I’m well aware that this idea seems a bit nutty:

Head to the airport, check my flight budget, choose an option out of 3-5 countries that I’ve never been, that I can afford, purchase a round trip ticket and figure out lodging plus essentials when I get there. Yup, meant for movies, but that’s what I’d like to do for my 30th—get out of my comfort zone.
While living in this city, it’s easy to get sucked into the cog of work life and not experience the world around me. I didn’t do a study abroad in college, couldn’t afford it, and I possibly missed out. So, as I reflected about what I wanted to do for my birthday I thought about:
Throwing a house party — but I knew I’d hate that. I don’t like cleaning up after people, I’d have to make sure everyone was having a good time, I’d get too much into my head about my place been impeccable. Also, not everyone would make it… I’d have way too many leftovers of food that I won’t eat, or not enough food, etc etc… Crowds that I can’t leave give me anxiety (I’m so sorry, now you know) and I’d loathe having to kick people out when I get overwhelmed (so stressful, I’m such a recluse). I wouldn’t want to have to make sure people weren’t getting plastered drunk from my cocktails… Yep, not happening. Some of my friends are so much more better at hosting (I know where my weaknesses are).
Meeting with my friends at a bar — the most difficult part about this is hanging with a mix of people from all walks of life and hoping that they get along. I did this Russian roulette idea of bar mixture for a birthday some years ago and it was regrettable. Once again I left overwhelmed and bawling my eyes out. Do I invite artists, runners, business people, etc? My circles are so diverse. I don’t know how people host so well. I’m always in awe!
Brunch, dinner etc… Is more of my pace. I’ll still do this to celebrate my birthday with a small group after this adventure.
So, how do I make all my friends celebrate with me? Simple—come up with a crazy idea and get them all involved despite who they are and make this the best 30th that I could ask for.
I created a GoFundMe on a whim. I was going to keep this all a secret and explain this after reactivating my Facebook but I activated it earlier and shared the idea. People loved it!
So far many friends are on board and my parents! What really shocked me was the fact that two of my ex-boyfriends even donated to it. I asked for people to fund me based on the cost of drinks that I actually would have had if they purchased me one. I drink beer, whiskey and wine. So that cost anywhere from $5-$20 in New York City.
The good thing about this is that I’m pretty frugal so if I raise more than what was expected from this “cushion” fund. I’m donating it to my charity of choice (Girls on the Run) which makes me happy!
Also, the big purpose of this is taking everyone with me. I’m going to document it on my blog. I do have a hope that the choice ends up being somewhere in Europe but so far I just hope it’s a country where I can either buy a visa when there or doesn’t need one.
The rules:
– Pack light in a simple carry on
– Carry all essential chargers
– Call credit card company
– Use money within travel budget only
– Ask for 3-5 options at the airport that’s flying out within 3 hours (for security and check-in) and the duration of the flight from JFK to country X can’t be more than 8 hours
I really want to thank all my friends who have donated so far even people like Joy, Steph and Joycelynn who didn’t use the gofundme but supported me offline. Some people wanted to remain anonymous so I’ll comment on the ones who are public:
Arthur – Thanks for rounding off the fund to an even number. It’s now $500 raised thanks to you.
Kenneth – I’m still awaiting my #kentomming invitation. Thanks so much for being great energy.
Elaine – thanks so much for this and now that I know you live just a couple of blocks over we should definitely hang out more!
Arlene – I can’t thank you enough! You’re the reason I had an art show first!
Gardenia – I’m so fortunate to came across you in life! You’re such an inspiration to me.
Beth-Ann – Thank you so much! I know how tough it was to do this! I won’t let it go to waste.
Christian – I really do wish I end up in Germany :).
Chemda – You’re such a lovely person, it’s funny that you believe that I inspire you when you inspire me! I’m so honoured that you’d support!
Lee – You’ve always supported my endeavors (no matter how silly they are) and I can never take that lightly
Those who chose to remain anonymous, I’ll send messages offline. Thank you!
GoFundMe does charge a fee for each donation so if the rest of my social network wants to participate, feel free to send via paypal: jerlynthomas@gmail.com or check the GoFundMe url :).

2 thoughts on “Best Birthday Ever?

  1. Out of my comfort zone update |

    […] thanked some folks in my last entry update so I’d like to thank these new people! I’m only mentioning those who weren’t […]

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