Not a hair was out of place. Her skin was flawless. On her face was just the right amount of makeup to accentuate her already impeccable visage. Her suit, her shoes – she was everything I pictured a corporate America consultant to be. Next to her, I looked like the newbie I was. But she didn’t make me feel that way. The first accented words she spoke (she was from Grenada) made me laugh and put me at ease. I would come to hear her infectious laugh plenty over our next year working together, and it lifted my spirits in that dreary job plenty of times.
Over the kitchen table at her grand Victorian vacation home, we talked about our dreams. Hers was to open a clothing boutique in Brooklyn. Years later, she was doing just that. We kept in touch, but it’d been years since last we spoke.
Two weeks ago, our paths crossed again – in a way I never would have imagined.
I had two thousand more frequent flyer miles to collect before I’d have enough for my trip to Spain. I had a plan for getting those miles. It was complicated, but in two weeks I’d be able to book my flight to Spain. So I announced the following on Facebook: the countdown begins: Two weeks from today I’ll have enough Frequent Flyer miles to book my flights for the Camino. Let’s hope Delta still has openings on the flights I need! 🙂
Two hours later, my old friend responded: How are you Rebecca? Am I allowed to transfer some of my miles to you? I will happily do so and live vicariously through you!
Really? I literally jumped out of my seat and started jumping around the living room. Then, I calmed myself down and looked at my frequent flyer account again. Oh dear. It wasn’t 2000 miles that I needed. It was 12,000. I called her anyway. As a former traveling consultant, 12,000 miles was no problem for her. Not only that: she also offered to pay the fee associated with the transaction. She explained, “A while back you came down to my house to help me get organized. This is my way of paying you back.” Tears filled my eyes. “You have no idea how much this means to me!” I said.
An hour after we hung up, she e-mailed me to say she had completed the transaction. I would have my miles in 24 hours. The next day, I booked my flights.
But it wasn’t just this friend who helped me get miles. Thanks to travelhacking.com, I learned which credit cards give you the best sign-on bonuses: thousands of miles just for opening a new card. But some gave me thousands more if I charged $4000 in 4 months. I don’t spend that kind of money so the call went out to my family. My sister’s Lasik surgery? Put it on my card! Appliances for another sister’s new house? Put them on my card! New equipment for Dad’s business? Here’s my card number!
So to all those who helped me get the frequent flyer miles I needed to get to Spain, thank you, thank you, thank you!