To go or not to go…

And that is the question…

This weekend, I was down at LAX for the Doctor Who convention and my mom was finalizing her plans for her 30th anniversary trip with dad this summer. They will be going on a cruise (again) and I am so jealous. This year, they’ll be on a Scandinavian cruise which includes working through Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, and Germany.

Like seriously jealous!

And to top this all off, they are using Icelandic Airways which means they can stop one way up to a week in Iceland without any extra airfare – so of course, they are also stopping in Iceland for five days. If you haven’t been playing along, this is one of my top must get to locations.

Well, while mom was finalizing a few plans and I was bemoaning (mostly good humorously) the fact that I will be mostly stuck at home all over again, she looked up the cost of round trip flights for the days they will be in Iceland. As it turns out, WOW Airlines can get me a small personal item and carry-on (again really small but enough for 5 days) for a little less than $800.

Because mom and dad will be there and I would be part of their trip, $800 would be the total cost to me. If you don’t know, that is fabulous for a 5 day adventure and traveling with my parents is something I actually really love.

So, why am I asking a question practically out of Shakespeare rather than running around screaming, ‘shut up and take my money!’?

First, even if it is just the last five days of their trip, this is my parents 30th anniversary. I think they might need to have the trip to themselves even if they had one last year.

Next up, while $800 isn’t a lot when planning a trip, seeing as I’m a substitute teacher, paying off loans, looking for more permanent work (and therefore, with no idea when I’ll be able to take off when I do get a job), this is a lot of money for me to invest on an uncertain future. This might not normally be enough to stop me jumping on the plane – I’ve really, really missed traveling since moving home – but add in a few surrounding SCA events (though if a friend (or a few) of mine knew that was a consideration, he’d murder me) and other planning situations, and you have me hesitating.

My mom is an amazing trip planner – we always see amazing things and more than I ever would otherwise – but our expectations and needs for a trip to a place like Iceland is very different (kind of like our different needs for Hawaii). The trip doesn’t cross with the Northern Lights (though this could explain the cheaper flight out), and is thrown together to hit the big must sees rather than active moments.

Then there are my sisters. I’m one of four girls and, while I’m sure the pregnant one doesn’t want to spend her last month of pregnancy flying, just me going doesn’t feel like a fair shake. My oldest sister already voiced a desire to go if I was going to crash the trip and the youngest couldn’t afford it out of college.

With all of these – despite the con of having to foot a bigger bill if I’m doing the trip all by myself – uncertainties and timing issues, I’m leaning to a heartbreaking no. I’ll shelf it for a year or two and make the most out of what is possible closer to home.

Sometimes logic sucks, but it’s also all about the balancing act.

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

To go or not to go…

That time of year again….

For many, today this means Valentine’s day, but in the Gallagher household, this means the lead up to Gallifrey One, the premier annual Doctor Who convention that takes place in the LAX Marriott Hotel. This will be my 6th year attending (not including my facetimed from France experience!), and if you have gone or attempted to get tickets for this, you know how lucky that is.

This year, I’m coming at the prep and thought process for this event differently than I have before. The hotel is fairy close to home so while I could go out and retrieve anything I accidentally leave behind quite easily, this is always a pain; in this light, I’m not talking about checking and double checking on all your gear, including fittings.

Since experiencing the magnitude that was Boston Comic Com. and the shifts in schedules, shifts in lines, crowd control, and so many things happening all at once that you just miss out, I’ve begun to appreciate planning ahead so much more (as if I didn’t already, right?).

So, this week (besides binge watching a bit of DW Series 1) I will be going over the online schedule and picking all my time slots – and time to grab a bite or two to eat! – and plotting out my  budget. This online schedule has a customizable option I will definitely be checking out asap!

If you do have tickets, be aware that there is a new ‘no videotaping panels’ rule – pictures are great but, because people have been posting whole panels rather than clips, there is no unofficial filming. Still, if this ruins your weekend, remember you are lucky to be there!

So, wear your Union Jack with pride, take my hand, and (as always): Run!

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

That time of year again….

Photography Post

So here are a few of my favorite pictures from my NorCal trip right before New Years. I enjoyed these places so much and just wanted a quick shout out. You can always find more on my Flickr.

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While the above is not really a tourist location that I can send you all to, this is my cousins’ house out in wine country. I love the area around their house. There are so many different features like this horned gate and rusted old cars that speaks so much to my ‘forgotten places’ aesthetic and really works here. It also helped that we were here in winter so the plant life was working very well for me.

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This was on the left side of the buffs (and Point) near Bodega Bay. This was from the second day of the trip and I loved the color contrast. Climbing around the varied rock faces to get these rocks was so much fun.

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I can’t tell you how many images of this girl out on the floating rock I have but she was mesmerizing. This might be my favorite shot of her. She’s such a still force in the wake of all the visibly mobile water. It still has me wondering how she managed to get out to her perch – there really was no direct path even if she’d been there at a lower tide!

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On our day out, we stopped on the right side (going into the city) of the Golden Gate Bridge. I’d never gone up the side road, along the coastal mountains but the views were breathtaking. Of course, it was crazy trying to find a spot but it does seem to get easier the further up you go.

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I love the Ghirardelli factory and always have. I have so many memories from the city and a stop at the factory was always the best part. While it can get busy here, it never feels like I have had a successful trip unless I climb up the long hill.

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

Photography Post

A Few Tips for the Changing World of Travel

No matter where you are in the world tonight, you know that traveling right now pretty much sucks. And let’s be honest, I can’t really write a travel blog without covering some of the topics that will follow.

Between new edicts (political), protests, and changes in policy (airlines), there is so much to research and keep up with. This can make it so easy to just say screw it and stay home, or, for those contrarians, want to get out in the world to witness the change.

I am not going to argue one way or the other here – I have plenty of viewpoints on each of the matters listed but that’s not the point of this blog (I may be willing to chime in if anyone wants to know in the comment section). Instead, I’m going to talk about what has changed, what you may want to look further into, and how you should plan around it all.

1. Short term (which could become long term) travel and immigration ban into the United States.

This was an executive order that’s popped up in the past week which is wrecking plans for travelers, green card holders, residents, and families of all the above who are traveling from one of the ‘banned’ countries. It’s actually crazy the amount this has effected travel around the world and it’s only been a few days. If you or your family has been effective – or you are one of the many who want to get involved due to political or civil rights motivations – really do your research. It’s important to know all your rights, the rights of those detained, the numbers of multiple protection agencies (many groups and lawyers are currently working pro-bono). Of course, this has spread to other travel related delays which I will cover in a few points.

2. Airlines that will not fly into certain states because of their political standing.

States like California have banned state-funded travel to states that have instituted anti-LGBT+ laws. Basically, this can reduce the number of flights heading to these states which may affect ticket prices. These bans cross airlines and were set in place to decrease travel and tourism revenues of the states in the hope that economic fallout will send a message about equal rights. I do not know how this has worked out, but seeing as states have done this, there is some possibility (currently theoretical) of countries around the world looking at similar bans for the US (though really unlikely). There are plenty of petitions around the world asking their governments to ban specific people traveling into their countries.

3. Nation-wide airport protests.

We’re bouncing back to the bans. In the wake of the executive order this week, huge crowds have gathered at airports nation-wide protesting the ban and trying to help the refugees that have been trapped within the airports. Whether you support the protesters or not, you should definitely be  aware of the slow down happening if you need to use the airports. Give yourself longer time frame to get to the airport and through security. Security may be growing as lawyers and other civil workers move through security to do what they can closer to those detained, while getting through the protest and into the security line can also take longer. Pre-print or load your ticket onto your phone so you have less to deal with when checking your bag and have everything ready when you go through security – we’ve talked about all the mishaps that can happen many times.

4. Taxi-cab (and others) boycott airports

In a similar vein, cab drivers – as many of them are immigrants or the children of immigrants – have boycotted picking up and dropping off at airports. This maybe a short term, reoccurring, or long-haul boycott – only time will tell. While some cab-alternatives are more than willing to get you to the airport, others are standing with the cab companies (even pledging thousands of dollars to help finance civil liberties groups). My only political statement here is remember that your purchasing power is political, so who you choose to spend your money with is who you are siding with in these kinds of fights – it really is as simple as that. Again, the tip here is all about giving yourself time and planning ahead, also keep an eye out on what is happening so you can change your travel plans if need be.

5. Baggage policy changes

Now we’ll step away from politics. Before the US changed hands, multiple airlines (you should research this as the trend is growing) have started charging for carry-on items for economy passengers – carrying on a bag can now cost you $25 dollars, plus a $25 at-gate checking fee (That’s a $50 charge guys). This doesn’t count for personal items, ie a purse or bag that first under your seat but anything that has to go in an overhead bin will be charged these fees. So, now you’ll have to debate costs: stay economy and pay fees (plus regular bag check fees) while packing smart; or move to a more expensive ticket and get the perks including carry-on luggage, more space, food (in some cases), and in-airport luxuries (ie lounges).Again, this is across multiple airlines and seems to be expanding so research, research, research!


So that’s it. The world is changing fast and, no matter where you are, where you are going, or what side of the battle lines you may fall on, you will inevitably feel the ripples of those changes. Be prepared and stay safe out there.

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

A Few Tips for the Changing World of Travel