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Wednesday, July 28, 2010


this is what happens when you're trying to get through life on a tight budget...

when i heard about the inaugural wanderlust festival in lake tahoe last year -- three days and nights of yoga and music -- i knew i wanted to be there. i wanted to get there so badly that i offered to volunteer any help i could give them in exchange for a pass to the festival.

they accepted my offer, but i found out sometime much later that my volunteer efforts would only score me a pass to the music events. to take any yoga classes, i'd have to fork over some money. and that would be in addition to the airfare to get to tahoe from LA plus any lodging expenses. i was looking at having to spend a good chunk of change. i thought about it long and hard and decided that i just couldn't afford to spend the big money. i passed.

frustrated, i tried a bit harder to get there this year. and i knew that i'd have to try even harder, because my tight budget got even tighter. i'd been unemployed for a year and a half and my unemployment benefits suddenly got cut off because of the holdup in congress. ugh.

little by little, the light at the end of the wanderlust tunnel became brighter and brighter. but not without a lot of waiting and wondering...

and up until earlier this week, i wasn't really sure if i could pull it together in time. talk about living life on the edge!

let's see... today is wednesday, july 28th. wanderlust runs from thursday, july 29th thru sunday, august 1st.

i found out on monday, july 19th, less than two weeks ago, that LA yoga magazine was finally able to score two media passes for the event. and yes, editor felicia tomasko was going to let me go with her. travel expenses would be on my dime, of course, but at least i'd get in for free!

entrance to festival. check.

i now had to find a place to stay. i contacted every person i knew who was going. they were either crashing at someone else's place or they were full up. with a week to go, i still hadn't found a possible roommate. and i definitely couldn't afford the pricey squaw valley room rates on my own. assuming, of course, that there were still rooms to be had.

then on thursday, july 22nd, with less than a week to go, i was having a random conversation with someone who was also waiting for yoga class to start. i mentioned that i was having a hard time trying to find a place to stay. and voila! she said she had room in her hotel room and i was welcome to stay with her and her friends! i confirmed the details with her the next day; i had a place to stay thursday, friday, and saturday nite. yay!

lodging at squaw valley. check.

in the meantime, i kept trying to find someone to drive up with. trying to fly to tahoe was out of the question; i really didn't want to pay for airfare and a car rental.

i found someone through the wanderlust rideshare bulletin board, but he wanted to leave friday morning. which meant i'd be missing two days of the four-day event. i had to keep looking.

on friday, july 23rd, i found out that another friend was driving up wednesday. on the way up, she'd be stopping first in san francisco for a meeting thursday morning, then continuing on to tahoe after the meeting ended. at this point i was willing to do anything to get there, so i decided to buy a one-day ticket to SFO, meet her there after her meeting, and we'd both drive to tahoe. and back to LA when it was all over. happy that she'd have a traveling companion to tahoe, she agreed to take me along with her.

the next day, she called and said that while she could drive me to tahoe, she couldn't guarantee that she'd be able to drive me back home. a friend who was previously iffy about riding back with her had called at the last minute and confirmed. and with other friends who were already on the ride-back list, her car was now full. desperate, i said i would take the chance and find my way home once i was in tahoe.

ride to squaw valley. check. ride back home. still up in the air.

on monday evening, right after i had purchased my one-way ticket to SFO, i received a phone message from a friend who had heard through another friend that i was looking for a ride. and it so happened that she was looking for someone to ride up with her... and back!

i called her back immediately, and once i confirmed that i had a roundtrip ride in her van, i went online and canceled my airline ticket (luckily, they had a 24-hour cancellation policy!). but there was a minor hitch; she wanted to leave wednesday right after work. and i didn't have a place to stay wednesday night. she said she would sleep in her van when we got there, and i said that would be just fine with me.

roundtrip ride to/from squaw valley. check.

we agreed that we would leave after rush hour traffic subsided. we'd aim for 7pm and play it by ear. she first needed to get a minor repair done on her van before we left, but it would be done by then.

8pm. i still hadn't heard from her and she wasn't answering her phone.

8:30pm. still no word. still not answering her phone.

9pm. i sent a text message, hoping that if she wasn't picking up the phone, she would at least check her text messages.

soon after, she called. the repairs had taken longer than she'd thought, but she was on her way to me. she'd be here in half an hour.

it's now 9:45pm and i'm still here.

i'll keep you posted...

9:55pm. she just called. she's half a mile away.

i can stop wondering now... i'm soon going to be on my way!!!


Anonymous Steph R. said...

I am so excited, and so jealous of you. I wanted to to go really bad this year, but there was no way I would be able to pull the cost of the festival and get myself there from Canada within a reasonable budget. I hope it is as wanderful as it seems to be! I will be imagining my own wanderlust experience here!

10:58 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

I am so excited for you also and wish I didn't live so far away. Can't wait to read about it from your perspective. Sounds like an amazing event.

2:45 PM  
Blogger joni said...

i've been here for two days now, and so far, it's been an amazing experience! while most of the attendees seem to be norcal residents, i keep running into people i know... and i've been making new friends, too! i still have to track down a few more friends who are supposedly here; i have two more days to do that :)

2:46 AM  

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