Friday, June 22, 2007

It's Friday!

Some people's voice are filled with so much excitement over saying those words. I love Fridays as much as the next guy, but how depressing is it that we give so much credence to one day of the week? We're essentially admitting to ourselves and everyone around us that the four days that preceded today were inferior to the next two. Why do so many of us go through life enjoying three (really just two) days of every week more than the other four? Now, I've forgotten just about everything I learned in my stats class, but I'm pretty sure that's a shitty ratio.

And that really gets to the heart of what I'm doing. Why should I waste my one shot at this thing called life worrying about slogging through five days each week just to "enjoy" two more? There are better ways for all of us to spend our lives than as living Dilberts, periodically enjoying 28.5 percent of our existence. There are far too many places to see, people to meet and beers to be drunk, and I intend to get in my fair share of all three.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Corporate whore travels, continued

The travel gods are out to get me, it would seem.

I made it to Philly, but now more fun! Even more than last night, I promise.

First, there's a $185 fee to leave the rental car here (Again, thank god for company expensing)

Flight is delayed by an hour. So that means i get into chi-town about 25 mins before my connecting flight. Hopefully. Anyone who's traveled worth a shit knows that I can't count on getting into o'hare on time. (i also asked about getting standby on an earlier flight out of philly, but the only other one is over booked by TWENTY FIVE PEOPLE!)

What's more, if i miss my flight there, it's the last one out tonight. AND all united flights to Omaha tomorrow are booked. Woo!

So needless to say, i'm enjoying a beer on the good ole expense report. Thank god for that, at least.

Corporate whore travels

Right now, I'm in the middle of Pennsylvania. I'm here only for about 24 hours. Actually only 22 hours, since my flight got messed up.

I was to fly omaha to philly via o'hare. Weather thought otherwise--landing in chicago, i discovered my flight to be canceled. United did automatically rebook me, but that meant getting into philly three hours later than was planned. Oh, AND i had a 2.5 hour drive to take after I landed.

So, being the quick-thinking traveler that i am, i decided to see if they could just switch me to a flight into harrisburg, which actually was about an hour closer to my destination, but was too expensive to book originally. No sweat--they guy did it in 2 minutes. Now to re-arrange my rental car--nice and easy, the travel agent said i'd have a car in h-burg, to return to philly.

Wrong! Landing in harrisburg, i find out that the usual company has ZERO cars left. "You don't have my reservation?" Nope, was the answer.

OK, call back the travel agent. "Well, looks like it never got changed," the guy explained.

OK...what about a different place? No cars anywhere?!?! How?

So after a few minutes of thinking I'm totally trapped in Harrisburg, Pa., the guy decides to be just a scheming as I was in my flight rebooking--TELL a company that i'd return a car to harrisburg, then drop it at philly, and let the travel agency sort it out.

One of the few good things about traveling for work. I can get away with stuff like this. Won't be long before I have to pay for my own travel screw-ups.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Singapore working holiday

As I've said before, I'm going to New Zealand on a "working holiday" visa. This means I can take temporary work while in New Zealand to pay for my travels. Lots of countries offer such a setup, but typically not to Americans. In fact, NZ and Australia are the only countries Americans can get a WHV without being a student. That's part of why I'm going to New Zealand first.

But now, Singapore looks to be beginning a similar scheme that will allow Americans to participate. Vagablogging had a post on this last week. I definitely am going to be considering this after I'm done with New Zealand. I've heard a lot of great things about Singapore (despite their harsh penalties for even seemingly mild offenses).


I've made some good headway on getting ready for my trip in the last couple weeks. For starters, I ordered my backpack from REI. That should be here this week. And yes, I do plan to live out of that during my travels!

I got my second bank account squared away--a MyAccess account from Bank of America. What's cool is that BoA doesn't charge for using others' ATMs AND has an agreement with a bank in New Zealand to not charge any transaction or exchange fees for using their ATMs. Very cool.

Next, I've gotten my first of a few immunizations. Tetanus was yesterday, but my doc referred me to an infectious disease specialist who can give me complete information about travel-related illnesses (especially important should I end up going to SE Asia, as I want to). I'll likely get hep A and typhoid next week there.

What's left? Well, I need to get my health insurance squared away for one. Then it's really just some random things and I'll be set to go!

96 days to go!