Ready, Set, Go…. It should have been that easy right?
I knew I was going to return to Ireland before I had even returned from my last trip there. I was in love with the country, and knew I’d be back for more… Love is like that after all. Who doesn’t want more of a good thing?
It was just a matter of figuring out the details… Where would I stay? How would I finance this adventure? How long would I be able to do this for?
This trip was also somewhat of a test for myself. Could I give up having an actual home, and start my dream of living the gypsy life? I’ve been thinking about it for awhile, and was more than ready to go. I had originally planned on throwing some stuff in storage, selling what I no longer needed, and just using airbnb as living quarters along the way. This, however, freaked out some of my friends and family that weren’t quite as enthusiastic about my plan as I was.
They thought I might regret giving up my apartment in Santa Barbara… It is a pretty sweet place, and in the perfect location! I think their actual motives were that, they would have to find a new place to stay while vacationing in Santa Barbara… Kidding aside, I considered other options.
I decided to sublet my place for the next two months. I thought that was the safer option, just in the event my gypsy life didn’t work out. So, I found a 70 year old man that wanted to test the waters of retiring in Santa Barbara, and sublet it to him. He seemed like a safe bet. I put my personal belongings in storage, and crossed my fingers that all was going to work out.
I secured my first six days lodging in Galway, Ireland through airbnb, and booked a few days at a surf lodge in Bundoran, Ireland. I decided to wing the rest of the trip, seeing where the Universe would take me.
I had worked enough the previous months, and was good to go with the financing… Or so I thought!
My car decided it needed some TLC days before I was ready to leave… My travel budget took a $600 hit. Ouch!
Next, there was the call from my bank. My business checking account had been hit with fraudulent charges. Someone in China had managed to make a physical copy of my credit card, and go on a shopping spree. The first charge was for $800 worth of awnings! Really? Wow! Eight more charges followed… How was this not caught immediately?
It was time to sell something that would save the budget. I had a piece of gold jewelry sitting stored in a closet that would do the job… Trip saved!
I’ve been flying standby for the past year, so I’ve got used to getting bumped to the next flight. I’ve spent more time in some airports than I ever thought I would, which can be mentally challenging after awhile. I’ve never flown standby internationally, and was hoping for the best.
The night before I was ready to leave, I had to scramble to rearrange my flights. My original plan was hopeless. All the flights out of Los Angeles were so oversold that I would never make it onto any of them. My only hope was to fly out of Santa Barbara, which added one more flight into the mix. I had no choice… My sub-letter was moving in the next day, and I would be homeless. What’s one more flight anyway?
Shockingly, I made all three of my standby flights! Put this one down the record books! I took it as a good sign that the rest of the trip would go well!