Sunday, January 11, 2015

I got a new fork. And maybe some cake to eat with it.

Months ago I wrote a post about how I had such grand plans for 2015. I did. They were awesome. But I have new plans now. And they are also awesome.

I was planning to make radical changes to my life in 2015. If you know me at all, you know I have a serious case of wanderlust. In fact I have probably bored you to death with all my dreams of travel adventures. But most of my original plan for 2015 stemmed from unhappiness with certain parts of my life and part a willingness to give into my wanderlust. I thought uprooting and doing something different would eliminate any unhappiness. And it probably would have. But it would have uprooted everything in the process and may have generated new sources of unhappiness.

But last summer a new opportunity came along and I took it. So plans changed but that's how life goes. So I did what was best for me long term and took major advantage of the new opportunity. I'm glad I did because it's been great!! Also made myself a new promise. In lieu of my original 2015 plans, I am going to have my career and my travel. Since I'm trading my original plan for a new plan, I still want to make travel a top priority and will continue my adventures.

And part of making roots involves actually adding structure to my life. So I'm doing that now too. It makes the most sense to be financially smart with my housing choices while also saving up for life stuff and travel adventures. My process to get out of debt taught me a lot about personal finance (which should be a mandatory class everyone takes, by the way) and that's how I'm now able to make smart decisions for my future. But there's got to be balance, right? I think balance might be the secret to happiness, honestly.

So now I'm trying to find a balance between the equally important pieces of life: stability, career, and travel. But I'm a Libra - balancing is my thing!

Monday, January 5, 2015

2014 Travel Costs

It's the time of year again where I regain my motivation for writing this blog, now that the holidays are done with, and that is starting with how much my travel cost me in 2014.

I went on 11 trips:

March: El Paso TX to visit my best friend & her family

April: Hawaii! I got scuba certified, saw my awesome friends, and went to Volcanoes NP.

May: Jacksonville FL for a kickball tournament

July: Chicago and Milwaukee for a baseball weekend

July: My All-American baseball roadtrip! I went to the Baseball HOF, Niagara Falls, Cleveland, Detroit, and to my friends' wedding reception.

August: Colorado for Tour de Fat

September: Florida for JG's bachelorette party

October: Dallas TX for the 2014 Tough Mudder!

November: San Antonio TX for a kickball tournament

November: Iceland!!

December: El Paso TX again for my best friend's 30th birthday

And my total cost for all my travel in 2014 was...............


I spent $1771 on flights, $1393 on housing (most of that was hotels from my roadtrip), $428 on gas for my car or rental cars, $163 in parking at the airport for these trips, and $60 for car rental. 

I'm quite impressed with my low expenditures honestly!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Stadium #15: Comerica Park

I visited Comerica Park the day after my visit to Progressive Field during my All-American Roadtrip. Detroit is a mess, which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but the stadium area was just teeming with people on this game day afternoon. I'm glad it was an afternoon game though since I was in the city by myself and it has a rough reputation. But everything went fine!

The first thing I noticed about the ballpark is the plethora of tigers. They are all over the outside of the ballpark and it's a little weird but it looks awesome! 

Very intimidating tiger

I got the cheapest ticket I could, which is my normal strategy for random ballpark games, and found my seat. I had a pretty good view of the whole field! 

I struck up a conversation with the guy next to me, who turned out to be former Major League player Tom Ragland!! I wish I'd gotten a photo with him - he was really great. So friendly, so full of information, and just so happy to be at the ballpark watching his Tigers play. He even showed me his baseball card that he had in his wallet! It was a really great experience watching a ballgame with a former pro - I feel like I learned a lot about the way the game is played and also about the soul of baseball. He was really surprised that a girl from Louisiana was in Detroit alone to watch a baseball game, just to watch a game in a new ballpark. I think maybe he was also a bit impressed. 

This Detroit game went on FOREVER. It was easily the longest 9 inning game I've ever been to. Game time was 4 hours and 1 minute. I have no idea why it went so slow but it just dragged. I saw this game on Trade Deadline Day, and in the 7th, they stopped the game to pull Austin Jackson out of center field. I joked to Tom saying "he must have gotten traded" but it turns out he did get traded. Jackson and the day's starting pitcher Drew Smyly had both been traded in a 3 team deal

There's even tigers on the scoreboard!

I really enjoyed my game at Detroit even if it was 4 hours and I got sunburnt. It was a good end to the baseball part of my roadtrip!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Stadium #14: Progressive Field

On my All-American Roadtrip, I did lots of things including reaching the halfway point on my stadium tour! But before that, I went to Progressive Field for a game between the Cleveland Indians and the Seattle Mariners. And to boot, I got to see King Felix pitch which I wasn't expecting but it was definitely awesome!

Obligatory photo of me + the ballpark

I drove into Cleveland and stayed at a hotel downtown. Cleveland is really walkable, and I had a great time walking down to the lake and going to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (which I'll write more about later). Cleveland was definitely very friendly, and the people I talked to at the stands were really fun too. 

View from my seat

I asked people what the iconic ballpark food was for Cleveland and somebody told me "You're in Cleveland, you know that right?" so I guess there is no iconic food. No Cleveland version of the Dodger Dog to be found here. But the stadium was nice, easy to get too, lots of parking, and right off the interstate. Also, this was the only ballpark I've ever been too that had metal detectors like at airports. That was unusual. I don't kno wif that's going to happen at all parks but it was a surprise to see. 

Panoramic of Progressive Field

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My All American Summer Roadtrip

Earlier this year I formulated a somewhat crazy plan, according to my friends. To me though it seemed normal, awesome, and as good a reason as ANY to take a ridiculous roadtrip! The plan all started because my favorite Braves Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and Bobby Cox were elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. I've always wanted to go to Cooperstown for induction weekend so this was the best time to go when 3 Braves were being inducted.

Then, my awesome friends HB & MT (of Zimbabwe wedding fame) were holding their stateside reception the weekend after the HOF Induction in Ohio. So one weekend in NY for baseball, the next weekend in Ohio. It made zero sense to me to do that in 2 trips, and since I had just bought a new car, I decided to go on my first roadtrip with Rex (my car)!

Here's a brief overview of what went down, with blog posts to follow soon :)

Days 1-2: Driving up to Cooperstown
Day 3: Cooperstown, visited the Museum, ate pizza, wandered, saw famous ball players
Day 4: Induction Day!
Day 5: Drove to Niagara Falls and took in the sights
Day 6: Niagara Falls & walked to Canada because I could
Day 7: Drove to Cleveland, went to the Rock & Roll HOF, watched an Indians game
Day 8: Drove to Detroit, went to a Tigers game, and ended the day in Toledo
Day 9: Toledo and friends, and fun, and relaxation, and false starts at a tennis game
Day 10: Actually played tennis this time, and evening reception
Day 11: Drove home and remained sad about fun being over but excited that my new job would be starting the next day

I'll write more about each section of this adventure but here's the overview!