Archives

Our Gap Year Or: How I Learned To Love Sleeping In Hostel Twin Beds And Taking Cold Showers

This from the vault – the archives, if you will. I was very fortunate to recover our old blog that came out at a time when blogging wasn’t really a thing. I like to say we were very much early adopters of the blog format. But, also, I like to say a lot of things that aren’t true. And, being so early in the blogging game, this just meant I spent more time coding my website than I did writing quality content. If you read this – I’ll hunt you down if you don’t, btw – you’ll see it’s mostly a straightforward narrative. Maybe that’s boring to you if you’ve read, and liked, my other stuff. But this will be much more informative should you be looking at where to go to be harassed by taxi drivers and what to experience when you’re broke and hating your partner. Anyhow, here is that blog in it’s entirety. It a 14-month journey around the world whereupon we visited 33 countries and I picked up about three or four parasites. Enjoy.

Part 1: Planning and Departure

In our third and final year of law school, I convinced my study partner (also my girlfriend, roommate, life coach, cook, and cleaning lady) to throw caution to the wind and give up the jobs awaiting us in order to blow our savings and inheritances on pure, unadulterated adventure. Planning our trip was a delightful break from studying for the bar. Discussing the near-limitless possibilities of where we would go consumed our free time.

I studied the websites Bootsnall and FlyerTalk religiously. It got to the point where I had researched enough, loosely mapped out our entire path, and found the perfect around the world plane tickets to match. We would each get 20 OneWorld Alliance flights, for only approximately $4,400. $220 per flight, OH MY! Good for all the major regions of the world. Only, we held off buying the tickets because they were a significant outlay of money for us at the time.

But one day, when anxiously scouring the American Airlines website for the umpteenth time, I noticed in small print that the terms of our perfect around the world flights would be changing the very next day. Like, changing massively. To explain, if I flew from Miami to Buenos Aires, then traveled overland to Rio, where I would fly out to my next destination, that would be two of my 20 flights. Easy, right? However, the American Airlines/OneWorld Alliance (AKA “Axis of Evil”) change would tack on one additional segment. Meaning, even though I traveled by car from Buenos Aires to Rio, the Axis of Evil would dock me. Essentially we were getting screwed, all of us, who were looking to buy these tickets . 

I scrambled to buy our tickets and my heart was racing. I probable spent six months planning this, and all that planning was about to be lost. But the credit card went through, somewhat remarkably, as it was right at my limit, and all I had to do was await the paper tickets (yes, paper tickets, yes, tickets you could not lose, yes, tickets you could not just set on fire). And, being the model citizen I am, I was the first to report the change to FlyerTalk (patting self on back now). The board went nuts, obviously, with other people who were just as panicked as me.

The summer was one of the best summers of my life. Sure, we were getting ready to take a highly stressful test with an abnormally low passage rate – the California Bar Exam – but it wouldn’t matter because it wasn’t like we’d lose our jobs if we failed. Plus, we’d probably learn of the results whilst sipping margaritas in Mexico (this is somewhat true). Those kinds of things really take the pressure off. And, without pressure, I actually thought the exam was kinda easy. 

Anyhow, we packed up in two Kelty backpacks and headed to Los Angeles International Airport for what would surely be the time of our lives. 

Click for Part 2: Fiji

 

No Comments

Leave a Reply