Who Have You Thanked Today?

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Yes, I know I’m late. Been busy all day long, then had a fantastic dinner in a local restaurant. In my family, the Thanksgiving dinner is like a rehearsal for the New Year’s feast so we could stay in shape. Which is the opposite of staying in shape. Anyway, I’m really, really stuffed right now.

There are a lot of things we should be grateful for. I mean, besides the food. I’m flying to Panama in two days for the one-year anniversary of my cousin’s passing. It’s a sad reason to travel especially that she died unexpectedly and very young, and that we didn’t even have a chance to say our goodbyes. But in the very least, I was able to book next day award tickets for 3 people  that cost us less than $400 in taxes and fees. These tickets would’ve run us around $3,000 otherwise.

On the way back from Panama, I chatted with a travel writer who writes for one of the major travel magazine. What surprised me was not that he was traveling in coach–it didn’t, actually–but that he knew a lot about miles, points, free travel, gaming the system, and even my books (or so he said). I asked him if he was following Flyertalk, and this is when he said something, well, intersting.

Flyertalkers,” he said, “are the most whiny, self-absorbed, and self-entitled bunch of people, I have ever known.”

Well, it’s been a year since that encounter, so those might not be the exact words he said, but I promise you I’m staying very close to the original.

Now, I love Flyertalk. Flyertalk taught me most of the things I know, so I jumped in, defending people I feel a strong connection with. But was he so far off?

Most people are happy when they get a 15-20% discount on their hotel stays or plane tickets. We, on the other hand, are bitching about taxes, award fees, angle lie-flats, and side ocean views. All that on free travel, mind you.

I must know. I’m always bitching about airport transportation. Those pesky taxi rides do add up when you travel more than once a year.

But, wait a minute, some folks might say. We have deserved it. We have learned the ropes, made costly mistakes, spend a lot of time away from family, doing ungodly things like buying money with money.

We have suffered for our soup!

Sure! Poor us! 🙂

Consider this: we are the first generation of NON-BUSINESS travelers who can do what we do. Let’s stop for a moment and think about it! No one in the history of mankind has ever been able to travel for free.

If that is not the thing to be grateful for, I don’t know what is!

I hope you have already thanked the gods of travel and finance industries that allow us to lead this amazing and almost unreal lifestyle. If not, it is not too late.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone. Whatever is left of it. 🙂

Photo By: martha_chapa95

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