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”
It will take a true traveler to appreciate this. Everyone else will most likely be unsympathetic and follow the thought with the statement “stop whining”. So be it.
Traveling is not just going from A to B, it’s a passion. I love it from choosing the destination, the planning, the getting there, the “there” and even the coming home. I love the “trip” almost as much as the destination.
This time last year, we were packed and on the 28th of February, we left for Asia; Vietnam, Cambodia and China. This was a big deal and I was anxious to see the results of all the planning, from using Airline Miles, Hotel Points and well, everything. It was a Grand Adventure.
Here’s the whining part. I have been melancholy all day. I am missing the adventure and due to “life”, there are no adventures planned in the near future. Nothing is horribly wrong, fortunately, but our travel has been put on hold. My writing simply pales in conveying the passion that a true traveler feels at being “grounded”, unable to explore the world.
Tomorrow will be a long day. I am thankful that I’ve been able to travel as much as I have and I realize that many others can’t travel and…Ugh, this is Crap!, blah, blah, blah… So, I’m a selfish #!@&! and this is all about me! I want more and I’m gonna sit here with my arms crossed and my bottom lip hanging out until I get my way. I may even hold my breath or stomp my feet, me, me, me whatever; It’s time to go!
Sometimes we are so anxious to travel to new places, that we forget about the gems in our own backyard. I give you the Hotel Vandivort of Springfield, Missouri. An incredible boutique Hotel in the popular downtown area. Apparently, it’s a big deal to take your photograph in the lobby bathrooms, #vandivortbathroomselfie