This past weekend, I had the privilege to speak at Dia’s 3rd Family Travel for Real Life #FT4RL conference.
I will be upfront. My wife and I are DINKS, Double Income, No Kids. But we still have Family!
I shared the below graphic in my presentation, partnered with Kenny, of travel that we were able to facilitate, because my wife and I play the miles game.
The red lines, were travel we were able to help facilitate for my mother in law (including a round the world trip with us, where we climbed the Great Wall ). The gold lines are those that my parents enjoyed. They like cruising, so for them, it was more about being in a particular port city at the right time. The blue lines is an upcoming trip to the Christmas markets, which was so nice last year, I’m taking my brother and father this year.
For my wife and I, it is huge, for us to be able to share travel with our family. My parents took my brother and I on more trips than I could ever document, in fact, after my brother (who’s 7.5 years older than me, and yes, I break it down by the half year, because, I’m that guy), moved to college and onward in his life, my parents still took me on cool trips. Heck, I have some of my fondest memories traveling to revolutionary war sites in Virginia and North Carolina, and attempting to sleep in the back of our Ford Explorer on trips from New England (no lay flats there unfortunately). They took me to many more places, but that’s not my point.
My point, rather, is giving back.
As someone who is not a parent, I can only guess what goes through a parents mind, when they try to show their kids the world. I mean, Kenny, shared in our presentation that his goal is to show his kids as much of the world as possible. I can understand the sentiment, and based on what my parents did for me, I totally get it.
I would argue, that same feeling is just as real for any child. Again, not speaking as a parent, but speaking as a child who has parents, there is a statement that I think any parent believes: They (the parent) want their child to live in a world better than they did. Further, they (the parent), want their child to be better off than they were. This is completely logical, and truly noble.
But as a child, I feel like it would be absolutely huge, to be able to facilitate travel, or experiences, for my parents, that they wouldn’t otherwise have. It’s kind’ve poetic. Parents want more for their kids. But kids want to do the same for their parents. I want to spoil my parents. I want to do that despite the fact that I was not an easy child. Hopefully, that means that fewer people learn just how difficult of a child I was, but, lets be honest, I’m doing this more for my parents, and not because I want to silence them. If anything, my parents taught me to grab the Brass Ring, and I’d love to be able to facilitate them getting some more Brass Rings, too.
And really, attempting to get back to brass tacks. Travel is so much more meaningful when it is shared. I’ll fly 159,000 butt in seat miles, this year. There are some trips that I’ll do that will be truly meaningful. Examples include:
– Bali for my wife’s birthday
– The Christmas Markets with my father and brother
There are others, but, this post is really to point out that, there is so much opportunity for travel out there, and that while many of us traveled in different ways 20-30 years ago, there are new ways to travel. Even better, we should be sharing those new ways of travel with the folks that sacrificed so much so that we could see the country, see the world, and grow up to meaningful participants in society–aka our family.
Dia is awesome, and she truly put on an amazing event with FT4RL3. I am truly appreciative to attend and present, despite not having kids myself. But FT4RL reminded me of why I play in the travel game. It is because not only do I want to see the world, but I want to share the world with others. My wife enjoys it for the most part, but, really she has to deal with me for the most part. But I’ve been able to share the world with my parents, my mother in law, my brother–reference Christmas Markets trip–and my wife and I are still looking to drag my father in law on a trip somewhere.
If anything, I want to stress. Family is important, and not just the family you live with. Miles and points offer a lot of opportunities to do things that normally would be impossible. So what do I say? Leverage them! Whisk your loved ones away on whirlwind trips (if they are ok with that, otherwise, it could be awkward), and make dreams come true. Why? Because Miles and Points really can make some dreams come true. Besides, if you have a too many points (if that’s possible), travel is a great gift.
I’ve got a couple of more things I want to share from FT4RL, so I’ll put together another post or two on them, but if you want the play by play, Dan, who writes Points with a Crew live-blogged it. I have to say, while I was speaking, he seemed engaged, so I have no idea how he managed to do it, but, worth a read!