I found myself in an unusual situation this past weekend. For the first time in… well… for as long as I can remember, I had enormous anxiety in both not traveling or having anything “on the books.”
It began on Friday when I jealously monitored my Twitter feed noting how many of those I follow were arriving in Chicago for the Chicago Seminars. That event is a “must attend” for any frequent flier junkie, and while I’ve been in the past, I had made the previous regrettable decision to skip it this year.
Meanwhile in San Francisco, United held its annual Family Day event, another experience I had enjoyed a couple of times in previous years, but I also made the decision to skip this year.
And perhaps what got to me most was missing the rare public opening of the iconic TWA Terminal at New York’s JFK Airport this past Sunday. I’ve never been to it and would have loved to flown out for the day/weekend.
All three events were announced in advance, and I could have easily booked a trip to any of them, but I didn’t. And I suffered from it as a result this past weekend.
If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you know that I’m beginning to value my time at home a bit more these days. For various reasons, I’m starting to slow my ridiculous amount of Frequently Flying to a modest rate. I’m no longer gunning for top-tier status on United and I’m letting go of my “need” to hold elite status with any particular hotel chain.
But I’ll admit that I’m having a very difficult time transitioning to my new lifestyle. And so, after a perfectly wonderful Sunday spent with my parents at their place, I returned home and began searching for new trips.
My desire is to begin burning the hundreds of thousands of United miles that I’m holding for new flight and travel experiences. I have yet to ride on a Lufthansa 747-8, or in Asiana’s new first class, or a single trip on ANA. Those are a few of my goals, but I began my search by looking to yet again visit my favorite country – Australia.
Australia feels like home to me (and it was for a short time in my life), so with a couple of United Global Premier Upgrades (GPUs) yet to use this year, I began what I thought would be a fruitless search for R-class space. And to my amazement, I found a reasonable itinerary with upgradable seats available at booking. Even more amazing was that the W-fare necessary on which to use GPUs was only $150ish more than the cheapest coach fare for the same flights (and much less than my last United airfare to Oz).
After a quick Skype call to my friend in Sydney, I booked the flights and I happily have another trip to look forward to. Phew… my phobic anti-travel situation has been solved.
It’s weird, really, being in a position where lack of travel causes me anxiety, but it does. The only (#firstworldproblem) thing I’m upset about now is that I couldn’t get an upper deck window seat on my return.
Flying and travel will always be a requirement in my life. For whatever reason, it’s embedded in my DNA and I’ll seemingly never be fulfilled unless I have an adventure or other travel plans in my (near) future.
Do you have the “bug?”
– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.