September 16th, 2022

September 10, 2012 was my very first post in this blog. There have been many awesome adventures and a lot of personal things posted here throughout the last ten years. I have shared many highs and lows, joy and some personal pain…you get the idea. Ten years ago today, September 16th, 2012, here’s where I was.

Perhaps some of you have been reading since those early days (I know of at least a couple who have!), while some of you may have just recently found my blog. Or, perhaps you only visit to read this post…no matter. I thank each of you for visiting – be it only once, if you look at every post or maybe you even subscribe. Again, to all of you I say “Thanks!”. As always, feel free to contact me with a comment.

As you well know by reading my blog I like cooking good food because I like eating good food. I also like discovering new things to try. Being a single person it is difficult to find certain things in smaller portions or smaller amounts so nothing goes to waste. I really hate to toss out any food so I try to be mindful of that as well as reducing non-recyclables when I shop (but it is not easy).

One new thing I ordered today is a jar of cashew milk base from a company called Joi. The company has other nut milks bases as well. I only drink cashew milk but it only comes in half gallons and I cannot use it up that fast so I was looking for alternatives and stumbled across this product. I’m excited as it is going to be easy to make smaller amounts at a time. It should arrive tomorrow so I am anxious to try it. The company even lets you pay a fraction extra on your order as a carbon offset.

A few nights ago dinner was shrimp seasoned with a little olive oil and some South African Smoke seasoning from Trader Joe’s. Those were put on the smoker and tasted so amazing. On the side was a cheddar garlic biscuit and some air-fryer seasoned Brussels sprouts along with a glass of red. It was quite the feast.

I found an article a few days ago talking about how best to use Alaska Airline miles. Many contributors to the article talked about splurging and upgrading to the front of the plane or even going all-out and getting suites. I don’t have THAT many miles, but I DO have a lot of miles. I could go to Europe but this article talked about using some miles for domestic flights as well as international flights. Bear in mind, these are travel editors so they have a pile of miles to use. I’m not…and don’t.

That’s along the lines of what I have been thinking for some time now so it was good to see some validation on that. Flights to Europe are almost always cheaper that most domestic flights (the ones on the “decent” airlines). East coast to Europe for less than $400 is one trip I saw a few days ago. I have enough miles to make several domestic flights so that seems like a better use of my miles instead of for a fancy trip once, and probably only one way. Plus, if I wanted to take someone with me someday I could do half the trips but that’d be for two people.

It’s made me revisit using my miles to go somewhere hopefully sometime soon. That trip I had planned a while back using my miles to go to Australia via Fiji that I ended up cancelling was a good use of miles. It can be pretty expensive to get to Down Under if you end up buying a ticket outright. But, with the ‘rona raging I had to cancel that so I got my miles refunded back.

On top of watching Rick Steves’ Europe videos recently, I also watched a few new travel gear videos the last two weeks. There are some new and exciting things as far as travel pack updates and a few new travel accessories I have never seen before.

I am still anxious to try out my new Cotopaxi Allpa packs. I have used the 35L once on a road trip and it works great. The 28L is sized more for international flights but the 35L would probably still work as well, too. It’s a bit smaller than my Osprey Farpoint 40L but it packs so much better for my needs. The Osprey has a much better suspension/harness setup, however.

I am actually thinking of a change in packing these new packs. I am going to play around packing them without packing cubes, or at least only one. This lightweight packing is an interesting personal challenge and I learned so much from each of the two European trips. The Allpa bags are really organized so you don’t need cubes. But, a cube is nice for dirty clothes.

It’s time to thin out some things I own. I am debating selling a few of the back packs/travel packs that I have, AirPods Pro and maybe a few other things I own. I go through things every so often and decide if I am using each thing enough to warrant keeping it. If not I get rid of it. No…I’m not sick.

Ever since I got out of my house and left CO ten years ago (wow) I have learned to travel light and it is still liberating. But, now when I look back to those days, I feel I STILL had way too much stuff back then. I was new to this unconventional way of life and discovered that you constantly refine. I have just kind of kept that mentality the last ten years and have even gotten more conscious of the things I own. And, if I still NEED to own them.

That’s all the wit & wisdom for today’s post. Thanks again for reading my blog.

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