Waiting for the bus to go home: So I am sitting in a Sbarro having a cold beer waiting for the bus. And I thought of a quote Yvon said in “180 Degrees South”. He said “The word adventure has just gotten overused. For me adventure is when everything goes wrong. That’s when the adventure starts.” Fighting this horrible weather and the confusion of the subway system was definitely an adventure in that sense. Even though not much went wrong on this trip I still found a better understanding of what he was talking about. If forces you to step away from the plans and just do what is available to you at the moment. While doing this you can find some really awesome things to experience. I spent most of the day dodging the rain by doing things like ducking into stores to make a couple purchases and stopping at places to eat that turned out to have some awesome authentic food. Although this brought up a couple things I would like to mention about traveling cheap or free.
First, bad weather can do a few things that can effect the way we travel cheap or free. One was already mentioned above as a way to experience new things such as hidden gems inside the world of food. However it also effects the cost. Other than the obvious effects like getting you sick and ruining your gear, it can also keep you in doors where you can start spending money out of sheer boredom. Traveling on foot in bad weather isn’t impossible really. Just put on a poncho and avoid the really bad parts of a storm by popping into a random store or mall on the way to your destination. However, one problem is in big cities they have ways of keeping people from just hanging out inside their stores. For instance some places have limited seating with time limits and purchase requirements. This helps to cut down on the amount of homeless hanging out not to mention it helps with their constant traffic flow. Unfortunately it also affects the average traveler.
Because I was doing this and spending extra money on the trip it sparked another thought. For some people the entire trip does not need to be cheap or free but this could be used as a way to just cut back the expenses. For example, what if you wanted to see a Broadway play but the cost of the ticket, a hotel stay, and plane ride is just too much? Some people say “Well I can always get cheap seats at the play”. That is just a total loss in experience in both the travel and the play. Why cut back on something you will only get to do once in a very long time? I say save a few hundred by staying in a hostel and taking a bus or rideshare. Then put that extra money towards the front row seats! This will not only increase the experience of the play but also of the travel time.
Even when the weather was bad I had a fun time if only due to watching a lady steal an umbrella from a street vendor. She bought an umbrella from a vendor for $10 (the 99 cent store was selling them for $4) and when she opened it the wind took over and snapped it in half. After arguing with the guy for a while and him refusing to give her a new one, she grabbed one while he wasn’t looking and took off down the road. There has never been a time that I went to NY and didn’t get to see something like this. Last time it was a Taxi that was hit while opening his door. The door was completely turned around like in the movie “Tommy Boy”.
So overall the trip was a success. If you ignore the impulsive spending and just go on what I spent on the actual trip it was less than $100. That’s less than a hotel, plane ticket, or even the amount of gas I would have spent driving there. Not only was it cheap but it gave me an opportunity to experience a hostel for the first time and get an idea of what traveling alone in bad weather conditions is like.
I didn’t get too many good photos but here is the link to my Flickr set http://www.flickr.com/photos/amremington/sets/72157625406576087/