When I’m Grounded

I love traveling more than anything. That’s my passion. But sometimes I really need a downtime. So, what do I do while I’m not in the air?

Trip Planning

When I’m actually home, I usually work on planning my next journey. It’s fun, but it also gives me a headache. To provide a rough idea, here is my trip planning life cycle looks like:

  • Review my balance sheet to see how many miles and points I have.
  • Spend hours, if not days, on google flights to find the cheapest deals in the premium cabin.
  • Look at my scratch map to find fascinating and exotic destinations.
  • Search for award availability.
  • Find award availability and build an itinerary.
  • Realize a single piece of an itinerary doesn’t work.
  • Have a headache and back to square one.
  • Get everything worked out, finalized, and ready to book.
  • Booked!
  • Realize I booked a wrong date.
  • Have a headache and be mad at me. It’s too late and too expensive to change.
  • Start booking accommodations a few weeks before the trip.
  • Realize the trip costs so much more than I anticipated.
  • Bite the bullet and be broke.
  • Forget to notify my boss about my vacation, but I get him convinced.
  • The excitement builds up so bad that I can’t sleep 3 nights before the trip.
  • The day is finally here – I’m like a kid in a candy store!

Flying Standby

One of my friends who work for a major U.S. airlines graciously added me to his benefit – Thanks Doug!

Even though I’m not a big fan of flying stand by, I still do it from time to time. Flying standby is not something you can plan. It’s pointless to book the flight a month out, a week out, or even a day out. Book the flight two hours before departure at most. This gives you the most accurate count. Even so, sometimes there are last-minute passengers.

It’s not the first time for me to show up at the airport on Friday evening without any plan and just hop on the plane to Brazil for the weekend!

On a different occasion, I also flew standby to Columbus, Ohio, to visit Doug. I think Columbus is a charming city. The downtown area offers many restaurants, cafes, and shops. Doug and his mother were very kind to take me touring the city.

We then drove about 30 miles northwest of Columbus through cornfields for lunch at Der Dutchman. The restaurant serves traditional comfort food that is part of the Midwestern Amish and Mennonite community.

As a foodie, I totally love this place. You have the option to either order from the menu or choose the lunch buffet. Of course, I chose the latter. Nom nom nom.

We stopped by at Easton Town Center, an indoor and outdoor shopping complex.

I had a great time in Columbus. Doug and his mom were very hospitable. In fact, they packed me some yummy bratwurst to take home – apparently, that’s what Columbus is famous for!

Road Trip

I dislike driving. I don’t mind driving for no more than two hours. Beyond that, either I need a company or I will let someone drive. Or just fly! Occasionally, I don’t mind going on a road trip, it’s actually fun! I love going to the countryside and enjoy the beautiful scenery. My recent road trips include:

A visit to my friend’s tiny house in Rehoboth Bay. We did a lot of fun excursion, such as kayaking and catching crabs for dinner.

Or staying in the mountain in rural Pennsylvania.

Or hiking with my friend Tripp near Bear’s Den in Bluemont including lunch at Monk’s BBQ in Purcellville, Virginia.

Or just having some Chinese take-out and watching Sex and the City at home.

I seriously need a downtime. But after a while, I’m ready for the next adventure, which is right around the corner!

One comment

  1. John,
    We are happy to hear you had the chance to visit Der Dutchman Plain City. Thank you for mentioning us in your blog! We hope to see you again in the future!

    Thanks and have a wonderful day,
    Social Media Coordinator
    Dutchman Hospitality Group


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