Start Spreading The News, I’m Leaving Today

Well, my week in New York is wrapping up. What began as an audible* I had to call from Puerto Rico turned out all right in the end.

Here are some of the highlights of my week in New York:

Staying At The Jane Hotel

It took me a while to find a place to stay in Manhattan. I eventually settled on The Jane Hotel. Normally, I don’t talk about the places I stay at. The only reason I bother to mention the Jane is because it is a rather unique place. The rooms at the Jane are……small. Really small. It is by far the smallest room I’ve ever stayed in. I’ve literally seen closets which are larger. The whole room was 50sq/ft. The entire room was the size of two twin beds side by side.

You have to deal with a communal bathroom, a lack of space to work (other than a bar), cramped quarters and the elevator was out of service. Oh, I should also point out that I was kicked out of the bar on my first night because I had a laptop. They cater to a trendy crowd I think my nerdiness was cramping their style.

The size really didn’t bother me, I just thought it was an interesting solution to dealing with the space and cost issue for a hotel in Manhattan. If you can deal with all of the above things I mentioned, it is one of the cheapest options you’ll find in that part of Manhattan.

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February 2011: Questions & Answers

Time once again to answer reader mail
Time once again to answer reader mail
Kara Williams tweets: Do you get lonely traveling by yourself?

I’ve always been the type of person who has done stuff by myself. Some people are terrified at the idea of going out to eat or seeing a movie alone. I have always done this, so traveling solo was never that big of a deal for me. I think much of it is a personality type, and I’m the type of person that doesn’t have a problem doing things without someone else tagging along.

I really don’t get lonely. There are always new people to meet and with social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, talking to other people is trivial. I have books to read, articles to write, photos to edit, etc.

I know there are websites out there that focus on “solo travel” but I have never thought of myself that way. I just travel… modifiers.

Believe it or not, I actually asked a friend of mine to come with me when I decided to travel. I offered to pay for everything, but they still said no. My options were travel alone or don’t travel at all. It was a simple choice at that point.
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Riding the World’s Highest Zipline in Puerto Rico

A few days ago the Puerto Rico Tourism Corporation to me and some other travel writers to the Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park. The parks has 15 zip lines, monkey bridges and even had the opportunity to do some rappelling.

I had never done any of those things before, so it was new experience for me.

The highlight of the day was The Beast. It is a 4,745ft (1.45km) long zip line which is about 900 ft. above the forest floor at its highest point. The video I took was with my iphone and I was holding it vertical, so you might want to expand the video to full screen to see it properly. All image images on this page were taken with my iPhone, so they might not be up to my usual quality level.

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Seeking Your Help and Advice: NYC Edition

One of the hazards with all the running around I do is that occasionally things don’t go as planned. Flights get canceled, dates get changed, etc. You get the idea.

I was supposed to be traveling to Spain at the end of February, but the event I was going to be speaking at has been posponed. I am flying to New York City on the 17th where I was going to catch the flight to Spain, but now my ticket is a one way trip to nowhere.

That means I have about 10 days in my calendar where I have nothing scheduled, nowhere to stay, and I have no idea what to do.

The added twist to this is that that New York Times Travel Show takes place in New York on Feb. 25-27. I wasn’t planning on attending, but if I’m in the area, now I might as well.

So I’m opening things up to take some advice from the crowed on what you think I should do.

My general options break down as follows:

1) Stay in New York. Pros: I don’t have to go anywhere else, I can meet people and get some work done. Cons: New York is damn expensive and the though of paying for 10 days there gives me a rash. It is also winter and I didn’t really pack for cold weather.

2) Leave New York and come back for the travel show. I could go somewhere in the region that is cheaper and come back on the 25th or 26th. I’d still need to find something to do and somewhere to stay.

3) Leave NYC and forget the show. Screw New York, go somewhere warmer and wait out my time in sunshine before I go to the island of Lanai.

What say you?

8 Facts You Might Not Have Known About Puerto Rico

Flag of Puerto RicoI’ve been in Puerto Rico for the last week as a guest of the Puerto Rico tourism corporation. I’ve been cave exploring, visited the island of Culebra, rode the world’s highest zip line and explored the Old City of San Juan. I thought it would be a good opportunity for another installment of “8 Facts….”

1) The Flag of Puerto Rico is not based on the American Flag. Puerto Rico was taken by the Americans from the Spanish in 1898. The flag was designed in 1895 in solidarity with the Free Cuba Movement. It is the same layout and design as the Cuban flag, but with the colors reversed. The one acknowledgment to the US was in 1952 when the blue field was changed from a light blue to a darker blue, like the American flag.
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