5 years ago, if you had told me I’d take a year off and travel the world with no house or car, I wouldn’t believe you. If you’d told me I’d do it without having to pay for any flights, I’d say you’re crazy.
But that’s exactly what we’re doing:
We have the next 6 months of flights booked and we didn’t spend money on any of them. How?
The Southwest Companion Pass.
“Travel Hacking” is what they call it. By strategically using points you earn from using your credit card, you can get some pretty incredible perks.
The Companion Pass allows anyone you designate to fly with you for free. That means even when I book flights using points, my wife flies with me for free.
In this video, I explain how to qualify for the Companion Pass, tips for earning points faster, and how I book flights without spending any money.
The fastest way to qualify is to take advantage of sign-up bonuses by getting both the personal and business Rapid Rewards cards. If you use my link to sign up, I’ll also get some bonus points, which will hep me qualify for my next Companion Pass:
I’ve already earned the Companion Pass twice without ever referring anyone, but I’m making this video to answer some of the questions I’ve received on social media.
Hope this helps, and feel free to ask any questions in the comments of the YouTube videoabout Southwest or the Companion Pass. I’ll do my best to answer them.
I recorded not one, but THREE podcasts in a day! One was an interview of me for the Caleb Wojcik Show. The other was an interview for the seanwes podcast with Caleb Wojcik as a guest. Both the episode of me on Caleb’s show, and Caleb on my podcast, will publish on Friday.
The third podcast was completely unexpected. Calvin Rosser sent me a DM on Instagram asking if I was going to be in Encinitas any time soon and, little did he know, that’s exactly where I was went he sent the message! Sabbatical serendipity.
He ended up showing us a nearby meditation garden, and I recorded part of our conversation together. We talked about ridding oneself of guilt when not working. I think you’ll really enjoy the conversation (it publishes on Thursday).
We also moved out of our first AirBnb. We’re still in San Diego for another week though. Later in the vlog, we visit Coronado Island.
San Diego has been absolutely gorgeous. The weather here is perfect for running. It’s remarkably warm for early February, but it’s a very pleasant, crisp warm with a cool breeze.
You actually want to go outside and run. I can’t get over it. It’s incredible. Leaving San Antonio really makes me realize how brutally humid it was there.
Before I ran during the day in San Antonio, I had to psyche myself up: “Okay! I’m ready to be miserable!”
Here, it’s just beautiful. All I want to do is go outside.
I’ve been enjoying running in San Diego. There are lots of parks, and running by the water is quite scenic.
We had around a dozen people at the San Diego seanwes meetup. It was a lot of fun! We had some great conversations and got to see a couple of old friends too.
We got to spend a few days with family before flying to California.
I am the oldest of 13 kids. Eight of them still live at home.
During the days when I visit, I like to go on walks with my younger brother, Stephen. He’s eight years old and 12th in the lineup. We have some good conversations. He’s a smart kid.
I haven’t had much time to get to know Stephen. He was born after I had already moved out and gotten married. Not long after he was born, my family moved to Dallas, and we only get to visit a few times per year.
Stephen thinks the sabbatical idea is pretty cool, but he wishes I would just stay with him instead of travel so he can see me more often.
The Dallas meetup went well. It was great to finally meet the editor of my first book in person. Blake, you’re awesome.
We’re just getting settled into our place here in San Diego. I’ll share more about that in the coming days. I’ll also talk about some of the travel hacking we’re doing at some point (credit card points and things), as well as our backpacks and how we’re packing.
We took a bus from the airport to our AirBnb in San Diego. Everything we had was in the packs on our backs.
Walking down the street, I felt light with freedom. We can do anything and go anywhere! Granted, we still had sizable packs on our backs, but their anti-gravity load dispersal systems meant we hardly noticed the weight.
It doesn’t even matter if we forgot something. There are stores no matter where you go. You can always pick something up if you need to. You really don’t need as much as you think.
We’ve only been out of our home state one day, and already I’m feeling an immense sense of gratitude. I have no doubt solo travel brings its own treasures and rewards, but I feel so fortunate to share this journey with my wife.
Last year, I wasn’t sure if there would be a Laci in 2020. It’s such a gift to get to enjoy this sabbatical together.
We’re having so much fun and can’t wait to share more with you in the next vlog.
Hope to see you at the San Diego meetup tomorrow!
We’re officially homeless—I mean, nomads!
I know we unplugged the internet modem, locked up the house, and dropped off the key with the property manager, but it still hasn’t hit me that we don’t live in the home in which we’ve been for four years.
Growing up in a military family, I’m no stranger to moving. I’ve moved plenty of times before. But this time is different.
It’s not like you just need to get used to the fact that there’s a new place to call home. It’s that there is no “home” to go back to!
I think it will be some weeks before it fully sinks in and I realize this isn’t just a trip from which we’ll soon return.
We don’t know where we’ll live after the sabbatical year. I feel an odd comfort not knowing. In the same sense, I feel an odd comfort not having a home. It represents pure possibility and freedom.
We’re free as a bird. Everything we need is in the pack on our backs. It feels… light—like we can go anywhere, because we can.
We are just a few days away from moving out of our house and officially beginning our sabbatical year. That means I also have only a few days left to sleep in my own bed with my own pillow. I’ll miss that.
The nerves are starting to kick in. Are we really doing this??
Well, we booked a storage unit today, and our lease on the house is up soon—oh, and our internet, water, and electricity are all shutting down… so I guess we really are!
It definitely hasn’t sunk in yet. Randomly, I’ll feel a little anxious, but I think that makes sense; what we’re doing isn’t exactly normal. I think it’s nervous excitement. Maybe a little restlessness, actually. We originally planned to be out January 1st, so I’ve been itching to go for weeks!
My office is taking a lot of work to pack up. It’s just so complicated with all the gear and wiring. I’m also resisting the urge to shove everything into a box like spaghetti. I’m taking my time and trying to organize things neatly so I’ll actually be able to put it back together in 2021.