Old Nov 21, 16, 7:40 pm
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Loud, dark, warm, lots of ethernet cables, and in some rack space.
Programs: AA:EXP
Posts: 354
A little over a month (37 days). I was 21-years old at the time and an engineering student enjoying their boring summer. It soon became there idea of how long can I keep myself traveling? Here is my story, but be warned. It is a long and detailed story:

Basically I booked a round-trip from the US to ZRH on AA for the old rate of 50k miles one-way. The outbound being exactly one month. Well during my time there, I thought it would be awesome to rack up some miles on American since I was already in position for my usual run. Flew to Brazil on a weekend, from Europe and back. Then hung out in Cologne for a bit. Reached Amsterdam and flew off to Argentina. Came back after the weekend to Paris. Stayed in Paris for a few days, toured Europe through Dublin, London, and Berlin. This is where it got crazier. I didn't book a hotel in Zürich for the last few days (a week).

Prices were getting expensive and I noted I know have well over 200k AA miles. I was still in London for two nights and I thought about perhaps taking up my dream flight from AUH-SYD on Etihad's apartment for 100k miles. That night I cancelled my outbound flight ZRH-US and booked myself on AUH-SYD. At that point, I should also mention again, I'm still in London. I'm supposed to be flying to Zürich the next day and I have no flight to AUH. My solution? Book an award flight from ZRH to AUH on airBerlin in business class.

Next step was getting that hotel in AUH. It was Ramadan while I was supposed to be there. Did you know the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi and Villa rates are very cheap during Ramadan? I took up the offer and booked three nights. After sleeping in ZRH airport (too short of a time to contact friends and arrange travel), I departed to TXL. As said earlier, I've been to Berlin in the adventure. I basically at ice cream and drink tea by the wall during my 12 hour layover.

You might think this story is over, but IT IS NOT! After my 12 hour layover, I depart Berlin on airBerlin and sleep away my business class experience (24 hours of no sleep is about the edge of insanity). I land in AUH, clear immigration, and get to the arrivals area. If I told you I was planning to go somewhere hot, you would assume I brought light attire. I didn't. Wearing a wool coat, long sleeve shirt and jeans, I stuck out like a sore thumb. I decided to take Uber from the airport to the Park Hyatt near the beach.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! I played in the sand and the beach, while stuffing my face with buffets they had (ifftar dinners). Moving on, I experience the First class Etihad lounge, days after it opened. Fantastic by the way. Here's where it gets more insane, as a 21-year old at the time, I sipped away three glasses of champagne and a cappuccino. I get on board my flight somehow and there I am. A 21-year old wearing a scruffy wool coat and non-business attire in a class of service ticket worth 16'000$ one-way.

I ordered a glass of the finest champagne and drink some of their Arabica coffee. Eating some dates too. I won't go into detail about the flight experience, since it is pretty awesome. So I had that glass of champagne, one before the meal, one after the meal, and one before I went to bed. When I woke up for breakfast, I had a developing hangover. Insert a cappuccino and pastries here for breakfast.

I haven't even booked my hotel for Australia yet. Worst of all my clothes were dirty and used up. So my solution was to book a serviced apartment and wash my clothes there, all the whilst cook. We're not off the plane yet and I realize that I haven't booked a way off this island. Australia. In the middle of a vast ocean and everything out/in is expensive. Even internet. Luckily I made my way through passport control without them questioning me on whether I had an outbound ticket. I use the Etihad chauffeur to get to my serviced apartments and sleep. The next few days were just me enjoying a normal life. I was getting sick of hotels and flying. At that point I went to the bar and met a lot of people who enjoy my never ending story.

We aren't done yet. I managed to scrounge up some more AA miles to get from SYD to ICN. Why? I wanted to visit the DMZ! I also booked two nights at the Park Hyatt Seoul. At ICN, it gets even more crazy. I was pulled aside by an immigration agent to some sort of expedited entry line (even though I didn't have any right to be there) and they processed only myself, like anyone who would go through the normal line.

I realized I need to get from this rock to the one in America and then back home. I booked a one-way deal that I've kept secret for now. The prices were lower than going direct to most hubs. Still is too. This deal also went through Japan, but I was not paying attention to the fare rules and missed out on a stopover in Japan. I flew back to the US on that and made my way to my hometown in upstate NY. After only 37 days, I flew to Ireland, UK, Argentina, Brazil, Switzerland, France, Germany, South Korea, a short visit out to Hong Kong, Australia, and the UAE. Home seemed a bit weird after that. It was like the aspect of home didn't exist and I owned too many material items. Not to mention the social norm split away from other at 21 this trip sort of caused.

Itinerary: ROC-CLT-PHL-ZRH-Cologne (Rail)-AMS-LHR-JFK-MIA-GRU-MIA-JFK-ZRH-AMS-LHR-MIA-EZE-JFK-CDG-LHR-TXL-LHR-DUB-LHR-ZRH-TXL-AUH-SYD-HKG-ICN-NRT-ORD-(secret) (car rental here)-BUF, Approximately 70'000 miles flown.

Last edited by Server; Nov 21, 16 at 7:46 pm
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