Last night I qualified as a Technician Class amateur radio operator. I have to wait a few days before I can be on the air, while the FCC assigns a call sign to me.
I bought this inexpensive, handheld radio to get started. It will get me around the local area and I can participate in local activities including emergency management.
I expect to by an additional radio that will get me to other parts of the world, but I have to decide whether I will uprade my license first in order to be able to broadcast on more bands. Meanwhile I am having fun!