I headed out to my mom's Saturday to try to use my Baofeng UV-5R to make my first contact, but no luck. I even connected to some local repeaters but nothing. Not sure if it was because no one was on or because my signal wasn't strong enough from out in the middle of nowhere. I brought this up in a Discord chat with other ham radio operators, and they recommended I register with EchoLink. EchoLink is a service that uses digital signal for ham radio communication. One of the Elmers in the chat, Rob [M0JEO], walked me through the registration and connection process, and he was my first contact, all the way out in England.
I'm still trying to connect using my Baofeng, but in the meantime I'm also loving EchoLink. If you have an interest in ham radio or have your license, I highly recommend checking it out.