When Hurricane or “Super Storm” Sandy hit here last autumn, I didn’t have power for eleven days. I was one of the lucky ones, though — I still had my house, a gas-powered stove, and gas-heated water. Here’s what I learned about living without electricity.
Once they get you through the gate, they want you to spend as much as possible and they’ve hidden little costs around the park to keep your wallet hemorrhaging Sing dollars.
On May 14, I clipped my bags to my rack, swung my leg over my seat, and slid my feet into my pedal cages. I was about to start the journey of a lifetime: a bike ride from the east coast of Virginia to the west coast of Oregon.
While I enjoy the freedom and excitement of traveling independently and without a guide book, sometimes you need context to appreciate ancient buildings and sites. And even with context, you still need to use your imagination to make that critical connection to history.
Have you ever wondered how you’re going to store food when the grid fails during the apocalypse? But even more pressingly, do you know how to eat well during the inevitable post-storm power outages in your neighborhood? With a little knowledge and planning, you can actually cook delicious meals without a refrigerator. After living on boats for almost four years with no or limited electricity, I have learned it is possible to eat like a gourmet without ice.
I’ve heard Thailand described as “International Travel 101″ because it’s a country where one can easily travel by bus or train, many people speak English, it’s inexpensive, and it’s relatively safe for a single female adventurer. More importantly, it’s so far removed from anything that one could experience in the Midwest. I was a novice traveler who wanted a taste of the exotic, but with a safety-net. This was Thailand.
I’ve often been told to dream big. The sky’s the limit; the possibilities are endless. I guess statements like these are supposed to be inspiring, but instead, they terrify me. Confronting an infinite number of career and life choices is paralyzing. What if I make a wrong choice, and what if that choice eliminates other choices? For me, it was easier to stay stuck in place, doing nothing or something not great but neutral, rather than face that kind of decision-making. Fortunately, it’s not true — the possibilities are not endless. We have choices, but we also have limits.
I had two surprising (at least to me) reactions to Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run: 1) I became a vegetarian, and 2) I learned a valuable lesson about life.
There’s no class or guidebook that can prepare you for your first adventure in a strange land, and each day was another dose of culture shock. I’d been lured out of my safe Kansas suburb by the “learn Chinese in China” promise, and my safe if quirky hobby had suddenly become a full-blown pilgrimage.