Wrote in January 2013. I just fixed a comma today and now Weebly says I wrote it here on December 2013. Ugh
So, me, like loads of people around the country, is in the process of paying off student loans. Tuition has gotten so high (raising 30% a year at some universities), that tons of students are resorting to getting money for school by whoring themselves out with the help of sites like sugardaddy.com. The article posted below provides more insight on this growing trend.
I understand needing to find a way to pay off those loans and have entertained ways of making that happen myself. Surprising to some, I suppose, but I have goals outside paying university loans off like... traveling and well; traveling. lol. Don't be surprised if I end up with less body parts in an effort to pay these crazy things off. ;-p
Wrote in January 2013. I fixed some punctuation today and now Weebly says I wrote it here on December 2013. Ugh
I had a conversation with a friend yesterday about reincarnation. He was entertaining the idea and I ... really wasn't. Playing devil's advocate though, I said the belief was vain. To think that WE would be given ample chances to live life and to learn lessons we couldn't learn in this one... to think that we won't die and continuously live just to learn... how *presumptuous* ... that we would be that special. The conversation got us talking about religion in general.
Most people like to think bad people get punished and good people get rewarded. We often see the unfairness of our world here on earth, such as people on crazy rampages with shootings and bombings, and we see those television commercials
with young children dying of hunger in some foreign country we know nothing about. People take comfort in knowing that people will get punished or rewarded in the afterlife for eternity, for things done here on earth. That is, in addition to the dogma attached to a particular religion.
However, murderers, rapists, and any terrible person can easily have a deathbed conversion and get the fast track to heaven without the work. While people who dedicate their life to helping people, animals, and/or the environment could very well burn and rot in a fiery pit forever. This realization has always really bothered me.
Some people think everyone is searching for the same thing... that we're all praying to the same divine being and just have different paths. Others believe their particular religion, or faith, is the only way. Still others, don't believe in any religion at all and that religion is a way people justify situations and circumstances. The older I get and the more I observe the world and happenings, the more I fit into the latter category.
Living in San Francisco is awesome. Tons to do, great people, close to any climate you want, incredibly good food, and lots of diversity in pretty much every way. Reality is, because it's so very awesome, it's hard as hell to get a place here. Here is my story.
Last year after I got my shiny new job in Fisherman's Wharf working with ships, barges, and tugs in an office, I decided I could finally make it on my own in San Francisico. I moved out of my friend's extra super expensive posh place in beautiful South Beach overlooking the Bay Bridge. Motivated, I put almost everything in storage and moved into the first thing I found available; a long term hotel in North Beach. The hotel was a short 15 minute walk to my new job and I thought the hotel would be a very temporary thing of a week or so. There began my search for housing in the tough San Francisco rental market.
Six months later, I was still on the hunt for a room; answering Craigslist ads in my price range (preferably a grand or less). I was getting antsy because my mom was coming into town from Missouri and I wanted to be able to show her some super awesome place I was living. During this time, a couple places fell through including this badass cabin on a big boat/small ship that I thought was a done deal.
The time arrived for mom to show up for the visit and all I had was a cool district *area* I lived in to brag about, with no desire to show her my miniature sized hotel room. I informed Mom I had reserved a nice place on Airbnb for us to stay and she insisted she could stay in the long-term hotel with me. Later that day when we walked around North Beach and very near where I was staying, I showed her the tiny room where I lived with basically enough room for a twin bed and a dresser. I'm pretty certain she was horrified, but she took it well and gave me lots of encouragement and good advice to find another place. :-) I never heard another peep about us staying there again. lol
While Mom was in San Francisco, I had an opportunity to interview for an apartment. I was pretty excited and brought mom along with me. The interview lasted every bit of an hour, had 4 potential roomies interviewing me and even though mom was a hit and they seemed to really like me, I *still* didn't get offered the place. Well, until the 2nd round of roomie weirdness months later, but that's another story.
About a month later when mom was long gone back to Kansas City, I finally found this big room in North Beach/Chinatown/Russian Hill corner of the city on Craigslist, that in the beginning I thought was a fantastic spot. Only $750 a month...a complete steal in the city. A really cute older Chinese lady rented me the room and her son would be my roommate. One thing I really didn't think would be a problem was, of course since I work 12 hour shifts over nights, I sleep during the day. Not a great schedule when one lives with someone who doesn't go to university or have a job. I was so excited to get out of the hotel after 7 months, I didn't ask questions and just gave the landlord the first months rent and deposit. The excitement was *super* short-lived as the 20-something son ended up being a small time drug dealer and I had the bedroom next to the stairs 3 floors up. People were running up and down the stairs all day while I was trying to sleep, and his guests were in and out of the place, not to mention the loud fights with his girlfriend; all which I might add produced a pretty grumpy Mindy.
Not wanting to go back to the long-term hotel just yet, I posted "housing wanted" ads on Craigslist again, complete with a couple paragraphs about me, references available, a photo so people could feel more comfortable contacting me and said I would submit to a background and credit check. There were pages and pages of ads of people doing the same thing, so the odds were not in my favor to get a response. Eventually, *4 months later, I received *one* response. This is where things get even more "interesting"... if one can call it that.
Part 2 to come...
One of the most difficult decisions to make when leaving on a world trip is whether to enlist a friend in your adventure or just pick up your bag and get out there alone. Having travel partners does have some upsides. Even the most die-hard solo travelers admit that solo trips can get lonely at times. On top of that, there's never a dull moment when you've got a friend with you, and you'll feel much safer walking down a dark street in some foreign country with a friend at your side.
But there are some real advantages to solo travel as well, and they're well worth the added risks and discomfort of going it alone.
1. Do What You Want When You Want
Perhaps the best reason for solo travel is that you don't have to constantly clear your travel decisions with someone else.
Imagine, for instance, the aggravation of traveling with a friend who has different ideas about what a “vacation” should be like than you do. Imagine traveling with someone who insists on sticking to American cuisines while traveling in an Asian paradise with some of the tastiest grub in the world. Or, imagine someone who wants to move to a new city every two days while you want to settle in and soak it all up. Indeed, collaborating with someone else and making compromises every time you choose a new place to sleep, eat, or drink can get maddening and fast. When traveling alone, on the other hand, you make the decisions and can spend time as you see fit, moving on or running off on new adventures on a whim.
2. Spending So Much Time With a Friend Can Drive You Nuts
Let's face it, as much as humans are social creatures, if you spend enough time with anyone, you'll eventually be at one another's throats. And one of the demands of the road, especially if you're moving around a lot, is that you'll be with each other...every...single...second. Some say such an experience is the best way to measure a romantic relationship up – to see if it has a shot of actually making it for the long run. But if you're not ready to put a friendship to the ultimate test, you might want to refrain from subjecting it to an experience that will make or break it.
3. Make Yourself Less Intimidating to Others
In some ways, traveling with companions will alienate you. Yes, you'll be less likely to grow bored or lonely, but you'll also be less approachable to others, especially people from cultures that are more reserved and shy. Heading off by yourself may mean long hours alone, but people will be more likely to approach your table at a restaurant to introduce themselves and maybe even invite you to a dinner or party at their home.
Solo travelers meet far more local friends abroad.
4. Force Yourself Out of the Comfort Zone
One of the reasons the above is true is that when you take someone from home with you, you tend to act the same way you do at home. Comfortable in the company of a familiar friend, you may become loud and a little obnoxious to outsiders. You may find yourself sharing old jokes, telling old stories, and talking about people from back home. And worst of all, you might end up locking yourself into a box of preconceived notions and behaviors. It takes walking into the world as a blank slate to really put yourself out there. And it's much easier to pull together the motivation to get out of your comfort zone when failing to do so will leave you sitting by yourself in a hotel room.
5. You Can Leave Whenever You Want!
Here's an exciting revelation. If you decided to be a solo traveler, you don't have to wait on anyone else to get their money together and take the time off work – not to mention making sure they actually follow through on your mutual dream. That means if you're ready for adventure, you could pack a bag and leave tomorrow if you wanted...
And that's what real freedom is all about.
What are your favorite aspects of traveling alone?
I'm excited about my new venture in writing about travel. :) Whether it's places I've been, places I'm planning on going, or good travel advice, this blog is on an adventure of it's own. :) Onward!
I realize something important. I win at LIFE. Lately, I've been thinking about how grateful I am; having the life I do. Growing up in a first world country with parents actually who cared. Being able to enjoy life, travel, jump out of airplanes (twice), work in a field I love (maritime), in a city I cherish. In good health, I have what I need, (which isn't much), and have good friends. I've also had lots of very low times, that make me appreciate what I have even more.
Decisions, whether in hindsight were good or maybe not the best, have lead me to be happy with my life. Thinking back, the key decisions that increased my life's happiness nearly all involve risk. I decided years ago to be somewhat of a minimalist and have very few things I'm emotionally connected with. This allows me to pack up and go in a matter of an hour and it's incredibly freeing. I've been divorced (definitely a good decision), and sold or gave nearly everything away to come to a place I'd never been...San Francisco. I've met many people off the internet who've enriched my life, on whims I've decided to buy international and domestic airline tickets, and went to homes of people I just met. Even simply posting and answering Craigslist ads; which has involved anything from finding a place to live, to having someone to go to a movie with... all of these decisions have changed my life for the better and given me experiences I would not have had otherwise.
The quote below means a lot to me, however, generally my bigger experiences are not done without at least a bit of apprehension. :-)
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach
out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Eleanor Roosevelt
As I was leaving work this morning, I noticed an older man without a sleeping bag, sleeping outside on the concrete... to the right of our big double doors. With just his clothes against the freezing concrete, he had a rough cough yet, it would seem, he was asleep.
Does someone in this world care for him? Maybe. Most *dogs* are treated better. Here he is, an older man with years on his life, left in the cold; open to diseases and additional harm, while ridiculed and ignored on a daily basis... and no one to help care for him.
At least God is good... to me.
The other day I was talking with a friend about those books we used to read as kid. No matter how sheltered people grew up, it seems everyone read the Choose Your Own Adventure series; at least here in the United States. :-) I began thinking about life and little adventures of my own I was able to change in a different direction, with a divorce, plane ticket, or reality company, for instance. I'm very thankful that nearly every choice we make in life, we can "unchoose"; and our choices create our own adventures ... our own life storybook.
There are lots of pages left in my storybook to write. :) I don't know about you, but Ima workin' on a new chapter... ;-)
Oh Ecuador, how I miss thee. This photo was taken in Puerto Lopez, where people are friendly and life is simple. :-) While on sabbatical last year, I learned more about life, friendship, and truth. :-) Good times.
I enjoyed my weekend with a friend from Missouri, who just moved to Half Moon Bay a few weeks ago from Southern Cali. We *juiced*; which I would love to do more of, did the salt water cleanse; which was entirely too yucky, hiked a beautiful trail... mostly in the darkness of night, ate sushi, and just kicked back and chilled, chatted, and watched a few episodes of a comedy on Netflix.
I obtained a social media internship with goTengo.com last night after a long phone, as well as a face-to-face, interview. I hope to serve them well and also have a good resume booster for future goals. Been working on their blog entry today, as well as some content for their Twitter and Facebook accounts. I'm really excited and fortunate for the opportunity and hope to serve them well. YAY! *excitement*
Here's to the week of end 2 of the New Year. *cheering imaginary wine* ;-p
Blogs love POSTS! :) lol