Flight: Booked

533286_808278891626_1024685458_nLast night I pulled the trigger and booked our flights to D.C. for the Reason Rally. I had been hesitant for a few reasons, cost being one of them, but the tickets were $80 less than the lowest I had seen them since I started price checking them a few months ago, and I took it as a sign from God or Expedia or whomever and clicked on “book flight.” Although really, there was a little more to that thought process than that, but saving $160 didn’t hurt. 🙂

We decided to attend the first Reason Rally around a month before it happened. At first we had just laughed it off as financially impossible at the time, but one afternoon I crunched some numbers and realized that we could totally do the trip on the cheap. And that’s how I ended up in a rental minivan driving halfway across the country to Washington DC with my husband, two people that I had met a couple of times before, and one person that I met literally as he was climbing into the van in the rain that morning. It ended up being one of the best weekends of my life.

It wasn’t the speakers, although they were amazing. Some resonated with me more than others, and I got a side ache from laughing so hard at Jamie Kilstein. It wasn’t Bad Religion playing at the end of the rally, although that was pretty fucking awesome because it was BAD RELIGION. It was the feeling of being a part of something bigger, something important, something that matters. It was the feeling of camaraderie, unity, and the ability to change the world for the better. It was not enough sleep, too much Red Bull, and driving through bumfuck, Illinois at 2am talking, laughing, and reveling in being alive. It was spending an hour in Madison, WI at 11pm searching for a “Recall Walker” sticker, it was being in DC at the height of cherry blossom season, it was standing in the rain kissing my husband on the National Mall, and it was that sense of purpose that I felt in advocating for secular rights.

To be honest, I need a boost, something to get me excited about the movement as a whole again. We all need a little recharge every once in awhile. If this doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will. The first Reason Rally is what really got me active in the first place, so the second one seems like the place to hit my reset button.

Not to mention, the Rally is going to be great. There are so many amazing people that are working on this, it’s not even possible that it won’t be fantastic. Plus there are bunches of really phenomenal people that I don’t get to see nearly enough of that will be there. That alone makes the trip worth it, and the kick ass rally is just a really fabulous bonus.

I really encourage anyone who can to go. If you’re like me, you’re on a budget, but it can still be done on the cheap. Share a hotel room with some buddies (hey, I shared a room with three men the last Reason Rally), road trip and split gas costs, have a sack lunch on the road – a loaf of bread, a jar of Smucker’s Strawberry Stripe peanut butter and jelly, a bag of chips, and a cooler full of soda makes for a few meals on the road, each costing significantly less than ordering from the dollar menu at Mickey D’s. Ride the Metro instead of renting a car or taking cabs. If you’re flying, haunt those websites to find the best prices. I was able to secure tickets for $260 round trip last night, but it does involve a certain risk since we leave in a week and a half and I just now purchased them. Also, the monuments and many museums in DC are free, so you can entertain yourself at little to no cost. Our last trip to DC we did on the super cheap, and while this one we have a bit more of an allowance, we’re still sharing hotel rooms with friends, taking advantage of the rally discount on the hotel, waited for super cheap flights, and I can guarantee we’ll end up at McDonalds more than once while in DC.

I hope you go, and I hope that it changes you in the way that the first Reason Rally changed me.

Now that I’ve committed to going, I’m getting excited. I’m really excited to see friends, experience DC, and hopefully get myself re-energized about secular activism.

I’ll see you at the Reason Rally!

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