The term ‘jigsaw puzzle’ provides a good visual image of what-it-takes for me to put together a trip of several months duration out of the United States traveling to Hong Kong, China, and then on to India and the return trip back to the United States.
With any jigsaw puzzle you have certain techniques that you will follow .. one of my techniques is to find and to separate all of the puzzle pieces that have a straight edge .. these pieces will form the outside circumference or edge or frame of the puzzle .. so I will begin by completing the ‘framing’ of the puzzle-about-to-be constructed. Then I will look for pieces with similar coloring etc.
OK .. with regards to a major trip for me .. do I want to assemble yet another jigsaw puzzle of what-it-takes to make a major trip?
So I must decide that I am going to travel or that I want to travel.
This decision is an absolute no-brainer IF .. I RECEIVE A POWERFUL, CLEAR, ‘CALLING’ to travel. This is my most common trigger to travel. I will not test your theological beliefs nor bore you with whom or with what sends me the message to GO NOW.
Lacking the clarity of being ‘called to travel’, I have to make the decision that either (1) I am going to make the trip or (2) I think I want to make the trip and that I will explore my options.
This upcoming trip is of the second category .. it originated more of an ‘I think I want’ endeavor than that of a ‘calling’. Frankly it is more of an ‘oh oh .. IF I don’t make this trip now I may never again be able to do so’ ..
SO I AM GOING TO .. GOD WILLING .. RETURN TO INDIA VIA HONG KONG ..
Now to the ‘jigsaw’ puzzle analogy ..
Puzzle Piece Number One .. MAKE MY ROOM RESERVATIONS IN HONG KONG .. IF you have ‘brain one’ .. you do NOT want to fly into Hong Kong with NO ROOM RESERVATIONS .. UNLESS OF COURSE you are willing to pay .. literally .. hundreds of U.S. dollars a night for a room. My ‘speed’ is thirty five ($35 U.S. Dollars) a night ..
My last trip .. leaving August 30, 2011 .. was so sudden that I did NOT have the advance notice time to really ‘shop’ room reservations .. well I did ‘shop’ but I had to use Orbitz and Travelocity search engines .. and I paid well over one hundred U.S. Dollars a night with ABSOLUTELY NO FLEXIBILITY TO MAKE ANY CHANGES .. the good news being I did have a nice hotel room in a very interesting and new-to-me district in Hong Kong.
This being my upcoming eighteenth trip into Hong Kong .. spanning over twenty two years .. one round trip I went via London and Paris .. ol’ Bobba Caps has learned ‘how-to-do Hong Kong’ in Bobba Caps fashion.
FIRST ACTUAL PUZZLE PIECE .. contact the YMCA Hong Kong in Kowloon on Salisbury Road and connect with an associate in reservations that I have been dealing with for some-many-MANY years .. I NOW HAVE a bunk bed reservation in the Dorms for January 29th leaving February 5th seven nights (their maximum stay in the dorms) .. and returning on May 13th leaving May 20th a second seven night stay ..
TO ACHIEVE THE ABOVE TOOK several days of back-and-forth e-mail conversations believe me .. these dorm reservations are tricky and ‘dear’ .. many chinese youth visitors and educational youth tours get the dorm beds locked up months and months in advance .. find me a better deal in Hong Kong and I will tip-my-hat to you!
Next puzzle pieces .. THEN working with what I had set up with the YMCA .. I tried to ‘fit’ airline reservations into the YMCA reservations .. they would NOT QUITE fit so I had to get back to the YMCA Hong Kong and ‘wiggle’ things there around.
The airline reservations were tricky .. here-to-fore I have always originated in San Francisco, California .. except the trip through London and Paris .. here-to-fore I have always flown on one single carrier .. Cathay Pacific .. United Airlines .. Air India ..ONE carrier .. not so this trip!
This trip I am on American Airlines (Detroit to Chicago) .. Cathay Pacific Airlines (Chicago non-stop to Hong Kong) .. Jet Airlines (Hong Kong to New Delhi and return to Hong Kong) .. Cathay Pacific Airlines (Hong Kong back to Chicago) .. and finally the Chicago Illinois Rapid Transit ‘Blue Line’ into Chicago Union Station and AMTRAK Railways (Chicago to Detroit) ..
I am using 90,000 American Airlines Award Miles flying first with American Airlines and then Cathay Pacific Airlines .. I am paying $875 U.S. Dollars to a company named Jet Airlines to fly out of Hong Kong and return from New Delhi .. it will cost me $2 on the Blue Line out of O’Hare International Air Port in Chicago and free AMTRAK reward miles from Chicago to Detroit ..
BELIEVE THEE THIS ! Just the above ‘airline travel reservations’ were .. in and of themselves .. a ‘jigsaw’ puzzle within the jigsaw puzzle ! .. on the return I could NOT get all the way back into Detroit from Chicago try-as-the-mileage-agents could try! We spent about three hours over several days trying to unravel this silly condition with no results!
More puzzle pieces!
UNLESS YOU WANT REAL TROUBLE IN HONG KONG AND IN INDIA .. YOU HAD BETTER TELL EACH AND YOU HAD BETTER TELL EVERY SINGLE BANK AND CREDIT CARD COMPANY THAT YOU ARE GOING TO BE IN HONG KONG AND IN INDIA AND WHEN you will be there ..
OR? .. (with the exception of American Express .. the ‘Big Time’ International Travel Credit Card Company) .. WHEN you whip out your Visa or Master Card in Hong Kong or in India .. you will be stopped-short-and-firmly-and-suddenly and will have to ‘go-to-jail’ without passing ‘go’ .. your credit card will be DENIED!Stolen credit cards travel-the-world-over with lightning speed and your credit card company is not a ‘mind reader’ as to why your card is suddenly being used
halfway-around-the-world in Hong Kong or India !
And more puzzle pieces!
It is a good Idea to set-the-wheels-in-motion to order up all of your prescriptions and other necessary items you will need or just want ..
AND? At 4:30AM on Monday the 28th of January .. Danny 48073 will pick me and the Bobbseys up here at ‘1709’ and take us to Detroit Metro Air Port for my 7:15AM American Airlines Flight to Chicago .. connecting at 2PM on a fifteen hour and thirty minute (15 hour 30 minute!) non-stop Cathay Pacific Flight to Hong Kong .. BUSINESS CLASS WITH LIE-DOWN-FLAT-STRETCH-FULL-OUT sleeping accomodations a first ever EVER for ol’ Bobba .. that ‘little perk’ cost me 20,000 additional miles but hey .. I decided to ‘just-go-for-it’ and I had the miles to spend.. my American Airlines Rewards Miles now stand at 615! I wanted to and I ‘successfully zeroed-out’ my mileage balance.
IF I survive another three-month-trip in India .. and that is no-gimmie believe thee me .. I will return in economy class with my knees against my chest! I stand a greater possibility of making the outbound trip than the return trip and IF I don’t make-it-back .. as I ‘breathe-my-last’ somewhere over there .. I will quietly ‘giggle’ thinking about the ride over in business class!
AND? I haven’t even left yet on this trip and I want to stay longer and I am already ‘craving’ another trip after this trip!
What are we talking about here? Incorrigible Travel Addiction?
Well ‘that-is-that’ says your correspondent ol’ Bobba Caps!
Signing Out With A Wink And A Smile! About To Be ‘On-The-Road-Again’! And I can hardly wait to get going!
Truly I feel oh-so-blessed! THANK YOU OH GOD OF ABRAHAM MY CREATOR ! .. Cap ..