Feel free to play along by answering any of the questions
-What was the last book that you read? Living Color: The Biological & Social Meaning of Skin Color by Nina Jablonski
-What is your next running (or fitness goal)? I would like to get my half marathon time down to 2:10 by the end of the summer. However, I do not really have any idea where to start. I guess I should start by running. 😉
-What are you looking forward to this spring? Since spring is known as the season of rebirth, I would like to rebirth a new goddamn professional career. Oh, and warm, but not hot weather.
-Any upcoming trips? We going to Spain for about a week in April.
-If you drive, what do you hate most about it? I have a couple: 1. The lights on cars (well, trucks & SUVs) are too damn bright. Sometimes, I feel like I need to wear sunglasses at night. 2. Folks who tailgate.
-What was the last song that you listed too?
-When was your 1st international trip, and where did you go? Ecuador in 2001 for my study abroad program. It was kind of weird (at least to me) that my first time abroad would involve living in another country for 4 months. Oh, this question came up because I saw some Twitter beef over someone tweeting that only about 34% of US citizens have passports. To be perfectly honest, I kind of understood both sides of the argument.
- Argument 1: Our country is huge, and we have ‘everything’ – deserts, mountains, beaches, and metropolitan cities.
- Argument 2: Many folks in the US don’t want to experience other countries/cultures.
A few more reasons why I think international travel is an unnecessary task for some Americans:
- People like to travel to places that they know . . . in particular to places where they know the language. I don’t think many know that English is spoken throughout most of the world. Although there might be a couple of lost-in-translation moments, I don’t think some realize that navigating a city in a country where English is not the primary language is not as bad as it seems . . . if you are nice and patient.
- Although this is changing, we do not receive a lot of vacation days in the States. According to Expedia.com, it takes about 10 hours to travel from Dallas to London. If someone accrues about 16 vacation days a year (if they are lucky), they more than likely will not want to spend a day traveling for a 3-4 day trip.
- Some folks have a bucket list of cities/states that they want to visit before venturing abroad.
- The process of obtaining a passport can be annoying to most folks.
- For some, an international trip (no matter the country) is considered way more expensive than domestic travel. I remember before my 1st trip to London, some family members were saying how expensive it would be. Back then, the exchange rate was 2 pounds for 1 dollar. On paper, it looked pricey. However, traveling from NYC to London, the costs were more or less the same.
-If you could re-do any aspect of your life, what would you have done differently? I would not have left the biomedical field since it has been hell returning? While there were family circumstances involved, I wonder if I should have waited a bit before leaving NYC.
-What have your experiences with Airbnb been like? I’ll say that my best experiences with Airbnb have been abroad, and my worst have been in the States. Ugh, I still have nightmares about my Philly Airbnb experience. Really who the hell makes eggs, but discards the eggshells in the refrigerator rather than in the trash? Unless I am traveling with 5+ folks, I would not consider using Airbnb in the States. Nowadays, Airbnbs are just as expensive as hotels, AND you have to clean up the place. During my late 20s, most of my international trips were solo so I enjoyed using Airbnb bc it was nice to have a host in a city. Back in my late 20s, I stayed in Airbnbs because I felt too old for that hostel life, but too young (and extroverted) to be completely alone (even though I was traveling alone). My best Airbnb experience – my trip to Cuzco, Peru because my hostess was almost like a mother. She picked me up from the airport (even brought a can of oxygen just in case I had issues with the altitude), packed lunches for my daily excursions, recommended great places to eat, and always did a ‘wellness’ check.
-Any questions for me?
Running Anatomy, because….my plan this year is a series called 5 peaks, 1 off road race a month, a half marathon here in August, and possibly a full somewhere in October…to survive – I have a lot of seasonal allergies, and am making a life change….no trips until maybe the fall, but the Rocky Mtns may call this summer…the last song? I’m watching Ms Marvel, so Rozi by Eva B, my first trip without parents, St. Lucia so I wanted to become Jimmy Buffet, get both, Canada is about the same, think the only reason I have a Passport because it’s handi ID, even to travel domestically, I ahve a sister in Mesa, I have no desire to visit, but, when she was in NYC sure….if I could just finish high school all over again, I would have turned right rather than gone through door number 2…a huge mistake, and love Air B&B….ca always find something close to the starting line, no need to worry about when the maid service needs the room, do my own laundry, and I like to cook…..I know, I’ve heard horro stories, but have also meet so many great locals…
LikeLiked by 1 person
I like your plan.
Some of my best Airbnb experiences were in Canada … Montreal (one of my favorite N. American cities) to be exact. During one my Canadian Airbnb adventures, I stayed near the finish line for Rock n Roll’s Half, and it was cool staying in an Airbnb with 3 other runners. With all of the changes in Airbnb (eg folks buying up apts just to rent), it has lost that meeting at least ONE local feel.
I get the convenience of hotels. However, I’m kind of weird because I don’t like folks going through my things so I rarely request maid service during my hotel stays. During one vacation in the DR, not requesting maid service kind of caused a little drama. For my week stay at the resort, I kept the do not distrub sign on my door. About 5 days into the trip, I saw there was a note saying that I had to visit the front desk ASAP. Long story short, the resort basically wanted to make sure that I was still alive. It seems that many people will stay at a hotel to commit suicide (less chance of someone disturbing you).
Have fun in Spain! We had a super five days there, it was wonderful staying in a completely Spanish area.
Oh, I have a question: are you coming over for Eurovision??!
LikeLiked by 1 person
For this trip (about 10 days), we’re doing Madrid and Santander.
I’m planning on writing a ‘why I probably will never see Eurovision in person’ post at some point in the near future. I like the contest, BUT I don’t like it THAT much to drop $3,000+ on travel, show tickets, accommodations, etc.
Nice post! I always like learning about bloggers I follow. Don’t even get me started on why more Americans don’t travel internationally. One big thing I see that drives me crazy is families that spend thousands of dollars going to Disney year after year then say they it’s too expensive to travel to another country. Well maybe if they wouldn’t spend so much at Disney, they could go to another country that would actually be cheaper. I think many people don’t realize just how much cheaper many countries are than the US, and to your point, many people in other countries speak English so that shouldn’t be a deterrent, plus Google translate works great!
LikeLiked by 1 person
If I could make one of many changes to higher ed in the States, I would incorporate a study abroad component to all undergraduate programs – even if it’s a general 1 to 2-week language immersion program. However, I realize that we have about 80 million things to work on before doing this. Until I studied abroad in Ecuador, I didn’t really have the desire to travel internationally, but I caught the international travel bug after that experience. I think if most of us traveled internationally (not counting Spring break in Cancun) during our college years, it would not be such a shock to do it when we are older . . . kind of like learning how to swim.
Speaking of Disney. I thought that I heard it’s now cheaper to take a family of four from the east coast to Paris, France than to Disney. I have an old friend from high school who takes his family to Disney World every year. He says that his children would be disappointed if they didn’t go on this annual trip. I’m like I’m quite sure they would not mind not visiting Disney for another fun place. *To be honest, I think it’s my friend, not his children, who wants to visit Disney every year.*