Since moving from St. Louis, Missouri to Gainesville, Florida a little more than three years ago, I haven't traveled further than about 50 miles from Gainesville. That's going to change this year. How much? That kind of depends.
JOURNEY #1, FIRM
2016 LIBERTARIAN NATIONAL CONVENTION
This one, I'm going to. I've already purchased my convention package. If necessary, I'll walk the 150 miles or so. I had planned to go by bicycle, but that's looking pretty dicey. My plans to get in shape for a ride like that haven't panned out. So I discuss other travel options below.
I have yet to secure a position as a delegate to the convention. My intention at this time is NOT to stand for selection as a Florida delegate. Why? Well, I'm fairly new to the state, and to the state's Libertarian Party. Since the convention is right here, I expect that lots of Florida Libertarians who've never been able to travel to a distant location for a national convention before would like to be delegates, so why would I stand in their way?
I've previously attended five national conventions. At four of them (Anaheim in 2000, Indianapolis in 2002, Atlanta in 2004 and Denver in 2008) I served as a delegate from Missouri, where I lived. At the fifth (2010 in St. Louis), I served as a delegate "from" Washington so that a Missourian who had never had the opportunity before could be a Missouri delegate.
So far I've contacted party members from two state parties about being a delegate "from" their state. Haven't heard back yet. If YOUR state expects to not fill its national delegation with natives, and accepts out-of-state Libertarians as delegates, and might be interested in having me as one of those delegates, please contact me so we can talk it over. My votes as a delegate are not "for sale," but I'm willing to talk with you about what you can expect from me. I wouldn't want you to make me a delegate and THEN find out that I support or oppose different things than your state LP does.
Expense considerations: I can go Greyhound for about $30 round trip, and expect that I'll probably do so at least one way. If necessary, I'll find some other povertarians and kick in $20 or whatever to crash on someone's hotel room floor.
BUT: My wife and daughter want to be in Orlando that weekend too. My daughter plans to attend MegaCon (a science fiction, comic, etc. convention), which just happens to be that same weekend and within a few hundred feet of the LP convention. Tamara was hoping to spend some time around the LP convention meeting old friends anyway, so semi-chaperoning the 17-year-old is an additional excuse. Of course, it also means some gas for the car, and actually shelling out for two or three nights of hotel accommodation. So call it $300 more that I need to come up with somewhere to do this thing up right.
Anyone interested in sponsoring an extra series of podcasts, or having me file blog posts from the floor for your web site, or something like that?
JOURNEY #2, ONLY JUST NOW CONSIDERING
2016 LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF FLORIDA CONVENTION
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA
I hadn't been planning to attend the state convention, but I'd kind of like to. I'm wanting to get more active in the LP at the state and local level again. My scientific wild-ass guess, though, is that I need to come up with at least $300 to do so. That's about $65 round-trip for transportation (Greyhound), $100 (maybe more, depending on whether or not I get in by the "early bird" deadline) for convention registraion (which includes some meals, I think), and money to offer people for crash space (I'll be going alone and don't use credit cards, so I can't rent a hotel room of my own anyway).
Is anyone interested in sponsoring me on this? Once again, my votes on issues are not for sale, although we could certainly discuss the issues and where I stand on them. Maybe you're looking for non-vote representation for a candidate, cause or organization? Or would like to advertise your product on a series of blog posts and/or podcasts from the events?
JOURNEY #3, GONNA HAPPEN BUT HAVEN'T FIGURED OUT HOW YET
VISITING MOM AND DAD
My parents are 82 years old and I haven't seen them in more than three years. Additionally, they are preparing to sell their home and move into a more "assistive" environment this year, and would specifically like me to come up and help with some of that. So it's definitely time. To put it bluntly, I do not want my next visit with them to be for a funeral or a sit-in next to a hospital bed.
Ideally we would make a family trip up there, but that's just not financially feasible. Driving with four people, a thousand miles each way, would entail renting a car, spending a minimum of two, and probably more like five, nights in hotels, feeding four people on fast food or whatever, etc.
So I plan to travel alone.
Greyhound will run $200, give or take, round trip (there's a discount card I can buy for $59.95 a year that would save me $40 on the bus trip and also get me discounts on other stuff; I might go for that, especially since I've mentioned Greyhound on the other two trips as well).
I'm figuring a bare minimum of $100, realistically $200, for expenses along the way. The trip is more than a day in each direction, so that's a few meals. While I'm there, I'll crash at my parents' or brother's house, etc., but still probably spend a little money on sundries.
Call THAT trip $400. I still haven't figured out how to finance it. Anyone got a recommendation? I supppose that if there are any local libertarian groups who'd like speeches or anything along the way in cities where I have layovers, that could be arranged.