Ally Bean published a blog post today about getting her TSA pre-check which linked to a website where you could enter the places you’ve been and see a map showing those places. Sounded fun, and here’s the whole story.
I’ve got a couple of domestic trips coming up in the next several months and was trying to book a flight for the one next February, but the only flight I could find that had arrival and departure times that worked with those of the friend I’m meeting was a nonstop – which I liked — but for a fare I did not like. Then I saw an ad that said if I got the airline’s Visa card I would get a statement credit of $250, which made the fare much more palatable. I applied, got the card, booked the trip. Then I learned that they also gave a statement credit every five years for the TSA pre-check – that made it free to me, so why the heck not?!
It was after I did the online application that I learned the nearest IdentoGo for the in-person interview was two and one-half hours away from here. Well, okay, so a day out, traveling through beautiful forested roads. Not bad. I scheduled my appointment for a couple of weeks later, just because. I drove to the designated address – which was kind of stuck in a corner of a strip mall and not easy to see, so thank heavens for Google maps and my phone. Two and a half hour drive for an interview that lasted about ten minutes – the interviewer was a very nice lady, so it was good. That was Thursday. On Monday I went to the website she gave me and found that I had been approved and got my “KTN” (Known Traveler Number), so I was able to get that into my reservations. Win win.
Since I was in a town that has a Costco (my nearest town of any size does not), I visited there too. What is it about stores like Costco that make me think it’s okay to spend? I did manage to show some restraint, at least, but of course some things that were not on my list somehow magically appeared in my basket. I got back home late afternoon – all in all, it was a good day.
As for my trips, I’ll be going to Santa Fe, New Mexico to visit a special friend in October. Then, next February, I’m going to meet a friend of over 50 years who lives in the mid-Hudson valley of New York in Galveston, Texas – more or less centrally located for the two of us in a southern, therefore hopefully warmer, climate. We both are ready for breaks from winter by February.
Ally also mentioned this website, the Visited Countries Project, where you could easily enter the places you’ve visited. If I can successfully copy the link to them, I’ll show you those maps. Whoops! Somewhere I am doing something wrong, but I have no idea what. Therefore I shall summarize:
I’ve been to 12 countries: South Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Poland, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Aruba, Bahamas, United Kingdom (although only London, very briefly), Canada – six of the provinces: Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia, and Ontario.
I’ve been to 39 states, admittedly only traveling through some of them, missing Virginia, West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Hawaii, Delaware, and Alaska.
So many more places I would like to go – but there are budgetary concerns. In my next life.