Personal BAcon Bits for My Blog Salad

Can you see the real me on Loyalty Traveler?

Over the past few years a common occurrence happens when points and miles bloggers meet me. People generally tell me that I am nothing like they expected from reading my blog.

There were about 45 bloggers at the Boarding Area conference in Colorado Springs last weekend. I spent time talking with about 15 of the bloggers.

I am horrible at small talk, mingling and working a room.

Tell stories and I’ll be hanging with you for hours. Hang with me and I’ll tell you stories for hours.

Rude Awakening

I had met only a few of the BoardingArea bloggers at two events in the past. I was a presenter at FrugalTravelGuy’s 2010 conference in Chicago. I cancelled out on the October 2011 conference in February 2011 while suffering a fever in Washington, D.C. and I have never been asked to speak at any other Points & Miles events.

I do not go to MegaDo, FTU, the Freddies and all the conference gatherings. My experience with these conferences has been most of the conversation is about someone’s latest credit card acquisition and shopping miles score rather than stories of the personal travel adventures coming out of those deals. People tend to talk about places they have been without telling much about the places and the people they meet there.

My blog is where most people meet me and apparently that is not a sufficiently revealing source of information to provide a picture of who I am and where I came from.

These comments or something very similar were said to me over the three BAcon days:

  • You know how you imagine someone will be and when you meet them you realize they are completely different. (I’m not sure if that was a positive or negative reaction. I think it was positive at BAcon, although at other conferences I think it was meant negatively.)
  • From your blog I thought you were much older; like 75 or something. (I am 53).
  • You have a much more interesting personality than comes through on your blog. You should share more of your stories.
  • You  should share more of your personal stories on your blog. (I know I just said this in the previous bullet, however, this was told to me by several people.)
  • You are an odd duck among the BoardingArea bloggers.
  • You really are a hippie. (Not really. I tried to be, and I lived around many hippies, but I have always been more of a solitary soul than a communal participant. That is why I am so happy living life as Loyalty Traveler blogger these days.)
  • What’s up with that creepy hot tub photo on your blog?  (This sentiment was expressed by several bloggers.  That is why I addressed the hot tub photo issue in its own post this week.)


Oral Fixations

I like to hear travel stories. I like to tell travel stories.

The question I ask myself frequently as I write Loyalty Traveler blog posts is “How much of my personal history should I share in my posts?”

It is hard to know when a story from my past 53 years is relevant and interesting to readers or if it comes off as a narcissistic distraction.

So I am thinking of trying something like “Story Friday” on Loyalty Traveler where I share a travel story from my past. Since I am not good at following routines, the story will likely appear any day of the week.

To start I think I should give readers three broad spectrum posts to share my parent-guided travel years (1-15), my self-guided travel years (16-34) and my domestic and international travel years (34-48) up to the time I started writing Loyalty Traveler.

The Story Inside

My family are storytellers. We grew up in an oral tradition and much of that was due to frequent moving during the years when my father was in the army.

Can you see the real me?

I have lived in Monterey for the past ten years and I was born about seven miles from where I currently live. I met my wife Kelley at the Monterey Peninsula Junior College in a room about ten minutes walk from where we live. Until 2001, I never lived in the same place for more than four years.

Growing up I changed schools 12 times in 11 years from kindergarten to my last year of high school. I stayed at Seaside High for less than one year before leaving home during my junior year on a cross-country Greyhound bus to see the U.S. My parents were not the problem I was fleeing. I had wanderlust and school was too depressing a place to be hanging out for another year.

For the next few years I blew like a tumbleweed or dandelion from place to place living on the beaches of Oahu and Kauai, deserts of Nevada and the woods of Vermont. Some days I ‘d simply walk out to the road and put my thumb out to see where I would end up at the end of the day. I love the outdoors and I quickly tire of cities and crowds of people.

Rock and roll music gave me life. I am not a musician, just a listener. Before starting Loyalty Traveler my favorite job was nine months I worked in a record store when I was 19. I am a bit of a musicologist and most of the live concerts I have seen in my life were the result of winning rock trivia contests. If you want to talk Classic Rock, I am a good resource. Readers might notice I often use rock lyrics in my blog posts.

This post is not a travel story. This is just an opener.

Until another Story Friday.


Update May 18, 2013: Yesterday was a day spent in Yosemite where I had to tell myself for 90 minutes to put the camera down and get laser focused on driving home before dark. While making the 4-hour drive from Yosemite Valley to Monterey, I realized I forgot to add that the BAcon conference was the best travel-blogging-as-a-business conference I have attended yet. This post made that major omission and likely left some readers with the wrong impression of BAcon.

There were 45 bloggers at BAcon and many memorable travel stories to hear from bloggers who travel for business and leisure. I know I’ll be reading more travel bloggers regularly after last weekend.

Randy Petersen and the team excelled at the conference organization.


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.

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  1. Ric,

    It was really great meeting you this past weekend, and from the time we spent together, I 100% agree that you are, at heart, a storyteller and a story listener (is that a word?).

    Heather and I spent more time talking with you than almost anyone else, and like you, I love hearing the travel story as opposed to just the “strategy” behind acquiring miles. I’m glad we could touch base, and I look forward to many more Story Fridays!

  2. Thanks for the personal introduction. Just from this post, I can sort of understand how you are probably very different from what I imagined before. I’ve always enjoyed your blog and can appreciate your “odd duck” status among the BoardingArea bloggers. Just curious, were you ever one of those hippies that lived in Kalalau Valley on Kauai? I just got back from a hike there, and your mention of living on the beaches of Kauai got me wondering. You should definitely tell more stories!

  3. “People generally tell me that I am nothing like they expected from reading my blog.”

    Hey, that’s me too!

  4. I enjoy your blog immensely–and you bring a bit more of a “real world” perspective on the travel game. (You can’t always find a Hyatt or SPG property in the middle of Wyoming or wherever we travel from COS.) And, after I read that we both attended high school in Wiesbaden, Germany at approximately the same time, I really became hooked! Thank you for writing your blog.

  5. Hi Ric,
    I’ve never met you. You bring the travel back into travel. Sure, it’s great to get the points and miles to get there free, but it’s the people in the places, that makes the travel. I think more stories are needed. There are many ex-pats out here who love sharing their stories. I teach internationally, and the students’ lives mirror yours. They usually have not lived in one place for longer than 2-4 years on average. That’s been my life as well. We thrive on our stories. Please tell us more of yours. Thanks.

  6. I enjoy your writing style and wouldn’t change a thing, well other than getting rid of that creepy hot tub photo that i thought was gone forever but still seems to be there.

    In any event, you provide a unique travel perspective that is lacking in the community. I like your frugal travel ideas combined with your trip reports that aren’t just hotel suites and premium flight cabins. Keep up the good work.

  7. Nice post! I guess I am among the few who didn’t find the bathtub creepy – I thought it was kind of romantic – but I do agree with other commenters that you do well to tell us more stories! Happy weekend, all!

  8. @glu800 – I was a starving teenager living in Kalalau Valley in November 1977. Thanks to the hippies that fed us and kept this 17 year old and his 15 year old Cannon Beach, Oregon friend with sufficient nourishment to eventually hike out of Kalalau. That adventure taught me that I am not nearly as self-sufficient as I think I can be.

    That is a story I will share. My stay at St. Regis Princeville in December 2012 was the first time I was back on Kauai since 1977. I discovered much of the background information for my Kauai story that I was unaware of at the time in 1977 when I lived on the beaches north of Hanalei.

  9. Hi Denise – Another military brat at Wiesbaden. I made good friends through that school.

    I once picked up a hitchhiker in 1978 on Highway 1 in Monterey. In a ten minute drive to Marina he told me a story I had heard before about losing his wallet he had hidden in the hood of a car. We realized we had met once at Wiesbaden High School and ate lunch together on the day his story originally happened. He was not even a student at Wiesbaden. He just happened to be passing through town on his way to Frankfurt when we met and he told me his story.

    We reconnected through a short story in a ten minute ride. He lived in Marina, California too. We made plans to move to Missoula, Montana but he took off on a road trip and by the time he returned, without the money to make the move, I had made other life plans.

    This has happened to me on other occasions where I am in a different country and happen to come across someone from my past totally unexpectedly and by total chance.

  10. @Jeff – I look forward to reading more of your blog posts on Boarding Area. Nest week I am traveling to Toronto for the first time ever and I can’t wait to get that Canadian perspective on travel. I’ll have to get that kilometer to mile metric conversion straight in my head so I will know how far I’ve traveled.

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