't want to focus on the negative possibilities nor even hear about it.
All was going well until I met a neighboring camper...