Do you have what it takes to pursue the Points and Miles challenge? I’m not so sure…

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.


And Three’s a Charm…

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”


Order here Thru Paypal and get Free Shipping!

Why I Write, Post and What I Want From You. (Tip: It’s not cute pet pictures)

I write two Blogs. and  The first, mostly for travel and travel tips/ideas, the second, for opinions, thoughts and articles about our social condition.  I post on Twitter, Instagram, WordPress and Facebook.  Three sites are “blowing up” (Instagram, WordPress and Twitter) with followers.  Facebook is “meh” and I would like that to improve.

What I know:

  1. If I don’t write or post articles or pictures of value and interest, I should expect nothing in return.  Generally, I put an enormous amount of thought into most of the articles that I write, especially on Thesunflowermuse.  I’m trying to get to the core of the issues.
  2. That there is a “process” for getting your posts to the right audience, which I’m working on.
  3. That people are inundated with “stuff” and “like” whatever is easy to see/scan and are generally too busy (understandably) to read in detail. Hence the enormous popularity of pet pictures/videos.  Ugh.
  4. Despite having a large amount of followers, I am not getting the traction I want, especially on my personal facebook page, which supports the theory; “You can’t be a prophet in your own land” and/or you really need to improve your articles. The first I get, the latter I don’t feel the need to change at this point. Going forward, I’m going to try and confine myself to the two sites listed above.

What I want from you:

  1. If my articles are of no interest to you or my opinions are too this or that, leave.
  2. If they are of any interest, entertain you, provoke or evoke a thought or passion, acknowledge it somehow.  On, my thoughts and opinions can be challenging and are written to be thought provoking.  Feel free to complain, gripe or even correct my grammar (please!), something! If you don’t agree, say so!
  3. And lastly, on, I am fortunate to have excellent advertisers (Amazon, Holiday Inn, Expedia, Orbitz, Trivago etc…).  Please search and book through my page as it costs you nothing extra and helps me to keep them happy.

There is so much “noise” on the internet today and I am trying to rise above the cute animal pictures/videos and provide great Travel Tips and Ideas ( and Thought Provoking Stories and Opinions on The Human Condition and Society ( Please Engage.

Best Wishes, Michael


The September 2017 Adam Henry Awards

Who is Adam Henry and why an award?  First, Adam Henry is not a person. It’s Law Enforcement Vernacular using the letters of the alphabet to create a euphemism for someone who is an a$$ho!e.  So, obviously, to earn this award you have to be an…well, you get it.  This could also be called the “I’m fed up with your crap” award.  Let’s begin!

We’ll start at the bottom, the Bronze medalist.  Our Adam Henry Award goes to: The sports players who kneel during the National Anthem.

Thankfully, our Constitution (Bill of Rights, 1st Amendment) guarantees you the right to protest peaceably (free speech and assembly) and you’re doing just that.  I’m also willing to concede that through whatever skill you possess you somehow bubbled up to the top and are on the team, which couldn’t have been easy.  Having said that…

I have no idea who or what you were like before fame and fortune but I doubt you protested anything.  I also doubt you were a role model for anyone other than, maybe, your family.  Yet here you are, lots of money and enjoying your 15 minutes of fame.  Apparently, you’re now special and you feel that you have an important opinion that matters and an audience who seems to be actually interested in your every utterance.  Here’s the pitch, strike 3!, yeah, not so much.  With the exception of the media, who are desperately hoping you’ll say or do something stupid, nobody cares…at all.  No one really cared about what you thought before you were “a celebrity” so why in the world would they care about what you think today.  I doubt your new status has suddenly made you any smarter.  So enjoy your 15 minutes, and please, stay down on your knees and get comfortable.   While I have no use for you, I’m sure that some admirer standing nearby could find a use for a guy in your…position.


On to the next Adam Henry award, our Silver medalist.  This goes to CNN, Fox News and the media as a whole.  With bonus awards also being given to CNN’s Don Lemon and Fox’s Sean Hannity.

Thankfully, again, our Constitution (1st Amendment) guarantees you the right to the Freedom of the Press and boy are you having fun with it! What was supposed to be news, is now a variety show, complete with a panel of experts.  In the past, Walter Cronkite would have about 30 minutes in the evening to tell us what happened in the world today.  He didn’t mess around as the Walton’s were coming on at 6 and we needed to know if Jon-Boy, who last week had suffered a head injury, was going to recover.

The media, literally, lies in wait for someone, anyone to do anything that they can make a dollar on.  This sick variety show, especially as presented by Lemon and Hannity, specializes in keeping gaping wounds open for as long as ratings and their handler’s will allow. They call this journalism and hide behind it’s shield of protection.  These news channels should be viewed in the same fashion as the Home Shopping Network.  The difference being that the media is selling human misery instead of the latest jewelry


The last Adam Henry Award, our Gold medalist, goes to…Us.  We watch the “news” shows, listen to the opinions of fools and allow this insanity to continue.  We can’t agree with each other on even the simplest of things.  We are a complete incurable mess.  Do you ever wonder why aliens haven’t stopped here? Our intergalactic reputation is that bad.  I’m certain that there is a billboard with a warning near Mars. I have no solutions to offer but I am positive that the evolution of humanity will ultimately cure this problem in one way or another.  So, in the meantime, even though we’re totally screwed, let’s all enjoy our awards, we certainly earned ’em.