The Twilight Between Eras…(Nothing To Do With Vampires I Promise)

Posted by on May 12, 2012 in Tales From a Faraway Land | 1 comment

I am nostalgic…I often maintain a mystical view of the past. Imagining the past as having profound implication and aspiration for the present and beyond…one that is obscured in the minds of most, and only visible to the diligent in endeavoring to perceive it. As such, it is in moments of my unceasing preoccupation with these matters (what I commonly describe as “Thinking way too much”) that I often impart great significance to what I discern to be the ending of an era.

I have identified several momental eras throughout my life that have seen my most memorable highs, and dramatic lows. Moving out for the first time, my friends getting married, moving to Argentina, all of these moments formed the bookends of the various important sections of my life.

What Will This Next Era Hold For Me?

After the roller coaster that was my life last year, I have decided to refocus and see just how much I can accomplish in my life in the next year. I am taking my return to Buenos Aires as a chance to start anew with my goals and pursuits and to see just what exactly I am capable of accomplishing. To that end I have made the following list of goals that I plan on working towards acheiving. Some will come rather quickly, others will take a bit of time.

Getting Married

As most, if not all of your know one of the biggest, if not the biggest aspects of my life in the last year has been my relationship with my lovely girlfriend (now Fiancé) Gilda. Blissful in love, determined to make it, and dedicated to our future together we have been through quite a number of hardships in our short time together. With my mother’s illness requiring me to spend almost 6 months out of the last year in the U.S.  (exactly one half of our year long courtship), and what time I did spend here overcast with the shadow of uncertainty regarding her situation, we have not exactly had a “normal” or peaceful courtship by any means.

Yet despite it all I give credit firstly to Jehovah for helping us all get through this immensely difficult situation, but also to my dearest Gilda for her unwavering love and support.

However, now that things have settled down I find myself at a point where even the majority of people will demarcate as a new chapter in their life…marriage. I am relieved to say that with all of my heart I hold no stress over the decision to marry Gilda. I feel that other than my decisions related to my dedication and baptism, and to serve in the full time ministry, I have not felt more confidant about the rightness of a commitment as I do about this one.

Therefore, over the next (insert timeframe for getting married here) I plan on working hard to prepare myself and my affairs for my impending marriage. I fully appreciate that marriage is not something to be taken halfheartedly. However, as I have had my mind set on proposing marriage to Gilda since the second week of our dating(yeah it didn’t take much) I have already started to work out many of the logistical matters (in my head anyways). Emotionally I think we are as prepared as any couple ever can be for entering into wedlock. Perhaps that sounds like a bit of hubris on my/our part…but in reality I think if you enter into dating with the right mindset (that you are trying to ascertain whether you want to marry this person or not), you don’t really have as much of that doubt and uncertainty that many face.

One thing however remains…that which often (temporarily) consumes the lives of the bride and groom to-be…planning the wedding. In most cases I feel that people way over complicate the time and effort needed to plan these events. I mean seriously how long does it take you to throw a sizable party? Maybe others have a harder time with this…but personally I have always adhered to the philosophy that a party over thought, is a party over done. I often see couples spend a year, sometimes more planning something that is meant to simply celebrate their decision to get married…the marriage is supposed to be given priority, not the party.

However, our particular case is quite unique to say the least. In planning our wedding(s) we need to find a way to incorporate friends and family from across the U.S. but particularly in Chicago and California, but also Argentina, Spain, the UK and beyond. Truly we face a daunting challenge. The exact solution has yet to become clear to us…we have a few schemes, a few designs even are barely past the “sketch on a napkin” phase but show promise.

Pioneering/Bible Studies

After what can only be termed as a disastrous start to my ministry, I am looking forward to getting a relatively “fresh” start on this year’s pioneering. I already have reestablished regular contact/studying with a great student of mine named Anthony. Along with several other Africans I study with, I see great potential in him as his love of the bible is great indeed. After last year’s extremely successful refocus (from concentrating/supporting mainly our census work to working the areas with all of the Africans) I am more determined than ever that by tweaking my performance and refining my circumstance specific tactics that I can see even great successes in my ministry here.

Online College

Thats right, I have started down a path never before imagined to be my own. What could possible have managed to convince me to attend college after nearly disregarding graduating high school at age 20? Well in a nutshell, I want to make sure I always have the ability to have location-independent employment for the foreseeable future.

When I talk with people about my life, I hear all the time something along these lines; “I wish I could do what you do! I mean travel around, live in another country, and pioneer along the way…but I never could do that. I simply do not have the circumstances. I can’t just up and find a job that lets me travel all around and work from wherever!” I agree with most of those people, they don’t have the circumstances…but why don’t they have them? Because they never worked to make them.

While a lot in life is far beyond our control (there is nothing you can do about family responsibilities, illness, etc.), many opportunities are created, not happened upon. For instance, most people say they would like to have the ability to pioneer, or to server where the need is greater, etc…But then they never take any proactive steps to make the circumstances they desire. 

It is in that vein that I have decided that for me it would be a wise course to attend college. I want to work towards having a bachelors degree in environmental sciences (very applicable to my current job) with an associates degree in web programming/design (something to fall back on). Both fields complement my current businesses and will provide good fields for continued location-independant.

(Did I mention I managed to get pretty much a free ride on my tuition?) 🙂

Expanding Businesses

I also have grand plans to reform my current business activities into a more efficient organization, as well as pursue several new prospects. These include: Reforming my current business, launching a new BA centric website with one of my roommates here, and increasing my skills in my current position as marketing director/environmental technologies expert & author for 🙂

Getting people to come to my wedding:

So its a given that our “main” wedding will be here in Argentina (its the bride’s day after all). But we both understand that not everyone, in fact most likely a good majority of those we would like to have come from back home will not be able to attend such a far away wedding. However, I beleive that in my own scheming, I have found a few ways that will increase the chances most have of being able to come here, almost for free…should they follow the same steps I am taking to get to the US for free.

Along with wedding planning and the like, one potentially complicating arrangement is our honeymoon. Since funds are a little short right now (thank you two last minute trips halfway around the world to visit sick family…) combined with the need to visit US soil for marriage legalities (more on that later), and the now sudden need to pay for everything twice (thanks wifey), I have been in need of a grandly creative solution to these needs.

Throughout my searches I came across a an interesting article on one of my favorite blogs that talked about ways to get flights around the world nearly for free. This discipline has been called “Travel Hacking” by many and now seemed to present the perfect solution to my problems.

The basic idea behind travel hacking is that airlines are starved for your business and they will do whatever they can to get it from you. This includes having some ridiculously good offers for frequent flyers…if you have the miles. Now add to that, merchants (credit card companies in particular) that have the same want/need that reward you with miles (or bonus points good for miles) and you have the opportunity to get your free flights should you play The Game right.

In my personal case, I have managed to with a few new credit cards to get enough miles for both of us to fly roundtrip from BA to Chicago (1st “bonus wedding party”) to “undetermined actual honeymoon spot” to San Diego (2nd “bonus wedding party”) and then back to BA with many miles still left over.

Now you might be wondering did he trash his credit getting a million new cards? Did he end up spending way more than his tickets were worth just to get his “free” flight? The answer to both of those is no. My credit score actually went up, and with some smart spending I have managed to meet all of my requirements without spending any additional money.

I plan on writing a few follow up posts on here about how you too can take advantage of these offers and get to BA for my wedding almost for free! So stay tuned for further posts!

Additional Thoughts/Posts

Combining certain aspects of my life to streamline things. e.g. This blog will now fill the role of informing and communicating with my friends and family back home, as well as serve to fulfill my self-expresive needs (i.e. my journaling) and my creative writing class. Additionally, by further improving my blog, I hope to be able to work on my new website.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope to hear from everyone soon. Take care!

One Comment

  1. Hey Nick,

    I’ve been thinking about you and your family a lot. I was really sad to hear about your mom, I know from experience the emotional roller coaster that you’ve no doubt been on the past couple of months. I just wanted to let you know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers and that from reading your blog you seem to be handling everything really well! So keep up the good work, your spirit is truly beautiful, and I’m sure Jehovah will continue to bless you and Gilda in this next chapter. Also when you get a chance check out Psalm 34, it’s one of my favorite Psalms, I find it super comforting.
    Much Love,
    Your Sister Gabes

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