Tuesday, March 9, 2010


A few months ago, my sister invited me to go on vacation with her and a few friends. We've never done something like that before, and because there were several of us sharing accomodations, it was very economical. However, my time off from work is somewhat limited, especially with our Honduras trip coming up, so I decided to join her for just a couple days.

Early Sunday morning (and by early I mean 5:40am!), we flew down to Tampa. And in my checked bag, I placed these essentials:

According to my careful calculations, this would be enough for the 2 1/2 days I would be gone. We had a small but fully equipped kitchen where we were planning to stay, so I figured this would be pretty doable.

What my careful calculations did not take into account was that we wouldn't actually be able to check in until 4:00 pm (15 hours after I left my house that morning) and that "fully equipped kitchen" means different things to different people. And beyond these factors, I realized that my food needs were going to be pretty inconvenient for everyone else. While I had planned for the food I would eat, I didn't really plan for ways to take it with me and keep it cold when we were gone, or what I would do when we were away from our apartment and it was too far for me to walk back for my food. I began to realize that living on a $1 a day is as much about planning and resourcefulness as it is about discipline. And once again, I realized that cheap and convenient rarely go hand in hand.

After much deliberation, my sister came up with the brilliant idea to take a 2 1/2 day respite from my $1 a day challenge and tack on a few extra days at the end. All things considered, this seemed like a pretty good solution, so I have to confess that over the last couple days, I have eaten fairly normal food.

And surprisingly, I didn't go crazy. Of course part of me wanted to go eat everything delicious I've been denying myself of, but the part that won over was the heart of what we are doing. Which is to try to be happy with having enough. So I enjoyed eating with my friends and didn't allow myself to feel guilty (ok, maybe a little when I thought of Andy faithfuly eating his rice and beans), but I focused on the shared experience with them rather than what or how much I could have. And now I'm ready to jump back in.

And in case anyone is wondering (Casi) I did have a cup or two of coffee. Divine.


  1. WAIT! You did WHAT?

    Just kidding. ;) I'll be tacking on the extra days too, just so we end at the same time.