By the numbers:
4,400: Number of pictures taken
7,983: Miles traveled by plane
32: Subway rides in New York
9: Plane flights taken
4: Metro rides in Washington D.C.
2: Amtrak rides taken
1: Best year yet!
I told a friend earlier this year after being laid off from_ The State _that 2010 would be “The Year of the Chip!” What I should have said is that it would be a “year of firsts.”
Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how great 2010 would turn out to be. The good news is, I’m only getting started and 2011 looks like it’s going to be even better!
The year of the firsts
Here’s what’s happened to make 2010 a year of firsts:
- This is the first time since graduating from college that I have not worked for a newspaper. I was** laid off in January 2010**, along with numerous others, in a cost-saving-reduction plan (boo-hoo). Leaving The State was probably one of the best things that could have happened for my career. Presently, I’m employed at The South Carolina Policy Council, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank in downtown Columbia (another first!). Although I do miss working in the newspaper industry on occasion, it’s been very exciting and rewarding working for SCPC so far.
- I took my** first Amtrak ride** this year. Originally, I planned on traveling from Charlotte to D.C., D.C. to New York and then New York back to D.C. I still have the ticket from NY to D.C. because I never went back. You can read my old post about the Amtrak ride here. Let’s just say Amtrak is not the most efficient way of traveling. It took us nearly 13 hours to get from Charlotte to D.C. If you can drive and don’t want to fly, just drive - it’s much quicker.
- Speaking of New York, that’s another first. My first trip to the ‘Big Apple.’ I was in NYC from February until the middle of March before I returned home. Looking back, I could write an entire series on every aspect of New York, but let’s just sum it up in one word: Amazing! Living in New York for the short time that I was there was beyond my wildest dreams. Most movies and pictures I’ve seen don’t really do it justice. It’s something everyone needs to experience for themselves firsthand. One thing that amazed me most about New York is how many people live in the city. With population of 8 million over 468.9 sq miles of city compared to Columbia, SC which has a population of 129,333 and the city covers 133.8 sq miles. The density of New York mind-boggling. When I returned to Charlotte for the first time, it amazed me how much more “breathing room” there was. If I get the opportunity to return to New York or D.C. and spend a few years there, I will be going.
- 2010 was also the first year I flew on a plane. Amazing right? I use be afraid to fly on a plane, but after my first few trips to and from New York, I was able to conquer those. Then after joining SCPC, I was flown out to Denver and up to Cleveland. Flying isn’t really that bad. I’m sure it’s worse now with TSA pat-downs, but I had no trouble going through the back scatter machine at the airport. The worst part about flying though is the layovers in airports. If you can, always fly direct it’s totally worth it!
Denver was my first trip out west. When I first arrived at the airport, I had no clue where we were. I expected Denver to be more mountainous, like Asheville’s airport. Instead, we just landed in a field and drove 30 minutes into town. Denver was amazing. The land in the Rocky Mountain National Forest is so open and vast! The temperature change from downtown Denver (90) to the top of RMNF (52) was a little drastic, something I wasn’t prepared for. While in Denver I also went to my first Major League Baseball game and a concert at Red Rocks.
I also went to Cleveland and visited the Great Lakes Brewing Company and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I wish I had more exciting things to say, but we were at a conference the entire time, so I didn’t really get to go out and explore, but I did learn a lot at the conference.