personal reflections

My Seven Year St. Patrick’s Day Scratch

I quit my job as a frequent flyer program analyst seven years ago on March 17, 2007.  After nine months, despite it being work I loved, I knew that I had not given up a teaching career simply to sit in a cubicle and write for somebody else’s business.

I started Loyalty Traveler in April 2006. Within three months of launching my career in self-employment, I found my special set of skills in demand with a publisher who paid me $50,000 a year to analyze frequent flyer reward charts and figure out the sweet spots for premium travel awards. I traded what had been a great start to self-employment, working remotely in places like Singapore and Amsterdam, to working 8-to-5 office hours in a cubicle for a regular salary.

Life was sort of good for a few months until I realized that self-employment and setting my own hours and terms for work was the lifestyle change I truly desired more than a steady paycheck.

Being my own boss was the itch I needed to scratch. I thought travel blogging was where I could make my mark.

I quit my frequent flyer analyst job on St. Patrick’s Day in 2007.

Loyalty Traveler has been my focus ever since.

Scratching the Seven Year Itch

The seven year itch is a psychological term to describe the cycle of dissatisfaction that tends to develop when a relationship is unfulfilling such as an interpersonal relationship or employment relationship and there is a decrease in happiness and satisfaction over time.

In most jobs I had to scratch that itch within two to four years and move on to something different. I have read millennials (Generation Y) exhibit this group characteristic.

Today I celebrate seven years of continuous self-employment. In two weeks Loyalty Traveler turns eight years old as a licensed business in Monterey, California. The time difference is when I stopped working Loyalty Traveler from July 2006 to March 17, 2007 to be a wage employee.

I scratched my employment itch seven years ago to step outside of mainstream wage employment and build my own business to make money through writing and social media.

My employment scratch sustains me in Loyalty Traveler work I enjoy today.

Scratching that itch seven years ago to develop an entrepreneurial business that fits my lifestyle caused some bleeding on my psyche in 2007. The deep scratch has healed, the pain of writing and publishing to only a handful of readers with no income being generated is forgotten. I can hardly see any scars remaining today from the brutal start-up months.

I have no seven year regrets.

I am still Loyalty Traveler.


Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

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  • Travis March 17, 2014

    Congrats on 7 years. It’s awesome to see people strike out on their own and really go after what they want, and your story is an inspiration for everyone else who wants to trade the steady paycheck more freedom and more fulfillment!

    Here’s to 7 more!

  • karung99 March 17, 2014

    Ric,I have been reading your blogs and learned a great deal from your site.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Sergio March 17, 2014

    Congratulations!!! Your blog is great.

  • joe March 17, 2014

    congrats and best wishes. it cant be work when it is doing what you love to do.

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