I haven’t traveled anywhere in a WHILE. Once the end of August gets here I will have been here in Chicago a full THREE YEARS, man. I mean wow. Three years ago I got here by DRIVING. And I didn’t just anything, I drove my LA car (see below). The ironic thing is that before I left I had a car break down, so I went to these VW specialist and I remember there was some welding, there was some dismantling of another VW, but I forget the exact nature of the problem. They told me the car wouldn’t make the 200 miles. But once I to Chicago I sent them a picture of me standing in front of a giant sign in the heart of downtown. But you can get all the details of WHY I’m here in my About me page. But I’m not gonna lie to you; that type of travel, long distance driving alone, is Tough As Hell. I stopped in cheap hotels about 3 or 4 times, but essentially it was 500 miles a day for 4 days and a half. I made to Chicago via Indiana at RUSH HOUR. So even the arrival was rugged because that area isn’t just commuters, it’s a shipping lane for truckers. Nothing like driving a VW surrounded by trucks.
But I did have an easy trip about 20 years before that. Some friends and I drove from Chicago to San Francisco. And we REALLY stayed in cheap hotels. But we had a ball. They had been raised in Southern California, so it was new to all of it. And San Francisco is such a friendly place with awesome women. We saw a very good local band, Primus, who later went on to be quite famous . We saw an early Matt Groening animation, he created the Simpsons. We ate all kinds of seafood and chocolate from this Ghirardelli’s out on the Warf. That was a great cheap travel trip. No reservations, no package deal, no travel agency; we just winged it.
When I was living in New York City I went on two trips as an air courier. This is one of those things that’s almost an Urban Legend, but it was true back in the day. They would use you as the “human” to transport “cargo.” You never knew what it was, they’d say “document” and show you a big bag or box. Some guy would meet you at the airport, you’d go up to the check out counter together, he’d check in the bag/box and you’d just tag along and take the clipboard. When you arrived at your destination, a similar looking dude (at the very least a similar acting dude) would meet you and take the stuff. End of stage one of the travel plans. When it was time to go, you’d repeat the process in reverse and get a flight back home. Seems easy. My trip to South American went pretty well, until I missed the flight back. Then I just had to wait 4 days. No money. Sleeping on the streets of Caracas Venezuela. Hilarious. But I met some dudes. And some chicks. It all worked out. And after that long hard 3 weeks I got back to the airport and got the “black guy” treatment from security. Special room, full body search, possessions opened. You ever see Midnight Express?
I also took a trip to Tokyo this way too . This time I was really thinking about using a travel agency. But that trip was smooth as butter! They put me on Korean Air, and my ticket was half the price of everybody else. Back in those days, that was a hard deal to get. But nowadays you can get that type a trip from all the internet travel sites. And so I need to get my ass out the city and go somewhere. I’m going stir crazy!