Four Historical Figures that Would Make the Most Interesting Dinner Guests

*No Guarantee on safety of the host

We all have those people that we have either read or heard about that instantly piqued interest and had you thinking to yourself, “Man I would really like to talk to this person.” What better way to really get to know someone than to invite them for dinner (if it works for dating, it would work for this)!

Without further ado, I will list the four figures I would love to cook a casserole for:

1) Mary Shelley – Claim to fame as the author of Frankenstein

The most impressive thing about Mary Shelley is the fact that Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus was first published when she was 20. This is quite a feat, considering most Americans have trouble doing their own laundry by their 20th birthday, let alone write a novel that withstands the test of time.

What I would talk to her about:

  • The ethics of creating life through unnatural means
  • I really want to know her stance on God, life after death and organized religion
  • Plain old girl talk – I want to know about her relationship with Percy

As the ‘mother’ of Science Fiction, I would show here some of my favorite Star Trek episodes, a large part of me hopes that she would love it as much as I do (after she gets past the shock of the television, that is).

2) Cleopatra

Starting off strong with historical women, Cleopatra is fascinating for many reason:

  • First ruler of the Ptolemaic Dynasty in Egypt to even bother learning Egyptian (Ptolemaic Dynasty originated with Ptolemy, a general of Alexander the great, seizing control of the area after the death of Alexander).
  • Mistress of Julius Caesar
  • Mistress of Marc Antony

She was disruptive, political and powerful in a way that Roman women could not compare. I would want to ask her:

  • If she could change any of her decisions, what would they be
  • What was Caesar like, as a person, not as a political icon
  • How does it feel to be one of the most notable women of 2,000+ years

3) Niccolo Machiavelli

Author of The Prince and father of Machiavellianism (the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or general good conduct). I would have an intense conversation with him about American politics then show him a couple hours of information on Donald Trump.

Really fascinated to see his take on Donald Trump.    

4) Mexican General Santa Anna

He had a very long career as a Mexican President and General. Most notable, he was the general that led the battle of the Alamo, but he is also the person responsible with Mexico losing most of it’s territory to Texas. I don’t think he was the best person, so let’s just say his casserole would not be very tasty.

The only reason I want to be in a room in Santa Anna is to ask him about the funeral he had for his leg. He lost his leg during the Pastry War and had a full military funeral progression for it.

I would only foresee this dinner party lasting 45 minutes, but it would be an enlightening time. Just the quirky story I would like more elaboration on.

Weathered: Ancient Restrooms from Ostia Antiqua

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Ostia Antiqua – a short train ride from the city of Rome, is a full landscape of weathered ancient buildings. Here is a communal restroom (most Roman citizens did not have private restrooms) and would have to use the communal ones throughout town. The restroom consisted of a sitting bench, waste holders and a running stream to clean communal refuse sponges (used instead of toilet paper).
Weathered

PROJECT FInally

PROJECT FInally

Image result for project fi

Huge shout-out to Google for finally offering a phone plan for world travelers. I took a leap of faith and signed up shortly before leaving for New Zealand, hoping for the best. Turns out this was the best move I could have made.

The Planning

Prior to a few months ago, I had never heard of Project Fi. I was planning on doing as I did for my last extended trip to Rome:

  1. Suspending my current phone plan
  2. flip phoneBuying a burner in the country

It (barely) worked for me last time, but instead of having my smartphone everywhere, I had an ancient flip phone. It could do basic texting and calling, and not much else.

For those of you who have spent any time in Rome, you know that it is not a city to navigate without GPS.

Needless to say, when I saw the commercial for Project Fi, I was very intrigued.

 

So What is Project Fi?

Lets break it down between Domestic (United States) and International

Feature Domestic International
Connects to nations top networks and transitions from WIFI to wireless network to optimize coverage and connection  

X

 

X

Data costs the same, in any country at $10 USD/GB X X
$20 Base fee for calls/texts X X
Non-wifi calls cost $0.20/minute   X
Any unused data gets credited to account (ex: 3 GB plan, but only 2.1 GB’s used, $9 will be credited) X X
No contract X X

Note: for exact international coverage, check the 135+ countries included in the phone plan: https://fi.google.com/about/rates/

Once I learned this, I would have signed up even if I was not going to be traveling (though the travel pack is easily the best part of this phone plan). I am a pretty minimal data user (~3 GB/Month) so my bill would not be higher than $50/Month (making this about $20 less than my Verizon plan was).

Click Here to View the Project Fi Commercial

How It’s Been Working

The transition was seamless.  It takes a few days to process the paperwork if you keep your old cell phone number, but luckily Google takes care of all of it. Once the order was placed,  all I had to do was enter my Verizon account information and they did all the rest. They set it up to close my old account (as soon as the new phone was activated) and transferred over my cell phone number.

When the cell phone arrived, all I had to do was turn it on, connect it to my WIFI and Google took care of the rest. If you have your old cell phone, you can connect that as well and it will transfer over all Applications (and even log you into them), photos and music.

Domestically: I did not notice any differences in coverage – which is wonderful.

Internationally (in New Zealand): It took about a minute for my phone to connect after getting off the airplane and connection is as seamless as it was in the states.

My experience with Google Project Fi have be all 10’s! Would strongly suggest to everyone.

Final Considerations

  • If you are a large data user, I would not suggest Project Fi for usage in the united states. $10/GB can add up very fast.
    • Keep watching, they might start offering a package deal for more GBs
  • Cell phone options are limited, options are:
    • Google Pixel 2 (Pixel 2 XL)
    • Google Pixel (Pixel XL)
    • Motorola One
  • All cell phones are android based, so might run into some errors when transitioning from the Iphone to the new one.

 

“It isn’t all over; everything has not been invented; the human adventure is just beginning.”
― Gene Roddenberry

A Visa, the Ticket to Avoiding Awkwardness

A Visa, the Ticket to Avoiding Awkwardness

worldwidevisa

Now you may be asking yourself, how can a Visa help me avoid awkwardness? Well, not many things are more awkward that being really excited about your trip, have all your ducks in a row and fly in…only to get turned away at customs because you are not allowed to enter the country.

That’s very extreme, but it highlights the importance of knowing the entrance requirements.

Visa: an endorsement on a passport indicating that the holder is allowed to enter, leave, or stay for a specified period of time in a country.

Investigating the Visa – The very first thing you should do

This should be done well in advance of buying tickets or setting up any rentals. For many trips you might not need a Visa, for others, the processing time might take months – it all depends on country of residence and length of stay.

A quick 5 minute search might be all that is needed initially. It will tell you whether or not you will actually need one and might help plan out your trip.

For example: When I did an Italian Study Abroad trip in Undergrad, I did not need to obtain a Visa. While visiting the European Union (Schengen Area), I learned that if a person spends less than 90 days in a 180 day period, there is no Visa needed. Because of this, I only spent 84 days in Europe before coming back home to Seattle.

So, you need to get a Visa?

Once you learn you actually need one – figure out what the requirements and paint your timeline. Some of the things you might be asked:

  • Entry Date
  • Departure Date
  • Health Insurance
  • Past Pay Stubs
  • Current Savings
  • Passport Number
  • Others in your party

The timeline: Some Visas, you must apply months in advance (to ensure adequate time for meeting, processing, and delivering), others you should do as close to entry date. Proper planning will result in the trip operating smoothly.

Visas range in requirements – so it is important to know prior to applying, rather than risking being denied.

For example: With New Zealand, I determined the working holiday Visa was the best fit for my trip. The working holiday Visa requirements are simple:

  • Be under the age of 30
  • Have health insurance
  • Have $4000 or your return ticket

So I prepared, then applied one month before my entry date (as the total processing time took less than 1 week).

Note: if it is going to be an extended trip, look up tax laws!

Final Considerations

Make sure you travel with an electronic copy of the visa, a photo of it, and a physical copy. You can never be too prepared.

For more information about the EU Visa (including how to obtain one and further requirements for non-us citizens) this link will take you to their webpage: Schengen Visa Application

For more information about the NZ VisaVisit New Zealand

Another great blog – full of updates on Visashttps://www.visablogs.com/

Sources: Dictionary.com

“We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”                   – Eleventh Doctor