Racking Up the Miles Now So I Can Use ‘em Up Later.

I joined the American Airlines frequent flier program more than twenty years ago. I have no idea how it compares with similar programs run by other airlines and it really doesn’t matter anyway. I picked American at that time because they had (and still have) a lot of flights from Honolulu to other cities in the mainland U.S.

That’s important because we’re sitting out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and it’s five hours in the air – minimum – to go anywhere. Hawaii is literally the most remote populated spot on the globe, so earning free flights has been important.

My wife and I do our best to maximize the number of miles we earn by charging as much as possible to our card every month: groceries, gas, insurance premiums when they come due, restaurant meals, office supplies, pest control services, lumber for repairing the pasture fence. You name it, we charge it. Biggest purchases so far: a horse and a new water line. (Don’t ask!) The critical detail, of course, is that you have to – you absolutely without question must – pay off the full amount of your charges each and every month … no exceptions.

I was thinking about this earlier today because I’m trying to decide where I’d like to go a year from now and I realized that I could go anywhere. And I mean anywhere!  How cool is that!

I could spend some time in France working on my conversational French. Or I could take that amazing Chinese train that runs from Beijing to Lhasa in Tibet. I’ve never been to Africa and the Blue Train is in my to-do list, so that’s a possibility . . . pricey, but still possible.

It’s much too soon for any kind of a decision, but isn’t it amazing to have an almost limitless number of options open to me. Anywhere in the world. Well, almost anywhere. I think I’ll skip Ukraine.