I’ve been thinking about writing this blog for a while, and I’m so excited that the moment is here and now. Its a little rough around the edges, but I’ve begun – and that’s epic.
So, what’s this all about, anyway? This blog concerns two passions (or should I say, obsessions?) of mine – my love of endurance running (in particular, marathons) and my love for travel. I’m lucky that I figured out a way to put these loves together – by often mixing vacations with marathons, and marathons with vacations. I’ve run more than 75 marathons, including marathons in all of the 50 states, as well as marathons or half marathons in five countries on three continents. I don’t run fast and I don’t win awards, but I love running through new places, sightseeing with my shoelaces tied and a smile on my face. That is my award. And, in so doing, I’ve come to cherish both running and travel even more. I travel for pleasure. I also travel for fun. I usually travel with friends. I love to incorporate running in my travel plans, and often build a trip around a marathon. The running is part of the adventure, not the sole essence of it.
Travel planning is both a necessary evil and a necessary pleasure. My goal is to get the best and most I can for the least amount (which isn’t always an easy task when there are 30,000 persons converging on the city on the given weekend). Another challenge is sometimes just getting to the place I’m planning to go to – which, given the unpredictability of weather, and the difficulty of getting to some of the more obscure venues, isn’t as easy as it sounds. I’ve learned how to travel well. To attain some degree of status at hotels, and an elite level on at least one airline. I’ve learned to collect points and miles from travel and credit cards, and, in so doing, have enjoyed some wonderful perks from travel, which of course only feeds my frenzy making me want to travel even more. Am I snobbish? No, but its nice to be treated well for the same amount of money or less. And, it rocks to get upgrades to first class, free wi-fi, suites, breakfast or drinks….
I’m keen on following certain websites (such as Airfarewatchdog, Tripadvisor and Kayak) and lots of wonderful bloggers (the Points Guy, Mommy Points, the Loyalty Traveler, View from a Wing, the Weekly Flyer, and all of the blogs at the Boarding Area) as well as joining travel forums (thank you: Milepoint and Flyertalk), and, in so doing, have gotten credit cards with hundreds of thousands of miles, and learned of airfare sales that I wouldn’t otherwise have known about. I’ve learned (and continue to learn) so much from these incredible people, many of whom I’m lucky enough to call friends.
Without question, runners and other people who travel for sport or hobby are different than other “frequent flyer” travelers. They don’t typically travel for work, haven’t attained elite status here and there, and haven’t seen the inside of many airport lounges. In fact, in my conversations with other runners, I’ve learned that many have only one or two credit cards, and, when asked about miles or points, say either that they can’t be bothered, or that any miles they might ever have acquired have since expired. Their eyes glaze over when I excitedly tell them about my $150 round trip flight to Stockholm last April, or start telling them that I’m planning nearly an entire trip to Argentina this summer, and staying in suites at the fanciest of hotels, almost entirely on miles and points (and, no, not to run any races).
I realized that I would really like to write a blog – to share with others who travel for sport or hobby. I want to share tips on how and when to best plan their trips, and share relevant information about points and miles, and special methods of planning that may prove advantageous. I think that my friends could benefit from this blog. So too, it would be fun if some runners would share their stories about their crazy passions here.
I’ve pondered the issue of the breadth of this blog. Should I keep it narrow, primarily focused on persons who travel the country or the globe to run races, or should it be broader in scope – catering not only to maniacal runners, such as myself, but also include, for example, those who quest to travel to every baseball stadium in the country, or those who want to visit all of the state capitals or eat pizza in every state, or those who (like my boyfriend), want to visit every Apple store in existence (even though the stores, to me, all look identical)? The possibilities are endless. The scope remains to be seen.
This is the beginning of this journey. Thank you for joining me.