If you are reading this on the day it was posted, March 17th, 2016, I’m currently on a bus heading north to Pa. The deal in Key Largo fell through. Promises were made, not kept. You know how you go into a situation where everything feels just right and you know it’s going to work out just fine? Yeah, I got the opposite of said feeling. As I was going around finding out what I would be doing it became more and more apparent this gig was not going to work out. The biggest hangup, as usual, was not having a place to live. I thought some assistance was coming from those who wanted me there so badly but in the end, there were too many what if’s, maybe’s, and not sure’s. The job itself looked to be more and more corporate as things went on and you all know how I feel about corporate. So in the end, I walked. No really, I walked about 2 miles to catch the damn bus south to Marathon and back to Key West.
Just a quick heads up for anyone seeking public transportation from the Miami area to Marathon. Skip the Dade-Monroe Express or the MetroBus and Rail system completely. The drivers are nasty and unhelpful. The busses are crowded and never on time. It’s just not worth the hassle. Take the Greyhound. More money but they will get you there in comfort.
Anyways, while I was debating the move back to Key Largo, I got a call from Pa. One of my relatives had died the day before. Cancer got her. So, with nothing else going on, and no place to be nor stay back in Key West, I decided to book a trip up for the funeral. Not the best reason to travel but, she was blood kin, and too many of my relatives have died and had funerals where no blood kin showed up. Just felt like the right thing to do.
I booked the bus on Monday to leave on Wednesday as the train was too expensive. So rather than waste 2 days with no place to stay in Key West, I came up to the Miami complex and hung out in the airport for said two days. It was quite the interesting adventure.
Firstly, in case you are wondering, you can sleep overnight in the airport on the concourses outside of the security zones. You may be sleeping in a hard seat, possibly on the floor, it will be noisy, and not real clean, but you can do so. Nobody will bother you providing you are not in the way. I was able to find a small room with a nice view of the airplanes moving in and out, with the restrooms next door. There were outlets to plug into so I was actually able to get some online work done, and catch some sleep. Not a lot, but enough to keep me going.
And just to let anyone who is thinking of going the Digital Nomad way of life, in the last month I have slept in a comfy bed, couch, on the floor, on a carpet, in a chair, on a train, and a bus. It’s been interesting, but no bed bugs anymore.
Downsides? The airport runs the AC at the coldest setting they can get. It was freezing in there and I was ill prepared for the cold. It’s busy all the time, even in the wee hours of the night there were people scurrying about to catch planes. And, the night crews were coming through to clean everything.
As for food, there were plenty of choices, all expensive and with minimal nutritional value, but at least one could eat.
I’m not sure what is going on but there were hundreds of Cuban’s lining up all day long for the trip to Havana. From what I have read, travel restrictions have been lifted and everyone can go now. There were long lines of people, all of Cuban descent with carts full of stuff they were taking to the island, presumably to give to relatives down there. The apparent procedure was to take the stuff you were flying down there, wrap it in shrink-wrap or cellophane, and mark it for whom it goes to. People had carts full of this stuff.
Me? All I had was my little bag. Much more better for traveling.
Out in front where the cars, taxi’s, and other transports come in, there were about a dozen skycaps, none of whom spoke a word of English. They were running back and forth, yelling at each other, and scrambling to help people get their shit loaded onto carts and into the terminal. This in addition to all the other people flying in and out. You can bet on one thing, no matter how expensive, nor inconvenient, people will fly. The airport was packed all the time.
And one quick heads up. I do not mean to sound racist with this but it needs to be pointed out. If you are white, and do not speak Spanish, you are in a foreign country in Miami, especially at the airport. Everyone who works here is bilingual, and most likely of latino descent. I didn’t have any issues, other than I can’t hear very well, but there was a certain condescending, ‘you are not welcome’ vibe. Everyone was polite enough, but you got the feeling you didn’t fit in. It’s not the U.S. here, not by a long shot. Be prepared if you do come here for language barriers and culture shock.
So, for two days I roamed about the airport, doing some computer work, and just watching the whole of humanity pass through. People are traveling all the time, be it by plane, train, bus, or whatever. I’ve had a chance to sample a variety of transport options over the past month. While flying remains the best for time, I enjoyed the train the most so far. Decent pricing, easy to book, no hassles, and the train was comfortable. The bus is reasonable but I may change my mind after 32 hours of riding to the north. But still, as long as I can plug in on the road, I can get some stuff done, sleep, and enjoy the ride.
I don’t know how long I will stay in Pa. Maybe a week, possibly two. I’m learning how the booking process works with the bus and train. If I can book out ahead far enough, the savings on fares are significant. And since I have no real schedule, and no reason to be anywhere else, I can be choosy. From there, I will return briefly to Key West, and decide what to next. It’s pretty much a crapshoot but it’s been rather fun and exciting. If I can maintain some semblance of some income to keep up with transport costs, food, and the occasional roof over my head, I just might make it to the end of the year. Then the real travel will begin.