As told by AYCJetter Kevin:
This was my second year on the AYCJ pass. Last year, I was fresh out of college and on the job hunt when I heard about it. The opportunity was so grand, I just had to take advantage of it. I couldn’t convince any friends to come with as they all were either in school, in a job, or still job hunting and not secure enough to have fun. So I did the trip alone, and I gained a lot of confidence in myself for being self sufficient and capable of meeting new friends on the road. After my first experience on AYCJ, I couldn’t wait for another round. I periodically looked for news leaks on the internet and found a few positive rumors. I planned my work and my life around September being another awesome month of travel.
I met a really cool guy down in Miami last year on AYCJ. We were both the only Americans at the Miami International Traveler’s Hostel and we were both AYCJetters and Los Angeles-ers. We immediately hit it off and made an enduring friendship outside of our travels. At his house in Los Angeles, we would talk about AYCJ, and he said he probably wouldn’t go for another round. This was because of work and money among other things. This year, I get a text early in the morning from him that read “JerBlue is on! Get yours quick” At the time, I was walking out the door to give my sister a ride to the airport. I turned on my computer and told her to hold on for 10 minutes.
Last year, I was super anxious and planned, maybe, too much. This year I was more relaxed to jet whichever way the wind blew. My college friends were all more established so I had buddies in lots of the places I traveled. My travel buddy from last year and I went to Puerto Rico first, and had an absolutely amazing time. Then I saw my family in L.A. Then a college buddy who was living in Las Vegas. Then I explored Portland, ME and Charlotte, NC by myself. Then my high school buddy and I hung out in Denver, where we climbed a 14,000 foot peak on a day hike. Then I went to New York for a night, where my travel buddy had a 5 star hotel for work. Then I finished the trip in Colombia, with a buddy I met on another jet blue flight.
A funny side note: an AYCJetter saw my AYCJ luggage tag and started talking to me about our travels. He mentioned he wanted to go to Colombia, as did I. With it not being the safest JetBlue destination, we exchanged emails and said we would try to fly down together. We, in fact, did travel down together after talking for only 10 minutes in the Las Vegas airport. The AYCJ’er was very cool and became a good friend. All of this happened simply from an AYCJ luggage tag.
My last flight was back to my parents’ place in Los Angeles. I hung out with them for a little bit and then I drove my truck to Chicago, where I’m currently working two great jobs. It was tiring as hell, but it was definitely every bit worth it. When I returned to work, my boss asked me how was the traveling and I told him “it was the time of my life” and he replied “the time of your life, two years in a row.” I would love to complete an AYCJ 3-pete, but it will definitely depend on my circumstances at that time next year.