Where You Are and Where You Want to Be

My 18 year old nephew was excitedly talking the other night about how he wants to travel everywhere and experience everything. The conversation is one I wanted to take deeper, but that just wasn’t rationally going to happen after I had spent the previous 15 hours in sensory bombardment in the Disneyland and California Adventure parks and used my last bit of concentration driving SoCal freeways.

My main piece of advice is slow down. Take it easy.


Several different insights over the course of the past two weeks has me thinking about where a person is and where they want to be as it relates to travel.


Little boy’s dream.

‘Measuring Up’ at Radiator Springs Racers in Disney’s California Adventure Park.

The wisdom of age is realizing that you can’t be everywhere and you can’t see it all.

My zen mind firmly believes that a person can experience all the world in the immediate space physically around them just as well as someone who has completed a quest to stand in 190+ countries of imaginary political boundaries.

After driving 900 miles around California last week I came home to see the epic 1956 film ‘Giant’ with Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean. The film is long at 210 minutes, yet many scenes evoke social commentary on racism in the USA, the poor and wealth divide and generational insights and some of these powerful scenes are probably the social issues that would be cut out in an edited version of the film.

The basic story is a young woman Leslie from an upper class Maryland-DC family marries big cattle rancher Bick Benedict (Rock Hudson) and moves to desolate West Texas in the 1920s. James Dean is a local ranch hand who inherits a small piece of land and strikes oil. He becomes one of the wealthiest men in Texas.

The fictional character Jett Rink was inspired partly by the extraordinary rags-to-riches life story of the wildcatter oil tycoon Glenn Herbert McCarthy (1907–1988). Author Edna Ferber met McCarthy when she was a guest at his Houston, Texas Shamrock Hotel (known as the Shamrock Hilton after 1955), the fictional Emperador Hotel in both the book and the film.

Wikipedia – Giant 1956 film

The Shamrock Hilton Hotel was demolished in 1987.

The film scene that truly captured my attention expresses a sentiment I have learned to feel about California after five decades traveling these parts.

Leslie Benedict is Elizabeth Taylor’s character and Uncle Bawley is an older Texan at the ranch during her sister-in-law’s wake.


Uncle Bawley: Now that it’s over, you get your fellow…
to take you around and show you our country.
See San Antonio, Dallas and Houston.

Leslie Benedict: l’m so impatient.
l want to see it all right now.

Uncle Bawley: You don’t have to hurry, honey.
lt’ll be here when you get around to it.
lt’s been here a long time.

And when you’ve seen it all
and have lived with it as l have…
in 25 years from now,
you’ll feel about Texas just like l do.

Leslie Benedict: Twenty-five years from now!
Twenty-five years from now l’ll be almost 50.

Uncle Bawley: lt’s a nice age, Leslie.
You’ll see wonderful things in Texas when you’re 50.

Leslie Benedict: Perhaps.
But l won’t care as much then.

Uncle Bawley: You’ll care more.
Because then you’ll have been part of it all.


Living the Dream

Once I completed a travel quest in Peru as I landed in Cuzco at 10,855 ft. runway elevation.

Landing in the Andes was my 10th flight needed for a bonus of one million frequent flyer miles for a LatinPass promotion in 2000.

Those miles were primarily used for Hilton HHonors miles-to-points transfers and the points funded around ten weeks in Hilton Hotels around Europe in cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast and Budapest.

In a world where travel is funded by loyalty points, the places might still be around when you get around to them, but your points and miles might be less valuable for taking you there when that time comes.

That in part accounts for some of the hypermobility seen in points and miles travelers. Travel Data 2013 Q1 highlights

Top 5 desired destinations in USA based on travel searches online:

  1. New York City
  2. Las Vegas
  3. Los Angeles
  4. San Francisco
  5. Orlando

Actual Top 5 travel destinations in USA:

  1. New York City
  2. Phoenix
  3. Philadelphia
  4. Atlanta
  5. Washington, D.C.

This study I received two weeks ago sparked my thoughts on travelers and the idea of ‘where we are and where we want to be’.

Only New York makes the list for most desired travel destination and most visited.

I finally had the opportunity to tour New York in 2012  There are many things to see and do there, but it is not the kind of place I desire to spend my days and nights.

In a few days I am driving to Colorado Springs for a Boarding Area blogger conference – BAcon.

My plan is to drive around the deserts and mountains and see some of the beautiful landscapes I have never visited in Utah. I pass within an hour’s drive of six National Parks in Utah and Colorado.

I have driven by these parks several times over my lifetime, but never took the time to get off the interstate and check them out.

This road trip I plan to slow down and take it easy and be somewhere I have never been before.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »


  1. The more I travel, the more I realize I can’t see it all. However, it also makes me cherish all the travel adventures I’ve spent with friends/family.
    I do feel we are very fortunate to live in a world where airline miles/points can be easily obtained through credit cards (this was not the case back in the 80s/90s.)

  2. Aspirations can change with age as well. In my 20’s I pined to visit the Galopagos Islands, Norway and New Zealand. 25 years later, only New Zealand is on the list and not because I have been able to visit the first 2 already. Wisdom, changing values and experience built on living the past 25 years brings change. And I embrace it fully!

  3. Not shocking that PHX made top 5 destinations… most residents were born elsewhere and moved here.

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