Lesson 2 and 3.

Places traveled

England

-London, Liverpool, Manchester< Leeds, York

-Dublin, Irelnad

-Martinique (Just came back 4 days ago)

Jamaica

-Montego Bay, Kingston

-Califronia

-Florida

-Virgina

-Georgia

-

Summer of 2014, I made a promise to my best friend Niko, that I would visit him in England. He had just recently moved to Liverpool upon a scholarship he had received to the University of Liverpool. Around the onset of summer, I had just purchased a new car due to my junker dying on me. I did not want to disappoint Niko since he has been anticipating my arrival for over a year.  I had a drake moment (YOLO), and charged about $1,000 on my credit card for a plane ticket. It felt unlawful to spend that amount of money on a plane ticket or just at all. Still scraping by after purchasing my car, I struggled to save money for my trip to Liverpool which was only due after one month of purchasing my flight. I managed to only have $500 to take with me to England. After I converted it, I only had about 240 pounds, that was to last me 6 days. But I made it work with the help of Tesco's 3 pound meals, happy hour specials, and discounts awarded from my college ID.I rocked out on Pride Day. I explored the churches and old cemeteries. If you ever go to Liverpool, please visit St.Georges Hall. It has a medieval elegance and horror that everyone must experience. The bar and club thing was never my scene, but Liverpool set a new standard of nightlife. Unlike New York City, there isn't a cover charge.  Concert sqaure is a pedestrian hub of over 20 bars and clubs within a small perimeter. There is a bar/club for everybody, gospel, house, reggae, heavy metal, everything. Some of the most popular bars and clubs are at capacity, so they take the party outside into the street. Everybody's dancing and nobody is watching. New York, step your game up. My first international trip on my own couldn't have been sweeter.
The real horror began five hours prior to my flight back to New York.  My friends and I decided to pull an all-nighter and get some grub at three in the morning to reflect on our time together. Around four, we returned to his dorm. I initially planned to stay awake but I crashed for what was supposed to be a hour. I slept past my alarm, and missed my train back to Manchester Airport. My train was conveniently delayed but I still managed to reach check-in 50 minutes prior to my flight's departure. American Airlines refused to check me in, and explained they don't check in passengers less than hour to departure. I keep forgetting not every agent is as forgiving as the agents at JFK. I was redirected to customer service, and I was proposed a flight home for 480 pounds, but I only had 20 left to my name after hardcore budgeting. 

OH by the way, I had no working cell phone during this trip. I used the last of my pounds to use the less than functioning computers to contact Niko, but I knew he was still sleeping. I saw that my cousin was online on facebook, and explained to her my crisis. I was instructed to come to London, which was a 3.5 hour ride and 138 pound trip. At this point I was charging everything on my credit card. 

Four hours later I get to London, and it took me 2 hours to find my cousin at the train station equivalent to Grand Central. I alerted my job and my parents of my situation. Because of insufficient funds I had no idea when I was coming home.  I called American Airlines who then redirected me to Iberia Airways, whom I originally booked the ticket to. Then Iberia Airways redirected me to American Airlines. Annoyed with the diffusion of responsibility I went to Heathrow Airport to plead with both airlines. Finally AA reduced my fare home from 400 pounds to 250. I still didn't have that money, but my cousin from Los Angeles transferred me the money. Due to different banks the money didn't clear in time. After playing a game of tug and war, my family in London decided to lend me money to catch a flight that same day ( though I originally proposed I'd pay them back). It was such a relief to know that I was going home. I have never been more excited to be back in New York more than ever.Lesson(s) of the year. Get to the airport earlier than you think is necessary. Have an emergency stash fund. Switch to to T-mobile or Att&t (Free texting and data). Purchase train tickets in advance, they are significantly cheaper.

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