Wednesday, August 30, 2017

$10,000, A Man In A Yellow Suit, And A Trip or Two

The other day I was prompted with the question "What trip would you take with a $10,000 budget?" For starters, that sounded so glamorous. I thought of yachts, castles and shopping trips on cobblestone roads. I could go anywhere for $10,000! Rookie mistake. Reality slapped me in the face when I realized even $10,000 is not all that glamorous when I think of the cost of food, accommodations and every plane, train, and automobile that I would need to get to a destination. 




On a hypothetical note, let's say some guy, in a yellow suit (for no particular reason, that is just how I picture him) stops me in the street and offers me $10k large to take on my travel bucket list. On a realistic note, where could I travel to and what could I do with my time there?

Ultimately, I would like to spend some more time in Europe, but if I look at my Dream Draft, I think centering my travels down through the Caribbean into South America I would fulfill more of my life long travel goals. Specifically, going to Carnival Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, celebrate new years in Jost van Dyke in the Caribbean, and eat ceviche in Peru.
I can't make these happen all at one time since I am choosing to go for events and not just to go. The hardest justification I have done to myself when I travel is paying top dollar for high traffic phenomena, but there is no way around it. I'm hoping this guy in the yellow suit comes through.

Some people travel to see the world; I like to think I go to experience the world. I want to go somewhere to attend an event and immerse myself in the culture.


Let's start with flights.



Las Vegas to Jost Van Dyke (round trip) - $1,125

It's for New Year's and my birthday, so it's like a 2 in 1. 
Las Vegas to Peru (one way)- $300

I'll get my ceviche on and then hop on a plane to my next South American destination. This is the first week of February. After I watch green bay win the Superbowl, I'll celebrate with a nice trip to the south... WAY south. 

Peru to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil is $300

Once again, this is during peak time Feb 9-14 is prime Carnival time. I would like to point out that traveling to Peru before flying to Rio De Janeiro will be a real money saver. I saved $300 on flights alone by working smarter not harder. Now I get to enjoy two beautiful destinations. 

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil back to Las Vegas is $675.

Typical and predictable. This is me leaving two days before the Carnivale series ends. I could only imagine the airport on the last day of Rio De Janeiro Carnivale. 

Let's include some baggage fees in there because we all know to expect them by now. $250


Final Flight total: $2,650




Then there is Hotel.



Rooms in Jost Van Dyke over the Holiday weekend are on average $130. 

I was honestly thrilled when I saw that because Las Vegas would implode if they had rates for $130 on New Year's Eve. $130 x 5= $650

Average hotel rooms in Peru are $124 a night 
In Peru, I might Airbnb which will run me about $72 a night, and it will allow me to submerge myself in the Peru lifestyles. Looking at about $300 for accommodations

- Rio hotels run about $200 a night. I'll most likely be there for five nights which will total $1,000 just in accommodations 

Maybe there is a resort fee, or you tip the bell man too. $100

Final Accommodations total: $2,050


(Flights + Accommodations)=  $4,700


Food, mainly the most important part of the trip.



In Jost Van Dyke the average person will spend about $10 on breakfast, $20 on lunch, and $25-50 on dinner. Let's say about $50 on average. Maybe you splurge on snacks or only eat two meals a day. For five days that is $250 on food

In Peru, where I am LITERALLY there to eat ceviche. I would expect about the same as Jost Van Dyke except a little higher since I plan to eat seafood DAILY. $350 for my meals in Peru. 

Rio De Janeiro will be kind of different. I expect to snack all day long with some good meals here and there. The hotels I looked at also included continental breakfast, but that is not something I solely depend on. It can be a hit or miss. I think with the influx of people happy hours won't be the happy I'm familiar with. I'll still probably spend around $250 for food. 

Of course, beyond all of that, you have the bar tab which is an infinite amount of dollars if you're a sucker for mojitos like me. Quickly will spend $60 every other day on tropical intoxication. $500ish right there. 

Add in $40 for some plane & airport food.

Final Food total: $1,390ish


(Flights + Accommodations + Food)=  $6,090

Gotta hand it to myself I thought I'd be much higher by now. This is putting it into perspective for me. 



Activities are where the real money will be spent. 



Thus far you have the basics of a well-done trip. Food, travel, and accommodations are necessary but what you do is what will sell it for you. 

There is a lot of sight seeing to be done in Jost Van Dyke. Catch me sitting on the beach a majority of the time. I might do a snorkeling tour or check out Soggy Dollar Bar (it's top rated), but I am there to see the New Years eve Celebration. Foxy's Old Years Night party is one to remember (or so I hear) where I can dance the new year in. I would probably a lot about $600 for club fees, water activities, and miscellaneous shopping sprees. 

In Peru, I plan on spending a lot of time doing outdoorsy activities. Maybe some hiking or ATVing, but I just want to roam the streets where they have fresh markets, have a few drinks, and a few laughs. There is a lot of sights to see in Peru too. There is so much Inca culture throughout the country I think I could walk out with it running through my DNA. I'll allow about $500 in spending.

Rio De Janeiro Carnivale is another story. I plan to spend here. I want the full experience. If there's a party, I need to pay to get into count me in. I'll probably get ripped off somewhere along the way and learn a valuable lesson about trusting strangers. I want to financially prepare for the mistakes I will probably make here. There might be costumes to wear and props to make. Definitely, would allow closer to $800 for this trip.

Final Activities total: $1,900


(Flights + Accommodations + Food + Activities)=  $7,990



Transportation: Planes, Trains & Automobiles


Honestly, this will all be the same for all three spots. Uber, taxis, shuttles, boats, and water taxis. This is just a cost you can never really know how much it will cost until it happens. It is a good idea to have a flexible budget. I give myself $300 for each landing spot. Some might be cheaper or within walking distance where as a train ticket might be close to $100 for another place. It all depends on location.

Final Transportation total: $900


(Flights + Accommodations + Food + Activities + Transportation)=  $8,890


Hmm, I still have some $$$ left over....


Preparations are just as important.

What will I need to make this trip a success?

Things like adaptors, extra cords, and out of range data plans are all important. I'll probably lose a pair of headphones or two along the way as well. Hell, maybe I'll buy a Polaroid and a go-pro so that I can film this whole trip. I wouldn't be a millennial without my trusty technology!

Final Preparations total: $900


(Flights + Accommodations + Food + Activities + Transportation+ Preparations )=  $9,790



Emergency



The rest is for an emergency I suppose. I didn't leave myself with much wiggle room but it's something. 

Final Emergency Total: $210


(Flights + Accommodations + Food + Activities + Transportation + Preparations + Emergency)=  $10,000


Y'all have to understand something. I am the most frugal spender ever. When it is my own money, you better believe I will be eating two meals a day and scarfing down snacks if that means I can do another activity. The fact that some guy in a yellow suit is offering me $10,000 to go on a vacation I have a whole new perspective. I'm also planning for one here so if you're trying to follow this travel layout and go with your significant other you better double the plane tickets, food, and activities. And if you aren't lucky enough to have some guy in a yellow suit offer you $10,000 for a vacation, believe it or not. Sometimes you just can't wait long enough to save! If you are one of those people a low- interest personal loan could be a better option than putting the whole trip on a credit card. If you want more information check out how Earnest can help you here.

Now that money ain't a thing; I just have to request off from work. I wonder how many sick days I can use in a row before someone get suspicious. 




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

7 Things I Learned Living On My Own




Independency comes with some life lessons that I have to figure out on my own, or with my trusted sidekick YouTube. I've become my best do-it-yourselfer than ever expected and I owe it all to living on my own. Some things I expected, others, no one could have prepared me for. What I do know is there are no rules except: do whatever the hell I want.

It is impossible to shop for one.

I have become the queen of throwing stuff out. I feel like I'm always eating but somehow all my food still goes bad? Sorry bank account, I got carried away at Sprouts and was unable to keep up my end of the bargain.


You don't know independency until you have to pay beyond a co-pay.

A co-pay is just for regular routine check ups, but if I need actual work done, that is another ball game. Choosing to pay upwards of $250+ on a root canal when Nordstrom is having a sale is the defining moment of being an adult.


You find out how dirty your habits are willing to get.

How long can I leave this take out container on my coffee table? Is opening the door without pants on THAT bad? Not leaving the couch for 3 days at a time has got to be some kind of record, right? Not to mention you probably do everything naked on a consistent basis. Could be a laundry faux pas, could be pure laziness. No shame in your nakey game.


No questions, no explanations.

You are your own ruler. No one is here to ask you where you're going, when you'll be home or judge what loose state you walk through the front door in. OR maybe your Friday night consists of some pasta, a bottle of Stella Rose and some trash TV. At the end of the day, no one really cares because it is JUST you. Having the ability to come and go as you please is what freedom is all about.


You learn to cook real food.

When I say cook I actually mean you become self-sufficient enough to answer the door when your post-mates driver arrives. Honestly though, when you cook you feel unstoppable. No one can question your sense of independency because you have the ability to prepare a damn meal for yourself. At the same time, if you don't feel like cooking or answering your door and calling a bag of kettle corn dinner is enough for you, that is your right.


You understand what you're TRULY afraid of.

Seriously, it is just me, myself, and I, and possibly a spider or two that I cannot justify calling someone in a different zip code to come take care of.  Have no fear, I am here.

You have a love-hate relationship with others.

I typically like being by myself but I do catch myself wishing for some company every now and again.  I like being able to decide what is playing on the TV, what temperature the air is set to, and not worrying about someone eating my leftovers. At the same time, it's not the same finishing a bottle of wine by yourself. Talking to yourself kind of gets old after a while as well.



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

What Rachel From The Bachelorette Taught Me About The Love Journey

Let's just all take a second and be honest with ourselves that The Bachelor/ Bachelorette series is some top quality trash television. The idea that contestants have eight weeks to find love is utterly ridiculous yet every Monday we tune in to see the tears, drama, and overall romance. In truth, despite what the show portrays, there can be some words of wisdom throughout the series, even if it means doing the exact opposite of what we see.


HEADS UP THERE ARE SPOILERS IN HERE! 

Mostly because the season is over so you should know by now but if for some reason you behind do not read any further. 

Let me recap for you so you can see where I'm coming from.

Peter and Bryan are the two contestants left. Don't even pretend to act surprised that Eric was voted off, we all saw that coming.

Peter and Rachel have clear feelings for one another. Emotions run high with them, and you can tell they care about being together. HOWEVER, Peter is unable to commit to a proposal because a proposal is like marriage to him and he is not comfortable proposing to someone he met eight weeks ago.

Bryan is so committed to Rachel. She is the light of his world, and I genuinely believe Rachel has strong feelings for him. They do have a good tie together. He said he was starting to fall for her on episode two; what is that like four days in? Bryan is so ready to propose even though the closer it gets to the end the more distant Rachel becomes but he is just waiting for that final rose. The boy has patience; I'll give him that.

All Rachel has been saying this ENTIRE season is how she wants a proposal at the end of this. No one told me she was looking for love.

You can be in love with two people at the same time.

Scratch that three people, did't she tell Dean she was falling in love with him too? 
Ben Higgins did it, so can Rachel. This is still a very new concept for the bachelor(ette). Typically, the bachelorette is NOT allowed to express love feelings of any kind to the contestant until one of them is down on one knee. I would just hate to be the guy that gets married to the girl who said "I love you" with REAL GENUINE TEARS in her eyes to another man when that same girl is more excited about the Neil Lane ring than the words coming out of your mouth during a proposal. That was a mouthful, but so was Bryan's proposal.

The weather is a clear indicator of what matrimony with your person will look like

I think I had to pause and rewind at least six times because while Rachel and Bryan are trying to have an intimate moment, the building they're next to is about to topple over on them. It looks like the couple is off to a rocky start already.


Love makes you really dumb

Okay, Rachel has a degree, is a lawyer, the daughter of a judge, and is an overall educated human being. Peter does not want to get married after eight weeks, how is that an illogical argument.

You CAN settle for a proposal and still be happy

If happiness looks like a three carrot fantasy Neil Lane engagement ring and a guy who is not the one you were fighting for then I think Rachel has her match made in heaven. Diamonds are forever, right Rachel? I think Bryan will make Rachel very happy, but at the end of the day, Bryan looks like such a sucker in this whole love triangle.


Rejection makes you see the light

When did Rachel know she wanted Bryan? When Peter said no.

Ultimately, this show is about finding the one thing we are all seeking. Take away what you can and run with it because if Chris Harrison has anything to say about it, there are no rules when it comes to the journey of love.





Wednesday, August 2, 2017

My Friend Uses A Sugar Daddy But Here’s Why I’m Not Worried About Her

When people hear the phrase “Sugar Baby” or “Sugar Daddy” there is a sudden change of tone in the conversation from light hearted jokes to repulsion, bewilderment, or plain curiosity. In today's world, a sugar baby is typically a part of a physical and emotional companionship in exchange for money. However, that is not ALWAYS the case, which is a common misconception. My friend is a young, intelligent, funny and energetic millennial that is naive enough to play along but not stupid enough to get heavily involved. 

She is also, conclusively, a Sugar Baby.




It is all about the initial meet. How you meet a sugar daddy indicates a lot about how the relationship will develop. If you meet a sugar daddy at the club, or online I would bet the odds are pretty high that it is going to lead to a lot of late nights which will result in the prominent stereotype of what a sugar daddy is after. My friend, we will call her Rebecca, was introduced by her supervisor to her sugar daddy as a networking connection. There were no premeditated notions this would turn into a sugar daddy-sugar baby relationship, which was the primary kicker for me.

One dinner led to two dinners, which led to drinks, which lead to a plethora of opportunities. This guy, we will call him Hector, is an older, successful, traditional male who just highly enjoyed Rebecca's company. What can I say, the girl is extremely comfortable to be around. At this point, I just thought they were hanging out and getting to know one another. It was an entirely innocent relationship to start, and I found normalcy in her connections with him. She would always tell me when she was going out with him, and I expected not to hear from her for the rest of the night because Rebecca never checked her phone when she was with him. Imagine having so much fun with someone you forget you even have a phone, crazy right? I usually gave her 24 hours to make contact with me before I would actually start to wonder. She never missed her window.

It was when she told me he invited her to fly her out of the country with him for about two weeks when she and I realized this was more than just a networking connection now.

Girl, you got yourself a sugar daddy.

Traveling Rebecca was hesitant about, and rightfully so. It is not every day someone offers to pay for your passport, fly you out of the country, and have everything paid for along the way. It was a  business trip for him, and he innocently wanted some company along for the ride. She got a lot of spit back when she explained the situation to her loved ones. You can't just pull a Bella, fly to another country and leave a note. Those were some tough conversations but legally she was free to do what she wanted and ultimately decided to go. Proud of you girl; because I was honestly not worried. She is a tough girl with a good sense of fight or flight and right or wrong. We made some safety arrangements JUST INCASE things got shady on the island. Surprise surprise, she came back in one piece and having the time of her life. From then on out their relationship was taken to the next level.

As a young millennial just trying to make it in the world, she had a regular paying job with a normal working schedule. Hector acknowledged that. He paid for her dental work, repaired her car, gave her shopping money and still took her out to the finest bars for wining and dining. How could you worry about a relationship like that? He is taking these hardships away from her so she can focus on being successful in the future.

Still to this day I have not met this gentleman in person. I've seen their texts, and I've heard their conversations. Nothing about this is sexually motivated. This is purely two generations that happen to see eye to eye, which I think is great since the rest of the world seems to be so torn by age gaps. 





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