My last day in DC was an eventful one. I had to go pick up my passport from the Israeli embassy the day after the two bombings overseas at Israeli embassies. Security was tighter and I had to wait an extra hour before I was aloud to enter because of a “security situation” they were handling. But the wait was fine because there is a bad ass park IN the district that I went and walked around in (Rock Creek Park for those who are going – it is worth checking out just don’t wear cowboy boots…)
I then went to Arlington Cemetery. I figured that I had been to the district enough to warrant a visit. While the history was interesting and the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier fascinating, I’ve decided that I’m in no hurry to go back to any cemeteries. I think there is too much to see outside of them to visit for anything other than a mourner/family member to go pay respects. I also was thinking about death and about one family member who, in my opinion, fears death. I don’t fear it and I was wondering why. I think I don’t fear death because it is the one thing that everyone, regardless of background or status, is going to be successful at. Life, on the other hand, is something that people could be afraid of. Success at life is by no means guaranteed. Food for thought I guess.
I then went to have lunch with my good friend Ryan who is definitely succeeding at life. He is working for a great cause in a great city and it seems like he has great things going on in his life. It is really cool to be able to travel to another city and catch up with old friends.
Then the day was wrapped up with a little people watching in Union Station and a train ride with Scott back out to West Virginia. Scott definitely saved me while I was waiting for my passport.
So I’m working on my ticket from Tampa to DC (I’m going to DC for a week on vacation before heading to NYC to leave for Israel). Delta charges 25K for either a one way ticket or a round trip ticket. They won’t let me use it to go from TPA to DC to NYC even though it is about the same as a round trip from TPA to DC.
I don’t plan on coming back to TPA before leaving for Israel and I just can’t bring myself to spend 25K on a one way ticket. So what is a girl to do!? Well, I just found out that if I book my round trip ticket from TPA to DC and then call 72 hours before my return trip to cancel, I have up to one year to use it. Bam! I’m going to just stop back in DC on my way back from Israel and redeem the last half when I’m damn well and ready to use it. Also, Delta has a call center here in Tampa! I was talking to a representative only 3 blocks away!
It is the little successes that make me smile.
So I’m now a full time Occupier down at Occupy Tampa. I have a lovely two man tent set up on the East side of the neighborhood. The streetlight at the corner of Main St. and Albany provides me a lovely tint of night light when the sun has set and I’m just a few strides from the Kitchen. Lovely if I do say so myself. I’ll be working on getting the neighborhood to switch over to a credit union and whatever else I can do to support the economic justice movement.
Also, I’ve booked my flights to and from Israel!
23 FEB DELTA 268 NYC-KENNEDY 8:55 P
TEL AVIV 2:40 P
30 JUL DELTA 269 TEL AVIV 12:40 A
NYC-KENNEDY 5:25 A
I’m probably going to book my flight from Tampa to DC tomorrow and then I’m planning on hitch hiking from DC to NYC.
Hello again my old friend (and Allie too!),
I am very excited to give an update about life. The wedding was absolutely fabulous. I loved spending some quality, albeit short, time with so many in my family. My mother and father, both brothers, my sister and sister-in-law, two aunts, two uncles and my parents new spouses were all there. The wedding was small and intimate and the reception was perfect for our family.
Since then, I have been working two jobs, usually 80 hours a week. I’m saving up for my 6+? months away. I will be leaving for a much needed vacation to Washington, DC on Feb. 2. I’ll spend the weekend there and then leave on Monday or Tuesday for New York City. I’ll be spending two and a half weeks with Occupy Wall Street and whoever else I meet up with there. Then, the last weekend of February, I’ll be flying out to Eilat, Israel for five months.
When I get back, I plan on going to see my family for a week or two in Pennsylvania.
So, I’m very excited about life.
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!
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.
A college friend of mine, Phil, was in Tampa the other night putting on a performance with his dance company. He didn’t have long before he had to leave town but we got a chance to catch up at Starbucks that night. The topics were many and varied. But the one I enjoyed the most was his questioning of why I traveled so much after leaving Tallahassee.
The question was kind of strange to me, like a foreign language I just didn’t get. Why do I travel? It was like asking why I breathe or why I eat. I travel to live. But that answer just wasn’t working for Phil. And I’m glad it didn’t because to some extent, it wasn’t true.
He told me about his fiance who wanted to go to Hindu Kush. Hamilton told Phil he wanted to go so he could forget about all his problems, all his bills and troubles. He also wanted to get some kind of discipline that he could find there (but I didn’t really understand that). Phil told him that all his problems, bills and troubles would be waiting for him just as soon as he got back and that you don’t need to travel anywhere to find discipline, that is a skill everyone has to work on all the time.
So why was Hamilton so set on going to the Hindu Kush? Why do any of us travel? We always here the “I want to get away” excuse but that isn’t really a great reason to travel – in fact that could just make things worse. Running from your bills? Traveling will make them worse.
A far better reason to travel is to experience. Hamilton couldn’t experience a Hindu Kush here in the US like he could overseas. The sights, the sounds, the tastes, the smells – everything. The way traveling makes you feel. These are the reasons to travel. It isn’t best to travel expecting certain outcomes, the best travels happen when you start a trip off by saying, “Hey, that sounds like fun, let’s see where we end up with that.”
So to answer Phil’s question, I traveled so much after I left college for two reasons. The first was the wrong reason – I was running away from life – just like so many people who “just want to get away.” This didn’t help me at all. But I also traveled for the experiences. I met new people in Arizona that tought me a lot about myself and what I wanted in life and was capable of. I met a caring family on the East coast of Florida that brought back my faith in family. I traveled and learned about life in a way that I couldn’t have by moving back to my hometown right away.
And I’ll continue to travel for the experiences. Why do you travel?