As most of you know I generally take three weeks in late March or early April and travel someplace outside the land of the observed and the home of the fearful. This year I am strongly leaning to leaving for three weeks in late November and Christmas.
I hate the thought of missing out on my favorite U.S. holiday (Thanksgiving), but I just might have to.
Delta airlines is changing their frequent flier program drastically in 2015. Instead of crediting you with an air mile for each mile flown, they are going to credit an air mile for each dollar spent. If they had used this same formula when I went to Myanmar in March I would have earned 1000 miles instead of the 15,000 miles actually flown. Yes there are some ways to improve the mileage (like booking on their website and/or using their American Express card) but it still wouldn't add up to a third of the miles that pass under your butt when flying.
One of my goals has been to fly from Seattle to the absolutely farthest place I can get there, First Class, for free. (think Seattle to Cape Town). I have just about enough miles to do just that and a trip to a time zone 12 hours away will give me the necessary miles.
Where to go ? The Mideast is out, because of nasty people who love YouTube for all the wrong reasons. Syria is a place I'd like to see again, but not at the expense of wearing an orange jumpsuit on top of a sand dune. The scare over infection by the Ebola virus rules out Dallas, Texas and western Africa. I'm too cheap to convert my U.S. dollars into Euros or Pounds. So it is looking like south east Asia again.
I am really thinking strongly about Bangladesh. Someplace I have never been. Someplace that no one I know has ever been. It might not be there for long with climate change and rising sea levels (a meter difference in sea levels would flood 10% of the country). In the world's largest Mangrove swamps in the south they have Bengal Tigers in the wild. That is about all I know about the country at this point except, George Harrison made an 8 track tape about it in the early 1970's and ferry boats flip over there with semi regularity.
Besides if I don't like it, India, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia are close by and I know I like a couple of those places.