I started 2014 off by moving in with my friend Mariah, her husband Beau, and their 3 year old son Owen in Glencoe, MN. I then travelled to Washington and Oregon for a week in January before taking off to study in Costa Rica for 10 weeks. I've been planning to move out of state this fall (still don't have anything nailed into place) and decided to travel a bit to figure out where I want to go. Following a little research I decided to check out Wilmington, North Carolina. I believe it was 23 hours of driving each way, traveling through 8 states and covering 2,900 miles round trip. It was an interesting solo road trip that was good for me.
In June I met five of my girlfriends in Las Vegas. A serendipitous moment at a bus stop turned the meeting of a stranger into my now boyfriend Patrick...life is so full of mystery. He lives in Kansas so I flew down to see him for the 4th of July weekend. I missed my return flight so we ended up spending six days together--it was wonderful! I was home for several weeks and back to Kansas again the last week of July. We spent the weekend chunk of both trips on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri having a great time with great people. It's been fun seeing new parts of the country, and a joy spending time with him. I've also been working full time and completed 2 summer classes, and Patrick was here to see me last weekend! It was short but sweet, with time spent at the MN Renaissance Festival, Walker Art Center & Sculpture Gardens, the Mall of America, and random wanderings and good eats. It was a quality weekend.
School starts Monday the 25th already and it's going to be a heavy load so I've been trying to get organized. If I vow to stay organized the entire semester do you think it'll happen??? Wish me luck!
Peace, love, and wishes for a great semester to all of my fellow students!
Airlines (according to my most recent travels):
- Southwest Airlines is extremely flexible with missed flights and/or itinerary changes giving full credit towards future bookings. They allow 2 checked bags AT NO CHARGE, as well as one carry-on bag at no charge and serve a complimentary beverage along with a snack of peanuts or pretzels.
- Delta Airlines charges $25 for your first checked bag, with one carry-on allowed at no charge. They serve a complimentary beverage along with a snack of peanuts or pretzels.
- Frontier Airlines charges $25 for your first checked bag, and $35 per carry-on! This surprised me. Snacks and beverages are available for charge, there are no complimentary items served.
- ALSO: Check flights on Wednesdays!!! Airlines post their new flights Wednesday mornings at 12 am. I searched Southwest flights to Kansas City this Tuesday and they were $300+ each way. I rechecked the same flights this morning (Wednesday) at 1 am and they were available for $94 each way! That's a MAJOR price difference! Upcoming trip??? You got it!
- Be prepared and do some research ahead of time. It's easy to become flustered when encountering unfamiliar situations and you'll feel much more confident if you're aware of what to expect.
- If driving, be sure to do fluid/maintenance checks on your vehicle prior to leaving and check your gas gauge frequently! You don't want to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, especially if you're alone. Staying on top of things will help prevent dangerous situations.
- Be hyper-aware of your surroundings at all times. Especially if you are a girl traveling alone you can be seen as an easy target. It's better to keep the headphones out and other distractions tucked away; if somebody sees that you are distracted they may be more likely to make a move.
- I stick to a carry-on suitcase when able, even when traveling somewhere for a week or longer.
- Avoid overpacking! Plan one outfit for each day of your trip. Jeans, black slacks, and other nondescript items can be used with several different outfits. I love dresses for summer because it's a one-piece outfit! Easy-peasy and takes very little room.
- When flying, keep your liquids in a separate Ziploc bag and remove it from your suitcase when going through security. You'll need to remove your laptop from your bag, shoes off, and remove any jackets or sweater you are wearing. Efficient travelers make lines move faster which makes happier travelers. Yay!