This is the first of hopefully many Trip Reports, some written by myself and some by featured guest trip reporters. If you would like to be considered as a guest trip reporter on the First2Board.com website please contact me at mrpickles@TheMrPickles.com
Guest trip reports will be a unique feature of the new TheMrPickles blog page on First2Board.com. I hope you enjoy them.
Part 1. Introduction - About Me – Susan DeBruhl
Part 7. Off to Versailles
Part 1. About Me – Susan DeBruhl @miffSC on Twitter
I am a retired educator who has lived the majority of my life in a small Southern town. When I retired, I decided it was time to focus more time on what I love to do the most – travel.
For years my travel consisted of a multitude of automobile trips around the United States (I’ve been to 49 of the 50) and an occasional flight to the Bahamas or Mexico. About twenty years ago, I flew my first transatlantic flight when I chaperoned a group of high school girls on a ten day tour of England, Ireland, and Wales. I was hooked and began searching for ways to continue to be able to travel with some degree of discount or benefit. I read a magazine article about summer courses at Oxford University in England. As these were regular academic courses and I am an educator, it was possible for me to go to summer school and tax deduct the cost of the course and the cost of transportation. So, for twelve years, I attended summer school , earning a degree in the process, and spent three to four extra weeks each summer traveling by car and train around the UK. At the time earning those TATL miles and saving them for two years would allow me to upgrade my flight to business class. I thought I was something else! After visiting some friends in Barcelona, I discovered that I had been bitten pretty badly by the travel bug and wanted to see so much more of the world.
It was around that time that I discovered FlyerTalk when searching for some information about a US Airways irrops situation. As many people do, I lurked around for a while absolutely mesmerized by the information I was reading. How could it be possible for people to take trips such as the ones in the Trip Reports forum? I decided that I definitely wanted to do that too. I learned that people actually also wrote blogs about maximizing travel – Frugal Travel Guy, One Mile at a Time, and View from the Wing were my first ‘go to’ blogs for information, tips, and tricks. I still read them every day in addition to a handful of others on Boarding Area, The Points Guy, Million Miles Secrets – there are just too many to mention.
Since joining this Community of like-minded, frequent flyer junkies I have flown more than 300,000 miles, visited 15 new countries, flown on my first First Class trip (777W on Turkish Air), attended three StarMegaDo’s, participated in Chicago Seminars and Frequent Traveler University’s, and learned to travel well (and on a budget!). But most importantly, I have met some incredibly wonderful people from all over the world along the way.
I have almost always traveled solo because my strong wanderlust far surpasses that of the majority of my ‘hometown’ friends and acquaintances. Many of them would never even consider driving to the beach on their own, much less trekking halfway around the world to Istanbul or Singapore – not even across the Atlantic to Paris. My desire to see the world has taught me that yes, it is possible to be a female solo traveler and have a grand time doing just that!
My goals? To keep traveling and continue exploring this wonderful world in which I live. I will be attending the April 2013 Frequent Traveler University in Tyson’s Corner, VA and look forward to meeting fans of First2Board.com and TheMrPickles.
In the coming days I will outline a Paris trip that I completed in January 2013 as a single traveler. I hope you find it as exciting as I did.
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