Orbitz, Travelocity, Kayak, they are my friends during the day when I am bored or stressed and I decide to take a break by daydreaming of my next trip—I’ve found incredibly cheap fares this way. During one of my explorations this April, I checked on tickets to Paris from Jackson on Delta’s Sky Miles site because at the moment I have a lot of miles. There on the screen was a ticket for 60,000 miles. My hands were shaking when I pressed “purchase with miles.” But a message appeared, “The dates you requested have been sold out, try again”. After that I could only find 90,000 mile tickets available. I became obsessed with a 60,000 mile ticket to Paris—it was like the yeti, people had glimpsed it, we knew it existed, but it was elusive and I had to find it.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the 60,000 mile ticket. I plugged in new date, stalking the 60,000 mile ticket. 75,000, 90,000 and 110,00 mile tickets were available. And then, Voila! A 60,000 mile ticket in August! My teenage daughter was visiting her dad in August, my business was slower in August, and my calendar was clear in August. I pushed “Buy now.”
Here’s what I’ve lined up for my trip to Paris: an “intensive class” in French three hours per day, five days per week at Lutéce language school (saved ten percent by registering online.) ; an appartement (a-par-te-mo) near the school and also near the Louvre. (in the first arrondisement); and a travel companion–I’ve asked my estranged (love this word) husband if he’d like to come for part of my stay. (More on this later.)
Finally last night I called my parents and my mom answered the phone.
“How’s the weather?” I ask.
“Hot,” she says. “How is it there?”
“Hot, too.” I say. “Don’t be shocked but I’m going to Paris.”
Pause. “Well, it’s supposed to be hot again tomorrow.”
Leaving for Paris in ten days…