Freedom, In Bullet Time
January 1, 2012
Last week I found a BBC show, looked up one of the acts performing on it, then bought a ticket to one of their shows. The show is in Dublin on May 5, 2012. I’m going to need a passport.
January 2, 2012
This morning I walked to the San Jose court house and applied for a passport. I’m 28 and I’ve never had a passport before. The helpful government official behind the counter mentioned I should probably renew my license before I leave since it expires this year and I don’t know how long I’ll be gone.
Rest of January, 2012
Minimal spend mode switched tracks. Now, instead of minimal spend due to saving as much as possible, minimal spend is needed to keep the no-income runway as long as possible.
In an online profile I mentioned I’m looking to travel this year. A person visiting The Bay Area from Barcelona saw and invited me to stay in Barcelona. This could work out.
March 5, 2012
Renewed California license. California has idiotic rules where you have to re-take written driving tests if you renew in person. So, I pulled out my phone to quickly review the DMV driving and motorcycle riding manuals so their questions wouldn’t trip me up. Passed.
March 11, 2012
Upgraded Amex Gold to Amex Platinum. The Platinum card includes $200 worth of airline credits for post-booking charges (in-flight drinks, bag fees, change fees), a full refund of Global Entry application fee, and a few other nice features that almost offset the yearly $450 fee.
March 15, 2012
Booked San Francisco -> Atlanta (US Airways, Cost: $176.79) Booked Atlanta -> London; Barcelona -> San Francisco (US Airways, Cost: $1,271.09) Booked London -> Dublin; Dublin -> Barcelona (Aer Lingus, Cost: $329.19)
Applied for Global Entry online. (paid for it with the Amex card. the charge will hit the card then immediately get refunded.)
March 30, 2012
Emailed a friend to say happy birthday. Since I’m moving, they invited me to stay with them too.
Looks like I’m changing my return Barcelona -> San Francisco trip to Barcelona -> Seattle.
Almost all airline changes cost $200 (and include at least an hour waiting on hold, because every time you call they act like they’ve never had to change a ticket before).
April 1, 2012
Selected US Airways for Amex $200 credit benefit.
April 2, 2012
Called Amex Travel and had them change Barcelona -> San Francisco to Barcelona -> Seattle. The $200 US Airways incidentals credit instantly refunds this fee when it hits the credit card.
April 9, 2012
Rented a storage unit in San Jose to hold everything I can’t sell. The storage unit was advertised at $48/month, but a few months later they quickly raised it to $64/month because, well, you’ve got your stuff there and what are you going to do? Move?
April 14, 2012
Drove to SFO for Global Entry interview, photographing, and finger printing. Took less than five minutes (plus the 40 minutes of driving each way).
April 19, 2012
Sold car. Deposited the buyer’s cashier check into my account. Right now, bank account sits right at $50k.
April 20, 2012
Last day in apartment. I lived here four years, and now it’s all going away.
April 25, 2012
Barcelona person forgot they are out of town the day I arrive. So, I get to re-book a flight for a few days later. Instead of re-booking, I just ignore the pre-booked Aer Lingus flight and book a RyanAir flight. Booked Dublin -> Barcelona (RyanAir, Cost: €101.24 ($143.12), (the base fare is €26.99, then they charge €60 for one carry on, then they charge €12 for “web check in and administrative fee”, the rest is tax).
Next up: Actual Travel Information
It’s about time, right? We’re getting to actual travel related details. In the next chapter. Keep reading.