Life, Travel
Travel Diaries – Highway Tragedy in Florida
January 21, 2010 at 11:18 am 0
Over the last few weeks we've been on a road trip throughout the USA. We started in Toronto, went to Washington DC for Christmas and then on to Charleston, Savannah, and finally Florida. Our first stop in Florida was outside of Jacksonville in a road hotel. We were both too tired to continue on, and we'd been stuck in a never ending traffic jam that took us 3 hours just to get outside of Savannah. As frustrating as it was, it was also heartbreaking. Originally we couldn't figure out why the traffic was taking forever to move...seriously, we were going 20 mph for 2 hours straight. It was like we were in a street parade for Senior's Day! So of course we started getting frustrated and agitated...until we came upon the real reason the traffic had been so backed up. There was a massive crash involving a semi truck and four cars and all of them were completely destroyed. There were five police cars around, skid marks everywhere, a few tow trucks...and a Hearse. No ambulance, just a Hearse. This whole scene really haunted me. The cars all looked like they had been put through a garbage compactor and I couldn't stop thinking about the people that used to be in them. Mothers, daughters, sons, friends, colleagues...those people could be so many important things to so many different people. And now they are gone. Then of course my thoughts turned inside our car, and thinking about how much I care about my fiancé, and how I would be completely devastated if he wasn't with me. So after holding back some tears we chatted about how many crazy accidents we've seen on this trip. And how none of them were worth it. We decided to slow down, enjoy the drive, and chill out with the passing, speeding, and other carryings on that put us closer to harms way. Sometimes it's okay to get to a destination later, especially if it means you arrive alive.
Seven Ways I Survived the Economic Crisis
July 21, 2009 at 6:59 pm 0
Recently I had a chance to reflect on life over the past year. It has been a great year for me in my personal life (just a hint, but I met someone lovely), and it's also been a good year for me financially. I was able to get a better job and weather the economic crisis with a good chunk of savings. Here are some of the things that I did that made a difference to my bottom line. 1. I bought a condo that was affordable. Instead of being tempted to buy a larger 1bdrm apt that was over my budget I settled on my bachelor apt. Yes, it`s small, but so are my mortgage payments. Besides, I know I won`t be here forever, and I`ve been able to save a lot living in this very affordable space. 2. I switched to a cash budget. Every month I watched my money very carefully and made sure I never over-extended myself. With cash it is so much easier because you never get a surprise credit card bill in the mail. 3. I paid off my debt and saved like crazy. I needed to have a large safety savings account so that I could feel comfortable everyday, in case something bad happened. Now I know that if I lose my job I will be okay for a few months. 4. I socialized differently. I love going out to fancy restaurants and very much enjoy great wine, but I don`t need to indulge all the time. This past year I`ve had friends over for dinner more than ever, and I drink my fancy wine at home, too. If I do go out it`s for a special occasion, or I meet my friends for drinks after dinner. 5. I shopped for less expensive clothing alternatives. Instead of going for the pricey brand names I`d opt for the less expensive clothing lines. The funny thing is, people often ask me if I got my dresses at designer stores. I was at a wedding in Montreal and a girl at my table asked me if I got my dress at BCBG, but really I got it at Bedo. As long as you stick with decent quality you`ll be fine. 6. I second guessed purchases. When tempted by a purchase I`d step back and figure out if I really needed it. If the answer was maybe, or no, I just moved on. 7. I didn`t go into stores if I wasn`t looking for something specific. I avoided the temptation. If I didn`t need to go shopping I`d do something else that made me happy, like read a book in a coffee shop, or go for a walk outside. That way I didn`t feel like I was denying myself.