I chose Italy.
Why? Well, of course, if you’ve been there, you know why. And I’d been there.
The summer I was 15, my family went on a 7+ week trip to 6+ countries, starting with Italy. Our plane landed in Rome, which to my sheltered suburban American eyes felt wild and foreign and uncomfortable (not to mention hot and sticky) — the more North we traveled, the more “at home” I felt.
Switzerland, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, England — they all made me feel more at ease than Italy. It probably helped that I’d had 4 years of German at this point, and of course by the time we took the ferry to England (oy, was I sick that night!) it was just such a relief to hear my native tongue everywhere I could barely keep from crying.
But after we got home, of all the places we visited, Italy stayed most firmly in my mind.
The Renaissance art! The sound of the language! The food!
The more time passed, the more I longed to return. I even studied Italian in college, rather than the more logical Spanish (being a Californian), with the hope it would motivate me to go back… but I never did get back.
Even the year I spent getting my masters degree in England, which I intended to culminate in a solo excursion around the Continent, didn’t work out that way.
Italy waited. I waited.
Then finally, in 2007, when I didn’t really have as much time or money as I needed, I made it back to retrace the steps my family had taken decades earlier: Rome, Florence, Siena and Venice. More decades later than I’d like to admit.
The thing that got me there? That free ticket across “the pond.”
The Travel Hacking Cartel
Well, guess what, if you’re like me, and love to travel but need a little kick in the butt to get you to hop a plane, you’re in luck!
Why? Because today Chris Guillebeau launches his Travel Hacking Cartel!
Chris Guillebeau, world-traveler and author of The Art of Nonconformity book and blog, is such an expert “travel hacker” that he earns more than one million-mile Frequent Flyer miles every year.
Now he’s put that knowledge to work for me and you, with this new membership club. As Chris puts it:
The goal of the cartel is to democratize free and low-cost travel. We’ll do this by telling travelers exactly what they need to do to earn large amounts of Frequent Flyer Miles (without flying) and then how to redeem those miles for high-value trips.
Here, in Chris’s words, is how the THC helps its members:
- Regular “Deal Alerts” sent via email and SMS/text message (when a big opportunity comes up, our members will be the first to know)
- Tutorials and an extensive Knowledge Base to get people started (our research showed that most people have no idea what to do with miles and points… we’ll tell them)
- The Refer-a-Hacker Program that pays members 500 Frequent Flyer Miles for each referral (we’ve tried to make this process extremely easy – everyone has their own referral link directly in their account settings)
- The “World’s Greatest Guarantee” – if members follow our directions and spend at least 30 minutes a month travel hacking, they’ll earn enough miles for at least 1 plane ticket every quarter, or 4 plane tickets a year (we also provide info on how to redeem miles for great awards)
Plus, for just $1 you can check out the entire program for 14 days, for FREE.
In the interests of transparency, I should let you know that I am an affiliate in Chris’s THC program, which means that if you click through one of the links here I’ll earn a commission. That said, I’ve looked through the THC site and am so impressed that Miss Frugal here fully intends to continue my membership after my free trial period runs out.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m throwing ALL of my money right now at growing my business, paying bills, and paying down debt. Period.
But in this case I’m making an exception.
Yep, the THC is that good. (Plus the site design is incredibly beatiful and easy to use – when I have the budget to outsource my website designs, I am totally calling Reese!)
Check it out. I hope you and I will soon be racking up gobs and gobs of Frequent Flyer Miles and exploring the world!
I’ve always wanted to go to Paris. Maybe I’ll see you at the Louvre… or back in Italy.