Life is Short, Travel Now

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As I pack the final shirts and toys in our bag for Paris, my heart is both so ready to go, and so torn at the same time.  I’m trying to write about travel deals or reviews of hotels before we go, but just keep thinking about the message that life is sometimes all together too short, and while miles and points are a renewable resource, time is not. 

This day started in an excited way as I had gotten home from a work trip while my daughter slept overnight.  She was excited to see me as the day started, we practiced our (horrible) French, and got checked into our flights.  As we were still snuggled in bed relaxing on the precipitous of the adventure that was soon to come, my dad came over early with some news that one of his best friends had unexpectedly passed away overnight.

I suppose once folks reach a certain age this isn’t a unique occurrence, but it is one that when it happens out of the blue will still take all of the wind out of your sails, and the breath out of your throat.    In its place is a lump and a heaviness that envelopes your soul.  You know it could have been anyone, and that one day it will be everyone that you know, including yourself.  While losing this close family friend would have naturally been a blow on any day of the year, this happened to occur on the first full day of my mom’s first adventure to Europe.  He and his wife are my mom’s close friends as well, and I knew all too well that my mom will feel a strong pull to be here once the news reaches her.  Even if she physically is not here, I’m sure some of her heart will be.

My heart hurt knowing the news that was waiting for her in her inbox that will undoubtedly change the tone of her trip once she reads it.  My heart knowing my dad was here alone to wade through the shock and sadness that comes with these type of events.  Naturally my heart also for the family that lost their gregarious patriarch.

I don’t yet know exactly how this very sad occurrence will impact my mom’s big adventure, but I do know that regardless of the timing that couldn’t have been predicted, I’m glad she took the trip.  My parents are very diligent about taking their “Bucket List” trips, and I’m most thankful that miles and points enable them to take some adventures now that they otherwise might not yet have gotten to.  Heck, even being in your 30’s as my husband and I are doesn’t exempt you from illnesses and other unexpected happenings that can limit or eliminate your ability to travel overnight, so I am also grateful for the trips I am able to take now.


I don’t know when my life and traveling will come to an end, and hopefully that end is still quite a long way down my journey.  However, I do know that I don’t have regrets about what I didn’t yet get to do, or didn’t yet get to see.  Miles and points (and a supportive family) have enabled me to not make a list of things I want to do “someday”, but instead live life doing those things yesterday, today, and God willing, tomorrow.

Y’all life is short.  Don’t put off the trips and other things you want to do longer than you have to.  Take them now.


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  1. I want to thank you for posting this. I’m a twitter follower of yours and have been reading your blog for a couple of years now. Two weeks ago my grandmother passed after only finding out 3 weeks prior she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I was shocked because I had just seen her over the holidays, and it truly showed me that time is short. That is why I finally applied for my passport and am deciding to visit Australia where my girlfriend is studying abroad, who I plan on proposing to. Life is too short to not make memories with the ones you love, and I’m blessed that what little points I have at my young age will allow me to make a memory that I will never forget. God Bless.

  2. Young and Grateful, so sorry to hear about your grandmother. How very exciting and inspiring that you are turning the loss of your grandmother into some positive actions. I hope you have an amazing trip to Australia and best wishes with the proposal!

  3. Excellent post. So much of the world to see, and limited time. I travel whenever I can – within the United States and international trips. My parents are retired and they are also traveling to other countries. I’m considering a trip to Paris this Christmas – using miles of course. I look forward to reading your reports on Paris.

  4. Thank you! Finishing up college and decided that it is worth the financial hardship to be able to travel when you’re young. SO much to learn and see.

  5. Summer, what an excellent and, unfortunately timely, post. When I was traveling alone on my Lufthansa First Class “blowout” miles trip in January, my husband (who was home) got a call that his best friend’s wife passed away extremely unexpectedly. I was in Munich when I found out. It was hard handling that alone, and I know my husband felt that way, too. I’m glad I was on the homeward portion of my journey. This was a couple we traveled with often, and had future travel plans together. We’re so glad we have the memories of some great trips and great times with them. And, we’re mindful of inviting our friend to join us when it works out (like when we have a condo in Hawaii) so he can still travel some and not be alone.

  6. Is why I love miles/points, since we have such little time for vacationing in this country, it helps to make those trips count. Is a treat to live the luxurious life on the other side of the globr, even if only for a few weeks a year.

  7. Sorry so for you and your family’s loss. It is very hard to lose someone at any time, and there are so many feelings that come along with the joy of a vacation knowing others are struggling at home (I’ve been in that situation for sure). You are so right that life is short, no matter how many years we are blessed with. Making the most of our time and having few regrets is so important. My father became very sick and disabled in his 30s, and after suffering for many years he died in his 50s, a week after my 30th birthday. He encouraged me to experience life to its fullest and to leave this world with little regret. Although he physically could not do the things he wanted to do, he exemplified this in all other areas of his life. Thanks for the reminder to seize the day while we still have it to seize.

    Take care and enjoy your trip. Thanks!

  8. My mom’s dream was always to go to Germany….she was re-diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer in Oct. of last year. the week before Christmas, we took my mom to Germany, returned home on Dec. 22nd, she started chemo on the 23rd…..she passed away on 1/4/14. Just shy of two weeks after we had returned from Germany. Life is all to short AND life and turn on a dime. Everything could be going perfect and one tap on your shoulder can change the rest of your life.
    Life is short, Travel now AND don’t sweat the small stuff.

  9. This was a beautiful post! My husband and I recently went on our first kid free vacation and did the whole points blow out thing (first and business class and staying in suites the whole way). It was an amazing experience and one that I’m so glad we got to have together.

    Just a little under a year ago, my dad passed away. He wasn’t much for traveling, especially air travel, but he always wanted to go to Alaska and he and my mom were also in the process of planning a trip to Switzerland, where my dad’s dad was born, before his Alzheimer’s got really bad. It makes me a little sad to think about how much we could have helped them achieve their travel goals with all the points we have accumulated. I am glad though that we have the ability, in our mid 20s to be able to fly my mom out to see us whenever she wants to come and that we can do the same. It’s nice knowing that even though we will soon be on the other side of the country, we are still only a 6 hour flight away from each other.

  10. Thanks for your heartfelt post and as well for sharing your life with us. This morning I was able to send off my UCONN junior and and a long time friend to Dallas to the NCAA final in part by saving $2200 on the charter flight by using miles for both of them. Life is about experiences and making memories and thanks to you, I am able to do that for my family. Thanks and I am looking forward to hearing of your adventures in Paris!

  11. Thank you all for sharing your similar stories and experiences. This event has undoubtedly impact the trip for my mom, but perhaps that sadness will be balanced in a way for a renewed appreciation for why taking the trip is important. I know we will still have a very memorable time and can’t wait to share it.

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