Travel How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? (Author: Tara Hunt)
Typically each year I will do a lot of traveling. Between April and October I hop in my car and head to North Dakota for monthly shopping trips and visiting family, with trips to Minneapolis somewhere in the middle. This year was a little toned down because I was gearing up for the week-long family trip to Minneapolis this past July.
In April me and my sister embarked on her first road trip in 16 years. We headed to Grand Forks for a girl’s weekend with our cousin; it was filled with good food, fun and a lot of laughter. We had so much fun we were able to catalog that fun in our memory bank for years to come. My sister fell in love with the same stores and restaurants as I do – Gordman’s, Super Target, Wal-Mart Supercenter, Golden Corral. I was able to share with my sister how much I love road trips and being able to get away from the city to have lots of fun.
It wasn’t until July when I felt so alive…. the week-long vacation I took with my parents was something I will never forget. It might have been a long road trip (before that trip, I hadn’t driven to Minneapolis myself… I was always a passenger), but just hearing the comments my parents were making was music to my ears. They had too much fun and were remembering the last time we took a trip as a family – “Man, the landscape sure has changed since then!” or “I don’t remember that being here!”, or “Hey! I remember that!” It was great hearing and seeing how much fun my parents were having. I could compare it to a child opening up presents on Christmas Day, truly amazing.
In 2011, I would like to continue my road trips. I would also like to throw another big trip besides my yearly trek to Minneapolis in there. I still plan on finishing school this year and I would like to treat myself to somewhere fun. I was thinking either Disney World for my birthday or Las Vegas. Of course I need money, but I can plan right? I have two trips to Minneapolis next year – July and September for their Minnesota State Fair. My trips to Grand Forks will be there, I can’t ignore that place… it’s like home away from home but on a smaller stage. My road trips are sacred to me…. the freedom of being in a car and the open land that looks like it goes on forever is spectacular to me. I love the prairies and the rolling hills of Minnesota as there is something about them that make them spectacular in which I cannot describe them. I’m hoping I can travel a lot in 2011. Traveling is my freedom and my escape!
New Name Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?
When I was in high school me and my best friend Kathy went by different names. I was Nikki and she was Dru. I can’t remember how it came about, but that’s what we called each other. For the longest time I wanted to be a Nicole. I thought that Nicole should have been my name and not Michelle. It was later that my mom told me she was going to name me Nicole but after she told a family friend what she would name me if I were a girl, her friend called her daughter that and all bets were off. She named me Michelle.
After that I realized that I can only be me and that I loved my name. I don’t think I could go by any other name or even want to do it all over and have another name.
Everything’s OK What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? (Author: Kate Inglis)
Eventually at some point in your life you will have that moment, a moment when you realize that everything is going to be okay. Despite what is going on in the world or how crazy or craptastic your life is, everything is going to be okay. It’s that “ah-ha!” moment, and yes, we do have it some time.
I had two of them this year. The first one was when I sat down to calculate the debt I owe and most recently when the student aid issue came in to play again.
The debt is massive, but when I talked to two different loan officers they both agreed that the student aid shouldn’t come in to play. It’s $20K that will eventually get paid off and if I don’t make payments, the government will hunt me down and come down hard on me. They also told me that now a days, banks don’t look at federal student aid debts because everyone has them. Yes, they take them in to consideration but it’s the other debt they look at – a new car loan, other loans, credit cards. Both told me that if I want to own my own home within five years, to pay off all the credit card debt.
That number I calculated was huge, but when I started to put the steps forward to pay off the debt… I knew everything was going to be okay.
Even with the student aid/university debacle…. I know that everything is going to be okay and I will graduate. I’m going to write a letter this week to the student aid appeal board to let them know everything that happened and ask for a reversal. I’m also going to explain to them how the university gave them the wrong information and how that wrong information led to a huge disaster. Hopefully they’ll agree with me and give me back that money. I’ve still got that feeling that everything is going to be okay.
Just to let everyone know that if there will be prompts this weekend, I will not be responding until next week. It’s Christmas and I plan on spending this weekend with my family.