As portrayed in the movie and book ‘Up in the Air’ I am one of those frequent flyers who hoards miles to obtain elite status with the airlines, ensuring all sorts of perks and special treatment. My airline of choice is United and at the start and end of each year, my partner and I like to go on ‘mileage run’ trips. The destination isn’t the most important factor other than it generally needs to be somewhere new to both of us, the base fare is inexpensive and we can upgrade to first class on the international legs. It’s a lot of fun to spin the globe, search for fares and just consider the possibilities. Sometimes we land on a destination that neither of us considered before, like Brussels, which we visited in January 2011 and had such a blast just exploring the city on foot, tasting authentic lambic and kriek, savoring steaming platters of moules frites and wandering around the lit streets at night, taking in the beautifully illuminated architecture.
In December we'll travel to Turkey for the first time…just a short trip with three days in Istanbul. I suppose if the world was going to end and I didn’t have to return to work, I would just stay. Three days in Istanbul is really just a tease so with more time and looming global annihilation I would try to explore Turkey the way my good friend and colleague Sherry did in the 80s: travel by bus around the country to slow things down and interact with locals; explore the ruins around Ephesus and dive the underwater antiquities along the Aegean Coast; hike through the Fairy Chimneys in Cappadocia; get lost in bazaars and eat a lot of meze. Factor in doing all of that with someone you love and I can’t think of a better way to go if the Mayans happen to be right.