December Summary and Resetting my Travel Clock
Resetting how I Calculate my Travel Time
I decided i’m going to start counting my actual travel time from the start of 2015. I know that cuts out a month of my real travel time, but it makes things so much easier to remember. So for this article I am redoing my Week 53 travel update. It’s like a strange time twist that will be going on for the next two weeks as real life catches up to how I want it to be. Try not to feel nauseous it will all sort itself out soon then you can continue along with life and not worry about this little time slip.
So I got to live on a boat in Amsterdam. Yea, it was pretty sweet. Here are some of the photos if you missed them in the last post on Amsterdam. Amsterdam is one of the places I always dreamed of going. And it was totally awesome! But I think the next time I go will be when it’s warmer out. I’m just tired of cold weather now.
Paris is fantastic. I would like to say I also got something done there, but the truth is I really didn’t. I went for a few long walks, but the photos I took really didn’t feel that fantastic to me. Maybe it was the cold, but it was not as inspiring as I hoped it would be. Next time I will go in the summertime. The summertime things seems to be a recurring complaint.
Also, as I left Paris I left my hard drive behind. Oops. So one of the reasons I don’t have many photos is that i’m waiting for the drive to catch up with me here in Spain. Hopefully by this time next week i’ll have my drive back and will have more images to post.
Hanging out in Freiburg
Freiburg is a super relaxing experience of sleeping late, drinking really cheap wine, and working on projects. What did I work on?Recording a music video… This is totally new to me. My cousin and I have a simple recording studio set up in the living room. Tomorrow we go for a walk around the local neighbourhood in Freiburg with a guitar and a camera.
What did I actually get done? Not a whole lot. I did get a lot of great sleep though, and I got material for the video to work on for this month. So I guess that’s more than nothing.
Oh, but there is one thing. I finally bought a new lens. Yup, in spite of having massive financial issues I went ahead and bought one of the lenses I really wanted. Its a Fujifilm 16-55 f/2.8. This is the lens I should have bought instead of the 18-135. So glad I have it now. Here is a photo of the lens and a few images I shot with it. Yes the photos I shot are not showing the best of what the lens can do. I just haven’t had the chance to shoot anything else…
In other News of Ongoing Bullsh*t with Financial Institutions
Financial and photography issues are still ongoing. Not sure why I am having such a crush of these issues all at once.
Money Transfer: I tried sending a check from my bank in Canada to my bank in Chicago. After 25 days of waiting the check never arrived. I have cancelled the original check, which means I need to do a Bond of Indemnification which is only done through snail mail before they will send a new check.
Broken len: Visa does not want to outright replace the lens and they asked for a repair estimate. Today I sent the lens to the US to get evaluated. Hopefully the repair is 100%. At least Visa will pay for all the repairs.
Sony Camera eBay issue: eBay ruled in my favour so the sale is final. It did cost me around $150 in banking fees and long distance, but that is final and done. Feels nice to have something go my way.
I guess this one counts a a win!. Well I guess the universe had to get me once again. Now I have to fight the buyer’s credit card company so my paypal is once again suspended.
Canadian Credit Bureau: Still nothing from this issue. I sent letters to request why there is a hold on me getting new credit cards and after 6 weeks have heard nothing. The result of this is that I can only charge up to $900 Canadian on my credit card. This may sound like a lot but when buying Airbnb for a month, along with flights it rapidly runs out.
Review of Goals from December
What’s the point of having goals if I don’t go back and gauge my progress? This is where I look at my goals from last month and see how I did.
I am now in Spain! WooHoo! Working on learning Spanish has made progress but not as fast as I want. It seems that my brain has more rust in it than I thought. Learning a language is really hard work.
The first half of December I was faithful to keeping with daily practice on Duolingo. But in Freiburg I completely slacked off doing anything that remotely resembled hard work. That included Duolingo. Since arriving in Spain I once again picked up the pace. I am now working at gaining at least 50 XP per day, and spending at least an hour between Duolingo and doing my own research on the web when I need more instruction
I have activated my iTalki account but have not yet used it as a learning tool. On the one hand I don’t want to spend money on an instructor as I don’t have much of an income at the moment. On the other had iTalki does have some free lessons available so I guess it must be that I am just too lazy. Also I am intimidated to try and use the Spanish I know in front of a Spanish speaking person. I know I will get to a point where I am more confident, but its not today.
Talking with People in Public
Duolingo may claim I am now 7% fluent in Spanish but in reality that means little. The most I can do is walk up to a stranger and say something like “My horses are drinking your milk”. Completely useless and kind of creepy at the same time. I look forward to the part where Duolingo teaches me questions I can use in real life. Hopefully a week or so and I will be there.
I always claimed that I could never learn a language because I am never immersed in it. My plan now is to remain in Spanish speaking countries for at least the next three months. Let see if I was just lying to myself or if I really mean it.
Two articles on Sim cards
I completed the article on Buying a sim Card in Germany and it’s now published on TooManyAdapters.com. However, due to an unexpected amount of anxiety while in France I never did write the French sim card article. So some success and some failure.
Posting articles on Earthtokeir.com
Yup, I posted a total of 4 articles in the last month. An average of one per week. Not bad actually. I’ll call this one a success
Posting articles on Pixelbip.com
I posted exactly two articles on Pixelbip. I’m going to call this one a failure. BUT, I did a ton of work on the Pixelbip website. I’ll talk about this part in my goals for January.
Mentors and Networks
Ug, this is an ongoing thing. I completely failed at finding a mentor, but I have been working my butt off on increasing my network and I am having some success. More on this in January goals
Fail – none done. I really need to get something done here. Need to get more money coming towards me.
Yes, I did spend time changing the functionality of EarthToKeir and I even updated some of the cosmetics as well. I would call it more of a touch up than a makeover though. I’ll add this part to Networks because improving how the blog looks and works will hopefully eventually help increase my reach.
Goals for January
Continue with Spanish, posting on both blogs, and building networks and finding a mentor.
No booze for a whole month – Thats right, you heard it here. Over the last 4 months I have gotten into the habit of having at least a drink per day. But not more. I will not drink this month, and may even keep this goal going longer.
Photography – Mark Levoy has released his entire Stanford photography course online, for free. I plan to complete this class. This guy is at the cutting edge of digital photography. If you are interested in doing the class too follow this link.
Complete music video – In Freiburg I started working on a music video with my very talented cousin. I plan to get the editing done before the end of this month, and hopefully sooner.
Travel Interviews – One of the side projects I have going on is interviewing friends and people I meet while traveling. This month I have an opportunity to interview three more people. My goal is to get these interviews done, AND complete a nice header and footer video I can use to introduce this new series i’m working on.
Pixelbip Social – Yes. This is what I have been working on lately. I am creating a password protected area on Pixelbip. And its also a social media platform. My goal is to set it up for creative people who want to set goals and collaborate with others. I currently have a programmer in India creating my very first plugin that will allow users to set and track milestones or goals. Exciting stuff. More announcements for this coming up.
Statistics for December 2016
- Places visited = 5
- Timmendorfer Strand
- Beds slept in = 6
- Flights = 1
- Buses = 3
- Trains = 2
- Carshare = 1
- Total distance traveled 790 miles
- Money Spent = $1989.53 CAD ($1488.17 USD)
- Money Earned = $66.84 CAD ($50.00 USD)
Highlights and Lowlights
- Visiting with both my Aunt in Timmendorfer Strand, and my cousin in Freiburg.
- Buying a new lens for my camera.
- Seeing Paris
- Sleeping on a boat in Amsterdam
Winning my dispute with eBay and the dude who wanted to return the camera I sold him
- Struggling with various financial issues.
- The weather is getting cold. Its a minor complaint but still.
- Forgot my had drive in Paris… But it should arrive in Spain in a few days.
- Although I won my dispute with eBay now the buyer of the camera created a new dispute with his credit card company. The result of this is my paypal account is once again suspended.
My Next Travel Plans
Nothing set in stone yet, but the basic plan is to stay in countries that speak Spanish. Ecuador is looking good. As a bonus it’s really cheap to live there. I’ll update more when I have tickets bought.
Let me know what I should visit in Granada in the comments below.