I was in Los Angeles this weekend for my first-ever Frequent Traveler University event, and I had the time of my life!!! When I first arrived at the event, I was stressed and disheveled: my flight had been delayed, I was trying to do a mini mattress run, I forgot to pack a couple of key wardrobe items, it was raining, and my suitcase broke. Not the best start to my weekend.
At the cocktail reception on Friday night, I was nervous and felt shy. I didn’t know a soul, and everyone else seemed to be engaged in hilarious, lively conversations punctuated by bursts of high-fiving and roars of laughter. All of a sudden, a woman marched up and extended her hand. “I’m Laura,” she announced. And just like that, I had made a friend. Turns out it was Laura’s first event as well, so we worked the room together. Laura is a dynamo: outgoing, witty, interesting, and inclusive. A good friend to have. Together, we met Angelina, who is Just Another Points Traveler in the Points and Miles community, and a few other bloggers. Randy Petersen strode in, dressed as Santa, and handed out goodies. The evening continued in a flurry of new faces. I was so excited by all of the information I was hearing from everyone I met.
And then I saw him: The Frequent Miler. I couldn’t help myself: I ran over and blurted out that I loved him. He was mortified, I think, but he was a good sport about it. I excused myself as quickly as I could so he wouldn’t think I was a stalker.
The evening continued. At one point, I was sitting outside with a group of new friends. We were gathered around the firepit enjoying the contrast of the cool, misty evening and the toasty glow of the fire, having an animated, rapid-fire discussion about the latest hot topics in the Points and Miles community: the brand new credit card from Club Carlson, how to get 5x points if you can’t find Vanilla reloads at CVS, if anyone was planning on doing any mileage runs before the end of the year, etc. It was so affirming to be in the company of so many like-minded folks who don’t think I’m crazy for hotel-hopping or credit card churning. Folks who also find it relaxing to strategize for hours about their next trip. Folks who stayed up into the wee hours of the morning discussing the nuances of Hilton vs. Hyatt.
I felt exuberant. I’ve found my people!