As I type this on my laptop, I am sitting here in a room I — we; thanks, Jill! — found on Airbnb. At a reasonable $64 a night, I gain access to a wonderfully hospitable home, a fairly private room, kitchen and Internet access, and — most importantly — good energy!
Getting here was not an easy feat. Let’s save the existential machinations for later: the mere physical difficulties were tough enough! My flight was effectively delayed for five hours, and required me switching airports to make the flight; I did not arrange for rental service upon arrival, and the Uber drivers canceled three times before one finally came. Said Uber driver, a chill African, was patient with me as we realized I had the wrong address and spent 45 minutes creeping around the neighborhood. Upon finally settling in, it was 4 AM and I had nearly succumbed to the stress, desperation and hopelessness of the journey.
Behold! After explaining to Kristin, the hostess, that she had the wrong address on file, she comped my Uber cab — $120 total, including an extremely generous tip — and has been nothing but gracious. She informed me before I even arrived that she had placed a yoga mat in my room, aware that I am a yoga practitioner, astutely stated in my Airbnb profile. She also had snacks — mixed nuts with raisins — as well as entire meals, such as eggs, milk, and vegetables freshly picked from the garden, at my beckoning!
As harrowing as the arrival was is as great as today has been. I naturally woke up at 8 AM with only minimal fatigue, considering the situation. The morning started slow, as I informed Kristin of the misunderstanding, arranged for my baggage to be delivered from the airport — it was unavailable when I touched down, delayed until 8 AM, and I needed to correct the address I had mistakenly informed them of — and researched an appropriate car rental.
Kristin’s generosity — she gave me $120, cash, no questions asked! — was a major boon to my mood, and the rental car issue was solved thanks to Andy’s recommendation of Flightcar. $25 a day? Incredible!
I quickly decided that Seattle — and nearby Portland — have too much to offer for me to leave so shortly. All of Thursday would be used just to get my bearings! Friday, Saturday and Sunday would be almost entirely allocated to NORWAC, leaving me with just Monday to explore. And I had already decided to go to Portland that day! So then I wouldn’t have truly perused any of Seattle, with a noon flight looming on Tuesday.
I changed my flight to June 1st, buying me another six days. Fortunately this is a working vacation, and I am quite the hit in Seattle! The added expenses of prolonging my stay here is roughly $800: $275 from the rental car, $125 from advertising, $80 from the flight change, and $320 from an extra six days here with Kristin. Toss in gas and groceries and we’re easily pushing 1K. That’s not including the ~$400 for the conference — and I will probably do the Monday post-conference, which is another $100 — and the original $200 plane ticket.
I do have potential Couch Surfing housing that could save me at least a day or two, and potentially all six, of my extended stay (the 26th to the 1st); that’s $53 a day. A conservative estimate would be $1800-2K for the trip, in all, while it could be as low as $1200-1500.
That’s why this is a working vacation: I made $450 from today alone, and could easily make all 2K — or more — by the time I leave.
I have three yoga studios I plan on exploring — went to Yoga Smith Seattle today and it was great! Joel is awesome! — and will build my practice back up. Oh, I forgot about yoga: throw in another $200! Yes, let’s conservatively estimate $200 and go from there.
But I am having the time of my life! I feel like pinching myself, as so much amazing has happened. Just watching the plane take off made me feel incredibly grateful. How insane it is that humans have utilized the laws of nature so well that we can temporarily defy and overcome air and water! How do people not live in a state of constant amazement?
Seattle is beautiful and I would love to live here. They even have bike rental! As far as progressive-mindedness goes, it puts LA to shame. Looking forward to a full day tomorrow! Mysore at 6:30! Let’s go!