To-Do lists run my life. I make daily ones, weekly ones and carry around a few that go a little longer than that. At the end of my current to do list is another fundraising drive. To be honest, this has been on quite a few lists for the past couple of months. This apprenticeship I’m going on is going to cost about 9 or 10 thousand dollars when all is said and done. It is not unreasonable since that will cover room and board and travel and class and a whole host of other things. I’m sure it will be worth every penny and then some.
However, my plan to pay for it all myself didn’t work out despite working two full time jobs and living very poorly for a few months in advance of this. So I have to humble myself and reach out for assistance. I have had conversations with a number of people who have said that they would love to help when time gets closer. Well ladies and gents, the time is now. My program starts in two weeks. I’m staying with a friend in West VA while I wait for my visa to come through. Since I won’t be in Florida anymore, the only way to donate now is online (unless you plan on being in NYC or DC in the next week and a half).
Please follow the link below and make a donation. Your donation, no matter big or small, is needed and appreciated.
I am all set (knock on wood) for my trip to TN this weekend travel wise. I still have no idea what I’m going to get my brother and soon-to-be-sister-in-law. I really wanted to give them the gift of travel. When I was in community college, a very wise professor, Dr. Earl Paul, told me that a person just needs one good trip to get the travel bug. But once they have it, they will want to explore for life. I want to share that with them.
But, my problem is money. I was going to use a combination of work points and Skymiles to get them two domestic tickets. But to do that, I would have had to forsake my Washington DC trip all together. Seeing as I am going on this trip with a very dear friend who has had her past few vacations cancelled by her would-be travel companions, I decided not to.
Since they are moving into a brand new house this week, I’m going to be practical and get them things from Target or JCPenny (because I have a credit card with them that has a zero balance right now).
Speaking of DC, I have all the Skymiles I need for that trip now and all the points I need for the hotel. Free airfare and free hotel – those are the two biggest costs of traveling! holla!
So after the disappointment of renting a car (see last post), I started looking into other ways of getting to TN. My Aunt Leslie lives in Jacksonville and is driving up so I decided to take the Amtrak to JAX and hitch a ride with her. I’m pretty excited about my first American train trip. I’ll be sure to let you all know about it.
I’ve also decided that I’m going to use my Best Western rewards points to buy enough Delta Skymiles to fly up to DC in February. I hope I can get first class even. The DC trip overall is coming together nicely. I’ve got a private tour of the Capital lined up with my congressman’s staff and we have submitted our request for a White House tour (we won’t find out until two weeks before).
I’m driving up to Gatlinburg, TN next month for my older brother’s wedding. I’m very excited because he is the first sibling to get married and he asked me to be his best man! But I’ve run into a problem. I don’t own a car. It is a combination of me being too poor to afford one, my liberal side that doesn’t want to pollute or rely on oil, and the side of me that wants to be healthy by biking everywhere. End result is I have to rent a car for the trip. I’m planning on using points at work for a few free day passes. I called to make sure everything was going to work out. Then, just before hanging up, I asked the question I knew I didn’t want to: Do you have an extra charge for someone who is only 24. Yep, 27 dollars. A day. So, I’m not sure if I’m going to rent a car or what.
Do you ever come across rules that you think are bogus when you travel?
So I was reading a blog called The Art of NonConformity (and you should be too!) and got an idea from someone’s comment on a post.
But first some background: I got a couple of speeding tickets last month, I’m trying to move out (read: down payments, plus first month rent) and I’m still trying to pay off my last credit card (and, again, you should be too!). But I work at a hotel that is small and pays me less than the industry average (boo!). Soooo, money is pretty tight.
Here is the idea: I have some life experience. I’ve done a decent amount of travel, met a decent amount of people, and done a decent amount of stuff. So why not sit down and talk with people about anything and everything!? All I need is a sign Let’s Talk! $2 donation and a table to sit at. I’m sure I’ll get some strange looks but that is ok.
I stole the idea from someone else who said it works in cities around high volume areas. It is perfect because this can work in ANY high volume area across the world! Since I don’t really like crowds all that much, I’m going to ask a friend to come along and split whatever we get. I’ll let you know how this turns out.
My life goal is to volunteer on all 7 continents before I turn 35. I have 4 down with Asia, Africa and Antarctica to go. This is no easy task – no life goal should be really. And being that me and my whole family is poor, international travel is even harder. So, to accomplish this, I started traveling and volunteering with organizations. I went to Europe and South America with Alternative Break Corps through my school and to Papua New Guinea (a part of Oceana) with Habitat for Humanity.
Volunteering with organizations has a few draw backs for sure. You can’t get up and go do whatever you damn well feel like. But the benefits outweigh the drawbacks in my opinion. The biggest benefits is price. Organizations have a lot of pull and can get discounts. They also have some consistency and so their suppliers are less likely to keep prices high in the short run knowing they will make a profit in the long run. This translates to you as: cheap travel.
Finding an organization that is right for you is a little hard. A.B.C. is apart of Break Away, a group dedicated to college students. For those who are not in higher education, Habitat for Humanity has a great reputation world-wide and consistency. For young Jews (16? – 26) Birthright Israel/Taglit is a GREAT umbrella program and totally FREE!
The next group I’m going to try is Sierra Club. I’ll probably start with a national trip before heading overseas with them. If you are interested, the link is http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/
What it boils down to is: You can travel on a budget with a cause. Obviously the international trips will cost more than national trips but you can def. save money (and maybe the environment/ a way of life/ a troubled community/ etc.) by traveling with volunteer organizations.
The hotel I work at is about half way between Tampa International Airport and the Port of Tampa. So we get a decent number of guests who are about to leave for a cruise. Tonight, a guest from Wisconsin came in and we started chatting. He gave me a great tip I want to try out soon. If you just show up at the docks on cruise day, you can get dirt cheap tickets. The company is just trying to make sure the beds are full because, according to him, they really get your money from the food on board.
So moral of the story, if you live near a port, show up on cruise days with a suitcase full of cheap food and enjoy a cheap vacation!
Not a picture by me - found it on google