3LT Campaign: Living, Loving, and Learning through Traveling

3LT Campaign: Living, Loving, and Learning through Traveling

From Ester Rodriguez

Raising funds to TRAVEL! Eventually, worldwide, but for now, HAWAII! My friend is visiting home and does not want to fly alone. Please, allow me to accompany her.

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3LT: Living, Loving, and Learning through Traveling

HELLO WORLD!

Brief Introduction: My name is Ester Rodriguez. I am a 24 year old college graduate who has a passion for traveling, animals, nature,... the works. I live with my two fun loving cats, and I help my sister with her son and her cat who just had six kittens just last week! I work with animals which does not pay as much as other jobs. But, like many people, I chose passion over money.

Even though I absolutely love these animals, this means I tend to not have a lot of money saved for myself. Which is why I created this campaign. Though, it was not my idea. Actually, it was my friend's idea.

You see, she visits her family in Hawaii once a year during the summer. Since she goes to college full time and works full time, summer is the only chance she gets to go home. She has no family here, where we live on the Continental US. She usually travels with someone since the flight is over 10 hours, and honestly, traveling alone has its own hazards. This year, though, no one she has asked is able to go. I told her if I had the money, then I would be able to accompany her. That is when she suggested crowdfunding.

So. Here I am. Taking a chance on crowdfunding for my 3LT campaign!

What is the 3LT Campaign?

My 3LT Campaign is something that I just made up. I am sure it is similar to plenty of other peoples' ideas, since many people love traveling. I have traveled before, so I thought, what do I love the most, what do I treasure the most when I leave? And the answer I got was, my experiences that stay with me even after coming home.

Anyway, let us break this down:

The 3-L's

The 3-L's are living, loving, and learning. Anyone who has traveled for fun will know that these are givens when traveling. For anyone who has not traveled, these three are more than just what they say. They are more than what you would get in a normal day-to-day life. There is so much that these words are willing to put in your heart if you let them.

Living:

For the first one, this sounds like YOLO: You Only Live Once. Honestly, in a way, it is. But it is so much deeper than that. Like the Winchester brothers from Supernatural, I do not understand this concept. Because when you travel, You Live Every Day! Every day is a new experience. It is not just because your surroundings are different that you experience something different, it is because everything is different. People, customs, even the flora and fauna are different! The amazing changes in the life around you stay with you and change you and your mind for the better.

I have traveled to Alaska and Ecuador. Two extremes, I know.

Alaska was because my boyfriend wanted to go one summer. So, I took a one way flight and we had a road trip on the way home. It was an amazing first travel experience. Even though we worked in Alaska and I still had online classes for college, we had some fun and made new friends. We hiked mountains, went in glacier caves, and befriended many dogs.

Ecuador was for a study abroad trip for college. We went for our Biogeography class in which we studied flora (plants) and fauna (animals) and their interaction with the environment (both human and natural alike). It was an amazing week of excursions with a group of people who quickly became close friends! We also met a lot of dogs and a few kittens, especially while eating. (Actually, a monkey as well.)

Anyway, looking back on these trips, I lived every day. New experiences filled me with a feeling that is indescribable.

Loving:

Like I said before, I have a passion for animals and nature. I absolutely LOVE the outdoors and what comes with the outdoors? ANIMALS! :) And trees, and wind, and amazing weather changes, and grass, and the sky in all it's beautiful photogenic colors! :)

And lets not forget the love for the people! The cultures are something that I strive to see. :) It is amazing!

While in Ecuador, we had the chance to join in a native dance that the younger girls are taught by the older ones. And in the cities, there are so many dogs that they said all of the dogs basically belong to the whole town.

In Alaska, we saw sledding puppies, native crafts, and a moose running through our job's backyard which only alarmed a few guests while the others were used to it.

Learning:

You will never be able to get to this stage of traveling without the first two. If you cannot live your life and love those around you, then you will not be able to get the chance to learn everything that this world presents to you.

Alaska was amazingly beautiful and I got to learn many things about the outdoors. We hiked many trails and even met a local with a dog named Willow who we continued to hike up a mountain with. He told us about the mine near the mountain, the cascading underwater river, and the amazing lake that seems to change color because of the reflections of the sky and the amount of lichen at the top of the mountain. We went higher than we were planning to just to see the lake that he goes to photograph because of its beauty.

In Ecuador, we learned about the different ways that plants are used for medicines and building materials. We saw a bag being made from leaves, and ate cocao beans and greens from the Amazon. (We also saw a gigantic cricket, but that is another story. ;) )

Why Traveling?

So why travel to learn all of this even though I could watch YouTube videos about it or sit in a class room and learn from a book?

Well... that is really boring. I have always loved to learn ever since I was little. Unfortunately, school ended up stripping away my love for learning little by little until there was nothing left. Or so I thought. I realized after going to Ecuador that I can be taught for months about flora and fauna and not remember a thing, or go to Ecuador for a week and learn about poisonous spiders that spray acid into your eyes that will make you blind, and the Bullet Ant that is huge who's sting feels like being shot by a bullet and lasts 24 hours, and that cocao beans are not as bitter as some might think if you eat the whole thing instead of just sucking on the flesh, and that the Walking Tree was used for medicinal purposes based on its looks, and that the Giant Ceiba tree can fit a whole class picture between it's roots!

Point is, I still love to learn. Traveling is just how I learn the best.

The Real Reason I Want to Travel to Hawaii:

Why Hawaii? Mostly because the opportunity is there. I will be able to go to a new place with someone who grew up there. She will be my own personal travel guide without really knowing it. (She already knows I love to learn because I always ask so many questions, so she will probably teach me things without me asking anyway.)

Why Travel? I already answered that one. ;)

Why travel to Hawaii? Because it is one experience that I would really love to have! Everyone loves to go to Hawaii for vacation and beaches and things like that, but I want to go for the culture and the "behind the scenes" that I can get with a local family. So you might say I will be using her, but at the same time we are using each other. She needs a friend to go with her and I am willing to have a friend show me the ropes, so to speak.

Expenses:

Ticket: $1,500.00

One Round-Trip ticket can coast anywhere from $800 to $1500 for a July trip to Hawaii depending on what days you fly and where you fly out of and in to. I am asking for $1500 for a ticket, and hoping and praying that the prices will not sky rocket when I check again whenever I get the funds for it.

Food: $630

My friend decides on how long she stays home based on her PTO so it could be anywhere up to 3 weeks. I am planning for $10 per meal for myself. I can eat one or 3 meals a day. It is best to over-plan than under-plan. So, 3 meals a day for $10 is $30 a day for 21 days which comes out to be $630 for food alone.

Transportation: $210

I am thinking that we will not need much in terms of money for transportation since she has her family and I do not believe we will be going too far away from them since that is why she is going. So, I am doing $10 a day.

Daily Expenses: $441

As any good traveler knows, there are some expenses that may occur if needing to get into fun or educational tourist spots like museums or parks and other such things. I am used to making my own fun by hiking in backyards, but if we decide to go someplace, I would like to be prepared. $21 dollars for every 21 days is $441.

Emergency Money: $500

It is best to have emergency money just in case. Money that will not be spent on anything that is not a medical or survival emergency and that you will have with you the whole trip. I will avoid using this money unless absolutely necessary. If everything goes well and I do not need to use this money, I will donate it to our local animal shelter. (They are raising funds for a new building. $3.5 million is their goal so $500 will not make too much of a dent, but it will help!)

Souvenirs: $400

I have 14 family members including all 4 siblings, 3 significant others, 6 nieces and nephews, and of course, my mother. I have about 3 close friends as well. I always love bringing back souvenirs for them. It is not the usual key-chain or "I heart" T-shirt. They are usually something that they can use or something that they have been wanting or something to add to a collection of theirs. And many times, the souvenirs come with memories or stories that I tell them. Like, smoothed white rocks from a glacier or a handmade necklace from an inn keeper. Again, I am over shooting and calculated for 20 people (just in case I forgot someone or I decide to switch a present out because I think it fits that person's personality better). So $20 for 20 people's souvenirs is $400.

Miscellaneous: $319

I know what you are thinking, that does not equal $4,000 and this "extra" category is just to get money or to have an even round up to the next thousand dollars. To tell you the truth, it is more of a yes and no. I said about $4,000 in my head when I first started doing the calculations. Then, when I did all the calculations I ended up with $319  left over. Like I have said over and over, I like to over-plan. This $319 is going to be my leeway. If I under-calculated something or under-planned unknowingly, I have a $319 margin to fix the miscalculation.

Thanks for All the Fish!

No, the world is not about to end, but this long winded short story of my 3LT Travel Campaign is. I am going to leave the rest up to all of you lovely crowdfunding people.

Help me learn more about our world before it really does end (for me that is).

Thank you for all of your time and patience!

Love You Guys!,

Ester R.

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