Yesterday, I took a look at my United Airlines frequent flyer statement, and realized that I had flown 822,571 miles with that airline!
I was 177,429 miles away from a million lifetime flight miles. And that’s just the miles that I’ve flown with United! It doesn’t include all the miles I’ve flown on other airlines, nor any of the miles I’ve flown using reward tickets. And it doesn’t include the miles I flew traveling around the world during the making of my film, Opening Our Eyes.
As I looked at that number, and thought about all those miles, I couldn’t help but think about the destinations, the purpose and the motivation behind them. When I set out to live the life of a “traveler” at the young age of 19, I had absolutely no idea of how that would mold my life. As a professional photographer, I’ve gone to the corners of the globe on dream assignments for magazines and corporations and loved every bit of it – my work has always been my pleasure. When I wasn’t working, I’d still find a reason to travel, whether on a press junket or simply exploring the world with my husband and daughter. Some of my favorite family memories are from our travels to Peru and Egypt.
I will always be a traveler. I am a nomadic creature and I have a huge curiosity about our world and its people. For me, travel is more than going from point A to point B. Sure, there are plenty of times, on corporate jobs when I travel somewhere to photograph a particular person or a place and I’m never there long enough to get a sense of the place I am in. But, for the most part, I travel to a destination to find out more about that place and tell the visual story of that particular place and its people.
As I thought about all those miles traveled, I started to think about reaching the “Million Miler” status with United. I was only 177,429 miles away! That may seem like a lot to many of you, and it might seem like no big deal to others, but to me it seems like a very attainable goal. In fact, when I started to think about reaching that goal, I thought that I could easily attain that in 3 year’s time – just in time for a milestone birthday. That’s something to consider and I shall. I certainly have the motivation; I just need to define the destinations and more importantly the purpose.
Any suggestions? I’m open to your thoughts.