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What is Your Line of Work? Where do you trace your love of flying back to?

What is Your Line of Work? Where do you trace your love of flying back to?

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Old Dec 31, 07, 1:26 pm
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Question What is Your Line of Work? Where do you trace your love of flying back to?

In planning an RTW, I discovered FT, and since I've developed quite the addiction to it. I logon every day and review as many forums as are applicable to my trip, and to my interests.

I've always loved the journey as much as the destination. My dad worked for Western/Delta for 35 years as a gate agent, so I've been lucky to travel non-rev all of my youth. I used to hang out at the airport with him (worked 20 years at SEA) and run around finding the abandoned luggage carts, returning them for the two bits (US$.25) of reward money. In the olden days, I had to dress up in a coat and tie in order to non-rev in first class. This was such a part of my traveling life (can non-rev'ers even get in FC US domestic given FF upgrades?), that when a friend told me he was flying somewhere in first, I advised not to forget his tie! Boy, was I brainwashed even as a 12 year old!

It's clear that FT'ers love the escape of flying as much (or more) as I do. Many of you seem to be traveling non-stop! Granted, I assume that a % of you simply spend your spare $$ on travel, seeing it a hobby (or obsession). However, the majority of you are funded by your professional lives, and either have stumbled on a wonderful intersection where work funds your own flying obsession, or have fallen into the FT crowd due to your work travels.

This leads me to a couple of questions (ok, three):

What kind of work do all of you FT'ers do for a living that allows you to travel?

What youthful/other experiences have led you to love the journey (or at least spare the time to discuss the journey) as much as the destination?

Finally, what the heck does OP stand for (which I think I am right now )?
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Old Dec 31, 07, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by getonline33 View Post
Finally, what the heck does OP stand for (which I think I am right now )?
Original Poster (person who started the thread), but sometimes used as Original Post (i.e. "as stated in the OP")

Grew up travelling due to my fathers work; I'd visited 42 or 43 states by the time I was 10, always had a love of travel. I don't feel normal if I go more than 5 weeks without getting on a plane (I'm sure others here feel that way after 5 days).

Self employed maker of gargoyles (and other stonework), clients all over the US and Canada, and half of my materials (marble) are sourced from Italy, so that puts me on 40 to 50 segments a year.
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Old Dec 31, 07, 1:37 pm
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When I was younger my parents would pack my sister and I into the family car and we'd drive around the country for 6-8 weeks during my summer vacation. Most families would be down the shore, and I'd be off in Nova Scotia, Moab, San Francisco, the San Juan Islands, or Whistler. By the time I entered high school I'd visited 48 states - so I've been used to traveling for quite some time. I also spent a couple summers doing house exchanges in London, Edinburgh, & Paris - so learning about foreign cultures came at a very early age. It's been hard to stop I guess!

I work in consulting now and will in 2008, probably fly close to 300k miles.
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Old Dec 31, 07, 1:50 pm
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Traveled only moderately as a child but started making trips in college (spring break, football bowl games). I am an engineering manager for a large company. We have factories in NA, Europe and Asia plus a lot of suppliers developing product for us. So I travel a lot now, basically 150 - 200K per year. Funny thing is I am basically a home body and enjoy spending time with my wife at home. She actually likes traveling more than I do but it is part of my current job and has been for 15 years.
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Old Dec 31, 07, 2:02 pm
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Like the OP, my father worked for Delta, but at CHS, and I grew up non-revving in the era of Convair 440s and DC-6s and DC-7s. I remember the excitement when the first DC-9 jet service came to Charleston, with nonstop service to Atlanta instead of a prop plane that made two stops (Columbia and Augusta) in between.

Growing up around the airport I even got some stick time as a teenager, but never got my pilot's license after the family friend who was instructing me died in an airshow crash and the folks who took over his business said they'd continue my lessons if I paid for them like everyone else, instead of just paying for the gas. (BTW, I can go to the Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum annex near IAD and see his plane, a plane I used to help push out of the hangar, on display. I don't think I'll ever stop feeling awed by that.)

I wound up going into journalism, which is a great business for someone who likes to travel and for someone who doesn't want each day to be like the one before. I fly an average of two or three trips a month, mostly domestically with an international trip every other year or so.

Last edited by greggwiggins; Dec 31, 07 at 2:07 pm
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Old Dec 31, 07, 2:28 pm
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Part owner and sales marketing of a company that requires me to travel. I take the air travel not only as a requirement for my job but for the pleasures of enjoying the flight as well.
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Old Dec 31, 07, 3:50 pm
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My first flight was in a crop duster when I was a little kid in the 40s. I can still remember that the door was hooked on with bailing wire, but I loved every second of that flight. I couldn't have been much more than six, maybe seven, at the time. In the early 50s I can remember going to the Quad City Airport (MLI) to pick up my uncle who flew in on a really big plane--probably a DC-3.

I was excited beyond belief when I had the opportunity to fly from Chicago to Palm Beach when I was, maybe 10. I thought I was the cat's meow. I can still remember the red coat I wore on that flight.

My love affair with flying has spanned many decades and shows no signs of slowing down.

We own a company that designs and produces trade show exhibits and graphics, so our work entails a decent amount of flying, much of which we have passed on to the younger generation, but we still get in our share. I guess now we pick and choose and end up with more of the fun stuff, and less of the grunt flying work. Which is as it should be.

I am hoping to be going strong 30 years from now.
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Old Dec 31, 07, 7:10 pm
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My Dad traveled a lot on business for about 5 years when I was young- I remember my mother driving us to the airport (Canton-Akron) and being able to stand behind the chicken-wire fence and watch his plane take off or land. I always wanted to travel to Europe- I can't explain it since my 4 siblings had no interest in it whatsoever.

I studied Math in college and got into the actuarial field- not something that seemed like a path to international business travel in 1975. As soon as I had a little spare money I made my first trip to Europe at the age of 25. I made another one 3 years later but was sidelined after that by motherhood.

In the meantime, I'd managed to find a branch of the insurance business that was more international (reinsurance) and joined a company with branch offices in London and Brussels. Now I work for a large reinsurer headquartered in Zurich, my boss is in London and I'm in charge of a small staff in Bangalore. There are plenty of opportunities to get on a plane, and I think they appreciate the fact that I'm more willing than most to do it. On top of that, my dear husband whom I married in 2003 is always up for travel to Europe. We've been known to take 4-day weekends in Scotland and Brussels, as well as longer trips.

Coach travel has definitely gotten more miserable in the last 30 years and I get by mostly by thinking of it as what I have to put up with to get someplace interesting. I have my occasional good moments when I'm sitting in a wondow seat sipping a glass of wine, admiring the clouds and listening to good music, but it's mostly a hassle now. Fortunately, my employer pays for Business for long hauls.
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Old Dec 31, 07, 7:20 pm
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I caught the travel bug later than usual - in my early 30s. Most of my university friends couldn't wait to backpack around Europe or Asia, either in undergrad or the summer after they finished articling at law firms. I liked comfort too much to be keen on travelling cheaply (too many camping trips as a kid or teenager, I suppose).

My first big trip was to Russia, in my late 20s, after I finished articling. My dad (a consulting engineer) called up with an offer I couldn't refuse - "Do you want to come to Russia with me, in business class, for free? The only trade-off is that you have to share a hotel room with me." I actually thought about it for a minute - my dad could "snore for Canada", if it were an Olympic sport. But my curiosity got the best of me and I flew off with him to St Petersburg, where I spent half the 4 week trip in the most opulent hotel I have to date stayed in and the other half in a Russian tenement apartment with one of our translators. I learned a lot travelling with my dad; he's a very intrepid traveller who can make himself at home in less-than-comfortable (and occasionally risky) situations. On the way back to Canada, my dad dropped me off in London, where I camped on a friend's sofa, zipped off to Paris to visit an old beau and then flew home - in BA business class. I was hooked. I started to plan trips by myself - about one a year for the next 6-7 years.

Then I got lucky and moved to the UK for a year, where I worked for the government and got to travel for work - as well as travelling on my own on the weekends. When I got back to Canada, I found a job working in international affairs (a job that took me around the world several times) and then moved to France for a few years, where my new husband and I indulged a mutual love of travel - and I benefited from employer's holiday policy of about 7 weeks' paid vacation per year.

Now I've crashed down, in New York, in a job with little travel and relatively few vacation days (only 20). I'm not sure how I'll cope in the medium term, but I'm sure we'll figure something out.
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Old Dec 31, 07, 8:08 pm
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I grew up as an only child in Hawaii. My mother and I used to commute on flights between Oahu and Kauai every weekend since I was very young and this type of travel continued on for the next 15 years. So I flew all aircraft types Hawaiian and Aloha had from DC-3s, Viscounts, F27s and DC-6Bs to jets. I used to daydream about flying because it was in my blood to fly as if I were riding everyday in my parent's car. I also rode public transportation a lot in Hawaii. Years later, for my thesis in graduate school, I decided to go back to my childhood dreams and developed an architecture thesis based on transportation.

Today, I am a transportation planning manager for a public transportation authority. I plan very large rail projects. I do travel for work, particularly for conferences domestically and internationally as part of what I do. Research is part of my work as I am a member of the Transportation Research Board. Flying is still part of me as it was when I was a child. While I cannot say that I can fly to 8 different airports and come home in one day, I can at least visit friends and attend transportation events from Singapore to Spain via the Pacific and the Atlantic during a small window in my schedule. I think flying will always be a part of me because of my parents training me to fly with them since I was young and that flying was the only way we could get between the Hawaiian Islands in those days.
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Old Dec 31, 07, 8:17 pm
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I'm a retired redundant inculcated with a love of travel originally by my parents and then by my children.
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Old Dec 31, 07, 8:34 pm
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I went to the CAF (used to be Confederate Air Force -- a WWII plane historical society) AirSho in Harlingen, TX. We flew Southwest from HOU-HRL...probably 45 minutes in the air, and I was hooked.
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Old Dec 31, 07, 8:38 pm
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I'm in college right now. I actually hate flying. I used to like it when you can walk through security sipping a coke or iced tea and didn't have to strip to my underwear before walking through the metal detector.
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Old Dec 31, 07, 10:05 pm
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I got my love for travel from my dad....great family vacations as a kid. And as for flying, he was in the Army Air Corp (thereafter Air Force) during WWII, stationed in England for several years. After the war, he never had to fly for business, but he always loved flying. And we would sometimes spend an hour or two parked on the side of the road in the late 1950's-very early 60's spotting planes at O'Hare.

He wasn't the easiest guy I've ever met. But I'm grateful to him for a number of things, including my love for travel.
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Old Dec 31, 07, 10:40 pm
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I travelled to Germany to visit my grandparents from age 1 through 17 twice a year. By the time I reached 10, I had allready accumulated well over 200,000 miles flown. No Lufthansa miles back than.
For a summer job I worked for a security company called Wackenhut at EWR screening passengers back in the early 70's. My friends father worked for Eastern Airlines in the flight operations center. Since I worked a night shift and there were usually long lapses between flights, I would often ride with him on the tarmac when he would go on board planes to deliver paperwork for fuel and supplies. Imagine trying to do that today!
It's during this time period that honed my passion for flying. I am a business owner and I seldomly travel for business except for conventions or vendor business meetings. I do fly 4-6 times a year on vacation trips. In February I will be off again to Munich with my wife and son to visit relatives. This will be a first for me; I have never been to Germany during the winter. I guess I will see first hand the picture postcard views of the farmlands and mountains in all their winter glory. I can't wait.
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