For years now, I’ve enjoyed the tradition of an end of year mileage run.
In part because when you travel regularly, it’s nice to have status*; and in part because earning status is a convenient excuse to take a low-investment trip: just a few days to someplace far away with a reasonable flight cost. (These days, you can buy up your status, but where is the adventure in that?)
“Only three days?” people ask us. But three days is better than no days; and there is no easier time to leave the office than the span between Christmas and New Years. I don’t mind the long flights—I’m sitting next to Per for hours of uninterrupted time, we can catch up on movies, and chances are good we will get upgraded on at least a leg or two of the journey.
Three days is enough to get a good sense of the place—and we can always plan to come back for a longer, more committed stay if we love it.
Last year we did Hong Kong; in retrospect I cannot believe we made the trip when I was feeling so terrible—just two weeks later I landed in the hospital for eight days with a colon infection that must have already been in full swing while we were there. But we have amazing memories, and the ones of me being sick are overshadowed by those of people being kind to us. The year prior, we did Dubai and included a day in Abu Dhabi. We were gone for five nights and spent only two in a hotel—the other three were on red-eyes!—but we still talk about the time we spent there.
Istanbul wasn’t necessarily on our bucket list, but ticket prices were attractive, we could use hotel points, and those who had been gave their enthusiastic endorsement. It turned out to be great: we hired a guide for half a day and learned the history and context behind the gorgeous places we saw. The food was delicious and the locals friendly. I am so glad we went.
I’ve got big plans for longer trips: Per and I never went on a real honeymoon, and I’ve told him I would like to do that once my treatment is done. Once the pump is out of my body and I can have wine again, I think a trip to Napa should be in my future. But in the meantime,
I’m looking forward to more quick trips with the people I love, so I can feel like I’m living and not just waiting to live.
My wish for you in 2020 is the the same: health, happiness, and just enough adventure. Happy New Year! #HAD21