I Need to Go Somewhere. I Should Look for a Cheap Travel Deal

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!

13 thoughts on “I Need to Go Somewhere. I Should Look for a Cheap Travel Deal

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  4. How about Tucson? Although this time of year it’s getting steamy down there already. We go there every fall and it’s nice. We’re only a little north of you and we make it a roadtrip. Sigh…I hate road trips. Yours sound fun, though!

    Have I rambled on enough? LOL

  5. Hi Kathy,
    Thanks, but in an ironic twist of fate, I’ve got travel on my mind BECAUSE of Tucson. Somebody I know is stuck out there with no money trying to move back to Chicago.

    She’s a little mad that I keep telling her to “try harder.” But in a free country, single, no kids, not that many possessions; I don’t see a move as being impossible.

  6. Surprise, surprise

    It started out as “I want to do it on my own.” And having been a man all my life I said, “ok.” Let’s just wait and see how long before…

    You know, a BIG part of this blog’s creation has to do with spending 2 (almost 3) years helping a woman, her kids, her mother get their life reassembled after her split from her husband. And then 7 DAYS after I moved her into a house she was cheating on me. So i take a very hands off approach now.

  7. I need to go somewhere too… dag on gas prices are keeping me from vacationing, but I’ve decided to vacation in my immediate area. Should be fun.

  8. Hello sHae
    Yeah, local are trips can really satisfy the need to travel with the small pocketbook (or wallet). I used to do it all the time in LA. And I got a book out the library called Wild Chicago that’s got a lot of junk like a big ball of string or rubber bands in a close by suburb (there’s other stuff in there too)!

  9. Sheesh, that sucks. I’d be pretty hands off too after being shit on like that.

    How did you end up in Chicago? Are you downtown or a suburb?

  10. Hi Kathy!
    That is the additional irony of the situation. I spent a LOT of time getting into a land fighting unit in the Navy Reserves. A LOT. And I finally got into the Seabees AND managed to get into one of the few deploying units for Iraq. Then I heard from her, and her spiel was “this is happening, that is happening, I’ve loved you since…” so I got a release to come and help. Left my Los Angeles life and my military life.

    “Full disclosure” as they say; I also wasn’t happy with my mother’s quality of life out here, and I’m not a military guy by nature, but I had worked in the WTC during my NYC decade.

    And so I’m right in the City’s South Side.

  11. Wow! I sensed that you were an honorable guy and now I see I was right!

    My husband has a lot of family in the ‘burbs and so we travel down and through a couple of times a year…I’m a little familiar with the territory!

  12. Hi Kathy-yeah I think on your site you mentioned your Chicago/husband connection.

    And “honorable?” Well, I’m just a guy doin’ my thing…

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