It is the last day of 2015 but I think it is still too premature to evaluate the year. Award Expert and this blog continue to grow, I appeared on TV three times, was quoted in several publications, spoke at a handful of travel conferences, and I even bought a house in LA and got into better shape. I traveled the world and am now on a two week holiday in India and the Maldives.
Yes, my only reaction should be one of thankfulness, but I cannot help to linger on the shortcomings. I earn my living through Award Expert and am incredibly thankful for a business that allows me to help so many wonderful people and companies travel smartly. I love setting my own hours, being my own boss, and working from any continent of the world, but believe it or not I love writing even more. It seems that each year for the last few years I have written this annual year-end post with remorse for not writing more. Trip reports dating back beyond shelf life remain unpublished and with a wife and house and all the responsibilities that entails I have not found the time to devote to writing. I consider that a shame.
I won’t promise more posts in 2016…I had concrete plans for 2015 and the year turned out totally different than I had imagined, so this year I will just take one day at a time. I will say I am committed to this blog and trying to bring a fresh perspective mixing premium class airline and hotel reviews, news analysis, and exotic trip reports. Don’t tell my mother (Hi Mom) but I am determined to get to Damascus in 2016. My wife is eager to join me. Really. Didn’t I marry a gem?
The Year in Review
I don’t use Flight Memory or any spreadsheet to keep specific track of all the miles I flew this year, but I exceeded 200K miles, flying a lot on United Airlines but also a substantial amount on mileage tickets. As best I can recollect, here are the flight routes I have taken this year, some many, many times:
Six trips to Germany this year, the A350 Inaugural from DOH-FRA, Emirates and Etihad First Class, two trips to Asia, three to the Middle East…wow. I always end up doing more flying that I set out to do. Still, only two new countries this year — Bahrain and Doha — meaning my country count remains stalled at 125. Next week I will be visiting two new countries and I hope that as 2016 unfolds I will be able to visit many new countries.
Many thanks to all my loyal readers for your support. A kind comment means so much and I am honored that some of you are still putting up with me over six years into this blog.
And as long as we’re looking back on the year, let me give you one last tip — unless you are extremely handy, don’t buy a fixer upper house! And if you do buy a fixer upper anyway, don’t think you can save money by serving as your own general contractor. And if you decide to serve as your own general contractor and see that nothing is working out, it is not too late to hire a general contractor. And if you notice your workers are doing something wrong, don’t assume they know what they are doing. And don’t pay anyone in advance for anything. Not that I would do any of that, of course. Sigh.
I wish each and every one of you a safe and prosperous 2016…I’m at the Park Hyatt Goa where a mandatory new year’s gala is happening this evening. More on that in a future post…