Sunday, November 12, 2017

Brain Dump cont'd

  • I met a lovely retired couple from Utah on my way to Oban from Glasgow.  We ended up at the same seafood restaurant for lunch and decided to sit together.  They had flown in from Manchester to spend 4 days in Scotland.  A small break from their year of service at a local church.  
  • They silently went to pay for my lunch and when I found out, I had to insisted strongly to pay my own way.  I told them that their gesture alone was something I would cherish and not forget.  Such pure and kind people.  It was their 3rd time doing an oversea church mission.  Once in Brazil and twice in England.  
  • One of their daughters was on the national latin dance team so it was very interesting for me to hear about her training schedule.   Their love for each other and warmth when speaking about family and service literally wraps around you.  It was so nurturing being in their company.  The world needs more people like them.  
  • Sat beside another fun couple on my way back from LA.  They took to calling me "kiddo" and were quite distressed when my luggage was late arriving, even though it had been labelled priority.  They knew that I was dangerously close to missing my next connection.  You should have seen how concerned they were and how disappointed that I wasn't seeing my case.  The care shown by complete strangers has again and again astounded me and given me hope for this world.  
  • For someone who doesn't have to travel for business, I fly a lot -- Have 12 flights on my travel roster.  Two remaining for this year -- Should have been one but I managed to use that flight credit from D's injury.  So that leaves 10 for between Jan - Aug of next year and I'm excited for all of them.  
  • Maybe hard to believe but I will actually work a week more in 2017 than I did in 2016.  And on track to work 2 weeks more in 2018.  A lot depends on how the days fall each month.  As soon as I get my hands on the following year's daytimer, I track yearly minimum working days like a hawk on a spreadsheet as I go into planning mode.  
  • A few years ago, I was at the bottom end of the airline status ladder and when I started to fly to Asia, my airline mileage climbed naturally.  Had never expected to reach top tier this year.  It did make me stop and realized just how many hours of sitting I've done in airplane seats.  D just shakes his head when we sit down to go over my travel calendar.  He still gets to pick and choose the ones he'll join me for. 
  • I get to see and sit by a lot of business travelers.  Some who fly to Asia a few times a month.  And they seem to take everything in stride.  I cannot imagine how hard that would be.  And be functional at the other end immediately for a meeting or presentation.  They are true road warriors.
  • And for sure, sometimes my back and legs suffer for it.  But by in large I quite enjoy the process.  Yup, it's great to have access to the airline lounges and extra leg room seats for free and score the occasional upgrade to first.  However, most important of all, is knowing that my preferred airline will take care of me should things go south.  I rarely ever have to wait long when I have to call in for something.
  • I know where to buy great food to bring on board at certain airports -- Current favorites are from Minneapolis airport Terminal 1.  Smack Shack -- They sell lobster rolls and giant prawn cocktail.  Black Sheep -- Coal fire pizzas.  And Lake Wine Kitchen + Bar for a great blueberry, candied pecan and prosciutto salad that goes along perfect with the prawn cocktail.  For 14+ hr flights, it's nice to have some real food with you.
  • I am super excited for the finalization of the joint venture between Delta and Korean Air.  It will make flying to Asia more comfortable and seamless.  I really like the flight times and level of service that Korean Air offers.  And being optimistic here when I hope for more moderate flight pricing as well.  
  • I don't spend near as much as one might naturally think on my travel each year.  I know what "normal pricing" is and what would constitute a "good deal" for different parts of the world.  Especially nowadays, as I stay in more local establishments, run by individual families.  Makes a big difference, plus the bonus of directly supporting them.
  • When I go back even 4 years ago and compare what I spent then, what those spots are currently charging compared to places I would pick now -- Huge difference in cost.  It has been a mindset change on my end as well.  That is also why the push to learn languages better so I could function more effectively when I find myself in a home stay situation or in more out of the way places where you cannot assume anyone can speak English.
  • My year's worth of flights cost similar in range to a family of 4's 1 to 2 week Disney adventure, depending on whether they are staying on site or off, 5 star or 3.  
  • And I never ever forget, no matter where or what situation I may find myself in, that air travel is a huge privilege.  There are many in the world who will go their entire lives never stepping foot on a airplane because they are unable to afford it.
  • Thank you for indulging me in these last few spewing posts.  I know there is an unprecedented amount of digital noise and chatter that exists in our daily lives and you do not necessarily need more.  


  1. I am happy and contended to be brain dumped upon!!

    1. You are so kind Lizzie! Thank you!

      You probably know this already, but the warmth with which you write about your family comes through 100% in your posts. Reminds me a lot of that first couple I spent time with.