In the early 1900’s, George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This aphorism is, arguably, one of the most important sentences ever written. It reminds us that history has an ugly habit of repeating itself.
Today, we appear hellbent on removing anything from our history that might be offensive or insulting. Our society has gone to great lengths to either ban or demonize examples of the Civil War, the Swastika, Communism, KKK and the like.
We have also banned “offensive” words and ideas, labeling them as “hate speech.” The media has made sure that every unpopular utterance faces the court of public opinion and then it forms a panel to debate the results.
We are “sanitizing” ourselves to death; literally.
These words, statues, monuments and groups represent our past; good, bad whatever. The emotions that they evoke are different for each viewer, ranging…
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We have flown ~2,000,000 air-miles all over the world and the FIRST time we have to be de-iced…Tucson, Arizona! We can hit the Mexican border with a rock and we’re in ice; 28 degrees.
Ritz-Carlton, Marana Az. (Tucson)
Booked a room for 3 nights using 70,000 Marriott Points and a free night certificate. This place is a bargain at 35k points per night! The value of the Points and free night certificate is ~$945.
I checked the non-Points value to make sure that using points gives the better value…
Looks Good. ~$945 in Points to get $1249.74 in value. If you have the Amex Spg Luxury Card, you’re automatically Gold with Marriott. If you travel or spend enough, you can become Platinum. Either way, when you check in, you’re eligible for an Upgrade. I checked in and was upgraded.
~$945 in Points/free night certificate and now $3833.99 in value! Wow!
How did I earn the points? Spg Luxury card with 75,000 point sign up bonus. $450 year fee. WAIT! You get $300 of that back as a credit to pay a Marriott Hotel charge(s) and $250 of it back for airline incidentals (fly Delta and use it for gift cards to help pay for your flight). You also get a free night certificate and Marriott Gold status. Do the Math!
Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you’re approved! http://refer.amex.us/MICHAmOzEI?xl=cp33
Three years ago, I decided to take the “Hobby” of earning Travel Points and Miles seriously. I immersed myself in learning the “in’s & out’s” and after formulating a mediocre plan, I leapt from the proverbial edge and went all in. Three years, 14+ credit cards and 3,500,000 various points/miles later, I’m exhausted.
There is NO rest in this pursuit. Deals, opportunities, angles and tactics changes hourly. You must read, research and learn the nuances of every credit card, hotel chain, airline and car rental perk, challenge, coupon, offer and status opportunity available for the program that meets your goals. You must also learn about programs outside your sphere as they are often a “back door” to a program that is within your focus ie. booking with Alaska Air for an American Airlines flight when Alaska, who will take American Airlines Miles, requires less to do the same thing, yet you still board an American Airlines plane. It is literally like drinking from a fire hose.
The resources are easily available, but if you want to be at the “top of your game,” you must put in the time and effort. This, plus maintaining websites, blogs and writing books about what you’ve learned and experienced, make for a full day.
The reward? I have the ability to travel anywhere, in any way, for free; like I need more demands on my time. Ironically, the pursuit can become more interesting that the actual reason you started; to see the world in ways that most are unable; the most exotic cities, the best hotels and flights etc.
Having said all that, I do love it so. There is no greater thrill than to obtain top-tier hotel status, fly first class and see the world “simply” by accumulating points and miles. It becomes a type of currency that you earn through hard work, effort and being a step ahead. It can be glorious, but be warned, it is all-consuming and definitely not for the faint of heart. You’ll go to bed thinking about it and you’ll get up thinking about it. If your fortunate though, the bed you’re in will be in a place that is absolutely incredible.
“The Point of The Highland Thistle”
At the Vernal Equinox, the Scottish Highlands have always yielded before their Dark and Mercurial Sky, who once again is forced to endure Lady Spring’s conspicuous and gaudy arrival.
As She approached, the curmudgeonly Sky, turned and peered into the distance, greeting her only with silence.
Lady Spring, irritated by the tepid reception and the Sky’s obvious lack of deference, gazed disapprovingly upon the Highlands and its dull and dreary pallor.
“The only signs of life are these prickly Scottish thistles that rise from the snow,” she said, as she tugged at her robe, which had become entangled in thistle and was refusing to yield. Frustrated, she took off her robe and tugged as hard as she could, pulling the whole plant from the soil which then caused her to fall backward onto the ground; her robe now completely covered in thistles. “I’ll banish…
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I love this question: Should I wait to have children until I can afford them? Academically, sure; but most likely, nobody would ever have kids.
Waiting until you can “afford” to travel follows the same path. It’s the land of “I wish I had but now I can’t.”
Somehow, if we’re careful, we manage to have children and thrive anyway. Following your travel dreams is no different, You just “make it work” or alternatively, you roll the dice and wait until you retire. Good luck with that…
- No, this isn’t a crime scene, they’re asleep!🙄
“Fleeing before the storm clouds of war, a little refugee girl, herself still merely a child, gives comfort and reassurance to her own doll-child.”
People have said that the walk to Devils Bridge in Sedona is beautiful; they were right!
In my book, Traveling Zen, I write about how to efficiently pack for an international trip. Clearly I “missed the boat” regarding domestic travel. Since there are no restrictions on weight or contents, I think I may have overdid it a bit…
The third book is done and printed! The Diary of Francis Kelley. Amazon has been “struggling” with paperbacks lately, so the books are on my site: Travelinggump.Com under “menu” and the eBook versions are on Amazon. Just search “Travelinggump”