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12minRVconvos Journey-What happened at the airport?

  I have traveled to the U.S. a couple of times before and each of those trips were purpose filled. This planned 12minRVconvos journey however superceded all those and I could feel it in every fiber of my being. Our friend Alicia, who lives in the U.S. accompanied us on this first leg of the journey which I spoke about on Day 0. When we got into Ft Lauderdale's Airport we separated as Alicia's car was at a nearby car park. We would later meet at her home once we got through with our rental car. Amanda and I used the airport's shuttle to get across to the rental car center.

Once there, we presented our paid for in full (or so we thought) rental car pick up info to the front desk. All was flowing smoothly until I was asked for my debit card. The customer service representative swiped it and said to me, "sorry do you have another card I can try".
"Sure I do", I told him with all confidence. 
Again that card was denied as well. We were faced with an unexpected hurdle. We called Alicia who said she would return to the airport. In no way did we imagine that upon arrival we would be faced with an obstacle of this nature . How fun!!!

We did not have the deposit  for 2 reasons.

What were the 2 reasons?

1. Firstly, there were two sources of money we had access to for this 12minRVconvos journey. Our personal VISA card and the money that we raised through our GoFundme campaign. However, because of scarcity of US$ in Trinidad and Tobago, our bank would only allow a US$200 spend per month. The deposit was more than this for a 12 week rental period.

2.Secondly the money we raised was in the account of Ryan Dean because when we signed up for GoFundme, one of the pre-requisites was a US bank account. At that time we did not have one. This was one of the reasons we travelled to the US a day earlier.

What did we do?

I approached the counter a second time and explained our situation. The customer representative thankfully worked it out and by the time Alicia returned we got our approval receipt to collect our rental.

Alicia helped us to choose the SUV in the picture above. We then followed her to one of her favorite breakfast location, a spanish diner. After a great breakfast, Alicia went home to rest and we went to get travel supplies at Walmart.

Walmart has a special place in our heart, as in time to come it would be a source of so much, as you will read in futre blogs. We then drove to Alicia's home where we would meet Mackenzly, her husband and my friend. We rested for a bit. Soon Mackenzly and I would return to the airport to meet Ryan Dean who was flying in from Virginia. 

Who is Ryan Dean?

Ryan is the founder of Dreamer-made, inventor of Peacekeyper and a friend. I spoke with Ryan for the first time on November 17th 2016 at 7pm ET ? online, voice to voice.. When Ryan told me his vision, I got excited. I was so excited that we did not record a #12minconvo but had an extended conversation. His vision for an online community aligned with mine. He eventually joined one of our Y.O.U.R.S. accountabiliy groups where we got to build a better relationship.

When I shared my 12 week goal of driving through North America and interviewing 1001 past podcast guests, he was excited. Previously, Ryan had driven from Virginia to San Diego. He decided he would join us on this 12minRVconvos journey and we were glad to have someone familiar with America with us.

Could you imagine going on a roadtrip with someone you met on the internet? The first time I met Ryan face to face was that day at the Ft. Lauderdale airport when Mackenzly and I picked him up. Surreal!!!

We returned to Mackenzly and Alicia's home to begin the preparation for our Day 1 which was now a couple of hours away.

Who did you interview 1st?

Mackenzly Cox, episode 1096 on the 12minconvos podcast, was the 1st person I interviewed at 12:12 AM on the 12th June 2018. This was the first interview of many more towards my goal to meet and interview 1001 past podcast guests across North America. Mackenzly and I share a history too large for this blog page. He has been a supporter of my goals and I have been a supporter of his.  He is a living inspiration of what is possible when you go after your dreams. Be sure to listen to his interview below on the video roll. Amanda and Alicia were both asleep while Ryan, Mackenzly and I were recording. We all then went to sleep to arise at 5am to make our way to South Florida to meet Kingsley Grant for 6am.

How was Day 1?

Day 1 was full of surprises. We met Kingsley Grant, episode 111 on the 12minconvos podcast, and were able to use the sitting area of the Moonlite diner to record a #12minconvo. Kingsley demostrated great patience as we were still working out the kinks in this recording process.  

Then we drove to meet Virginia Jimenez, episode 871 on the 12minconvos podcast,  in a meeting area where she was attending a conference nearby. We recorded a #12minconvo then parted. Next we drove to Ivan Hunt's home where he welcomed us with open arms. Ivan Hunt was episode 1881 on the 12minconvos podcast. Unfortunately we were amateurs. We were using a GoPro to record the video but the audio command was activated. Either Ivan or myself inadvertently said the command to stop the recording and we only got 8mins recorded of our conversation. 4 minutes lossed of Ivan's insighful value.

Next was lunch with Audrey, episode 780 on the 12minconvos podcast at the Cheescake Factory. Her children were there as well which made it even more difficult for us to leave their company. They were a delightful family. In hindsight moving too quickly sometimes isn't good.

Next was Andres Escobar, episode 1543 on the 12minconvos podcast who brought 12 pens for me and a sweet treat. Andres introduced us to Corey, who I also interviewed. Then on our final interview of the day we met Ron Pearl, episode 1754 on the 12minconvos podcast and his wife Mande at their home. Check out the videos below to learn more because there is a lot more than I could write here. 

Amanda's thoughts...

Amanda Jones

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Our 12minRVconvos journey began with a flight to Fort Lauderdale International Airport. In the busyness of preparing, the realness of what we were doing had not hit home fully.

However, some semblance of reality struck somewhere high above the Atlantic Ocean and began to unfold as our flight touched down on U.S. soil. It was really happening. Unknowingly to Engel, I was anticipating the airport immigration officer asking us that question of ‘what was the purpose of our visit? In my mind, I rehearsed so many versions because this trip was so full of purpose, but each answer sounded just as crazy.

Interestingly and thankfully, we were not asked that question, or any other at all, otherwise the line might have been held up. It’s a question when asked prompts you to ask another question and another question, as we’ve experienced from our Trini counterparts. The delay, however, would be where we least expected it, our car rental, as described by Engel above.

To say the least, this development was like having the wind knocked out of you even before you began the race. Thankfully, this was resolved. Favor!!!

After we exited the airport, we were treated to a hearty breakfast by our dear friend Alicia, who was hosting us for the next two nights. We then spent the rest of the day obtaining supplies based on our road trip must-have checklist.

Later that day our third team member, Ryan Dean, who we had never met in person, would be arriving. While Engel and Mackenzly (Alicia’s husband) went off to meet Ryan at the airport, sleep was calling my name. I had just enough awake time in me to greet and welcome Ryan, but then sleep got the better of me. From what I was told Engel and Ryan stayed up really late sorting out the recording set up which would be used. They also recorded the first conversation just after the stroke of midnight!

There were times when I was unsure of what my role was in the scheme of things, but I knew for certain, support was one of them. That, I’ve realized, could look like many things based upon the situation at any given time. In all of my realized dreams as a nurse, author and mother, Engel has been the constant wind beneath my wings.

I’ve had the privilege of witnessing Engel unselfishly live by Zig Ziglar’s quote ‘Help enough other people get what they want and you will get what you want’. This was the time for me to reciprocate this principle by being present in every sense of the word, on this journey. The anticipation of which, served as the internal alarm clock for our 5am wake up on Day 1. Day 1 was a mixture of amazement, excitement and exhaustion, feelings which would have to be evaluated in the coming days, more so the feeling of exhaustion.

Where next?

Orlando would be Day 2 of the 12minRVconvos journey. After this 1st day my team was tired. My idea of how easy this would be was shattered as the size of America was now beginning to dawn upon me. But it's only the 1st day. Follow me to Day 2 where we begin to have more teethering challenges on where we can work from and who we can meet. If you missed Day 0 the beginning, then click HERE.

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Engel Jones

I am a podcaster who has now had over 2900 recorded podcast conversations, plus 349 live interviews in 12 weeks, while driving through the 48 states of the US plus the eastern and western side of Canada.

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