Despite my lack of updates, I managed to take quite a few trips this year. Only a few were non-work related but I try my best to spend a little time in each city I visit. Both St. Louis and Detroit trips were in and out in one day, but I always arrange extra time in New York and D.C.
Who knows what sort of travel is in store for me in 2013, but I hope for at least one international trip. I’m still toying with the idea of biking around Iceland but, for now, all I know is I’ll be visiting New York and Atlanta.
January: Washington D.C.
February: St. Louis
March: Virginia, Syracuse
April: NYC, Jersey City
May: NYC, Jersey City
July: Washington D.C., Detroit
September: Connecticut, Houston
November: Sydney, Pittsburgh
After more than 39 hours in the air and nearly 19,000 miles flown across 15 flights I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of Jet Blue’s All You Can Jet promotion. With that much flying I had the in-flight commercials memorized and had no problem deciding what snacks to choose (plantain chips are interesting but you can’t go wrong with the Munchies Mix).
I touched down in eight states and three countries over the course of 29 days this fall. Although it could be argued that this promotion is environmentally irresponsible, I’ve been consoling my guilt by remembering that these flights would have left even without the additional AYCJ passengers. You can see my route below—highlights were definitely Washington D.C. and Colombia but I enjoyed seeing family, friends and sights in all of my destinations.
Despite traveling to remote area of the world there are a number of places much closer to home people are surprised I’ve never visited—Washington D.C. is one of them.
Most of my readers know how much I love museums. I’m happy to wander around all day looking at exhibits and looking at people looking at exhibits, sometimes drawing in my sketchbook. Washington D.C. is a city of museums and it was the first place I decided to visit on my All You Can Jet pass.
Another perk of of visiting D.C. was catching up with friends. David, who couchsurfed with me only a few weeks ago, happened to be cat-sitting in Arlington, Virginia while I was in town and was nice enough to pick me up from the metro when I arrived. With a borrowed car we set off to see the FDR and Lincoln Memorials by moonlight, setting the pace for what turned out to be a busy, whirlwind visit.
The Bureau of Printing and Engraving was my first daylight stop, recommended by David. Seeing fresh twenty dollar bills coming off the presses was interesting for me, as a designer who routinely oversees press checks as part of her job. The most fascinating part of the process was not the inline cutting or organization but the fact the presses were much smaller than the presses I often print commercial projects on.
I managed to quickly visit the Sackler and Freer Galleries (Asian art) and the Museum of the American Indian before meeting David for our scheduled tour of the Capitol building. Although I thought that this trip was going to be all about art the non-art visits were surprisingly interesting. Over then next few days I managed to see the Constitution, the Star Spangled Banner, Lincoln’s death bed, George Washington’s uniform, enormous space vessels and countless halls of amazing art—all for free. In fact, the only attraction I paid to enter was the Textile Museum, which was finishing up an excellent exhibition of textiles designed by mid-century British women.
My good friend Mike, who moved to D.C. while I was on my last RTW trip took an afternoon off to show me around and capture a cartwheel picture in front of the White House. We walked across town, stopping at a modern art museum before walking past the capitol building on the way to dinner with his family. It seems so odd to live in a place where its routine to walk past such historic monuments every day.
The last part of my trip was spent staying with one of my many internet-made friends. She was busy preparing for international travel herself, but we managed time to go to Maryland and meet up with her friends to watch our favorite TV show’s premiere episode.
I originally planned to visit Baltimore for a day to see even more friends and family but the museums were so great in D.C. I opted to stay another day. I love stringing all of these one-way flights together and making changes as I go, much like I do when traveling on long trips.
My first leg of jetBlue’s All You Can Jet is finished and it was pretty exciting. Washington D.C. was so amazing that I changed my flight at the last minute to skip Baltimore and stay in D.C. another day. Since my friend was flying out at 6am on an adventure of her own I ended up arriving in New York City at 7am with nearly 13 hours before my flight to Chicago. One-way tickets are my preference on RTW trips and I have to say that it’s much more fun flying this way.
I had heard about the deal last year but didn’t take advantage of it. This year I jumped on the chance to fly anywhere JetBlue flies for $499 for a month. The pass sold out in two days and I didn’t have much time to plan my trip. JetBlue only flies direct to three locations from Chicago (Boston, New York and Long Beach) so any way I worked it I would have a lot of connections.
Most people don’t realize that JetBlue flies to many international locations—mainly the Caribbean but also Colombia. After I confirmed my ticket I set about scouring the JetBlue website to see how I could get the most out of my pass, including a trip to Bogota. This is the first time I’ve flown JetBlue and after the whirlwind of booking 15 one-way flights I’ve become well-aquanted with the airline’s routes, benefits and limitations.
I’m writing this during a layover in Boston on my way to Washington D.C., both cities I’ve never visited. This pass is giving me the opportunity to hop around to a number of cities in the U.S. I’ve been meaning to visit, reconnect with old friends and family and explore two international destinations. At the end of my All You Can Jet experience I will have officially traveled to 50 countries.