[Please note that TBB is traveling! Blog posts during this time will vary greatly in length and quality. In other words, some posts may be mistaken as filler/mailed in :-) ]


I will NOT be adding the usual section titles in my blog posts while traveling. So I am just going to throw at you whatever I noticed that was worthy letting you know about. I may miss things so please don’t judge :-)  I have no idea when next blog post will appear so keep checking every hour so I can drive up my site numbers and $$$$ by using my credit card links buahahahhahaaha.

Running behind as things move in greek time overhere…


The Most Culture Shock I Ever Had – Getting Completely Lost in China. By Travel is Free. What a great travel story! And love pictures of trash too…it’s so real life :-)   As far as being followed and all, I remember when we visited China my kids were a huge hit! Also, several times I was asked to pose for pictures myself with one or two Chinese ladies at a time in the Great Wall. I sure enjoyed it, felt like I had an entourage lol.

After being singled out by MileNerd, here comes PFDigest to pour the kind words about my blog. Thank you so much, I am deeply honored! Check out his darn blog “Like” list too!

Doubling portal promos, and more. A 50x example. By Frequent Miler. This comment by reader JustSaying sums it up all: “Do you get up every morning and blindfold yourself and then lock yourself in a Houdini suit before you type these maze stories? I am in awe of the strategies“. Indeed!

Did you play the Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle app game recently? You should have about 1,200 points (my account balance presently shows 1,000 points). Enough for a room at a hotel in China, Malaysia, Taiwan or Philippines. Or a $100 food and beverage voucher. Head for Points has some ideas on how to cash in these points with “Have your Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle Points Posted?” I am assuming I can book the free night for a “friend”?

Hilton Surpass Amex Card now up to 75,000 Hilton Honors points after $3k min spend.

On Top of the World. By Bored Daddy. Wooooooowwww!

Jimmy Chin photograph

Photo by Jimmy Chin. Check out some of this guy’s photographs, they will blow you away!!!


The 50 greatest animal photobombs of all time. By Matador Network. Hilarious photos!

animal photobomb

Found here


Artist Designs 12 Special Shoes for 12 Former Lovers. By Twisted Sifter. This is awesome or what? This one must have hurt lol.

Heartbreaker shoe



6 Powerful Images of Music in Unexpected Places. By Twisted Sifter. Did I mention I Love Twisted Sifter? It serves the TBB mission to inspire perfectly!

Piano Player Kiev protests

The piano player of Kiev December 7, 2013

11 Photos Of Mount Kirkjufell Will Convince You To Fly To Iceland. By Huffington Post. Magnificent photographs of this mountain!

Mount Kirkjufell Iceland

34 Animals With Their Adorable Mini-Me counterparts. By Bored Panda.

Cats mini me counterpart



Fjord Norway was made for road trips. By Matador Network.

Norway fjord waterfalls



11 Spectacular Cliff Paths. By THE WORLD GEOGRAPHY


Tianmen Mountain, China Cliff Path

Tianmen Mountain, China


15 Wedding Announcements From Couples With Deeply Unfortunate Names. By Buzzfeed. Ok, I am not posting any pictures here…Some are just too funny!

And I leave you with this…

Surfing Sharks

Found here

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29 comments on “Lost in China, Portal point madness, Shangri La burning, 75k Hilton credit card points,Top of the World, Animal photobombs, Heartbreaker Shoe, Kiev piano man, Kirkjufell, fjords, Cliffs

  1. I read Travel is Free’s story yesterday. I didn’t think it was that great. He’s putting a positive spin on a really dumb mistake that could have cost him a lot of money or put him in danger.

    I’ve been to China lots of times and lived there awhile, and that’s kind of 101 China planning to know you need to plan better than that. I mean I like his blog and read it often. And he has lots of great info and is maybe used to the style of life that you don’t plan everything in advance. But still I thought this was a silly version of trying to spin something.

    • I would never ever plan a trip this way too! I just thought it was different and a refreshing way to blog about a trip. Instead of flat beds he showed us the pile of trash. I should have made a note that this post should be taken as a caution that people SHOULD plan better. Some of us can take spontaneity so far. I would like to see a report like this from Lucky One Mile at a Time…cough :-)

    • I also try to plan my trips thoroughly, but no matter what, planning will only take you so far. You can’t predict anything that can happen. I’ll admit though, I’ve done enough stupid things during my travels to relate to his story and appreciate the honesty, so it might be just me.

  2. Disclaimer: I’m a horrible person, so please go on not caring what I think and being appalled at my very existence.

    I put together today’s MMS interviewee saying that studying in Japan was “a life-changing experience” with the idea that “my wife and I are both CPAs.” And the first thing that popped into my head was “tell me more about how your life changed.” The second thing was the Vocational Guidance Counselor sketch.

    No matter.

    I find it curious that the rash of use-UR-points-to-book-Korean-Air-awards posts haven’t started yet, as 50K for coach and 80K for business from the US to Europe r/t beat the United levels as a transfer opportunity. (Setting aside, for the sake of argument, the easier non-UR ways in which United miles can be earned.) Some SkyTeam airlines are known to have better availability outside US gateways than the primary SkyTeam member does within the US; my reading-between-the-lines suggests that the mocking term SkyPesos is overblown for travel beyond the gateway. I hypothesize that Korean Air charges alarming fuel surcharges, which prevent these tickets from being such good deals. I encourage more blog posts about this opportunity (or lack thereof). I understand that calculating costs and availability take time and effort.

    Those who aren’t on FMiler’s Quick Deals email list are missing out. (Unsolicited, uncompensated plug.) I saw today’s TwoSmiles deal there first, then TheFlightDeal, then a third blog, at which point the deal was closed/dead. If I read FatWallet/SlickDeals this morning, perhaps I would have seen it even earlier.

    I don’t think the picture above counts as a photobomb. It looks deliberately staged or planned; the kid’s probably standing under an aquarium tank or having someone throw a shark (ray?) in his general direction.

    Types of posts that are too numerous in this hobby:
    1. Credit card pushing
    2. “New deals on chain hotels that probably have better value options nearby!”
    3. “Here’s the inside of a metal tube, and some sad beef entree!”
    4. “15% off some item that 97% of you have no need to buy!”
    5. “How I put together my award flight, with gcmap.com globe picture included.”
    6. “Trip report part 6: Park Hyatt in Tokyo.”
    7. “Trip report part 7: Look at this food spread and these beige walls. Lounges are usually good, but this one is bad.”

    Types of posts that this hobby could use more of:
    1. “Here are interesting cultural/linguistic/historical tidbits that I picked up on my last trip abroad.”
    2. “Here’s a new destination that you should consider visiting.”
    3. “Here are things/words I wish I’d known before my last trip to X.”

    As an example of the last three categories, I usually like Jamison’s travel reports. This is a post I like. Jodi who blogs for Hipmunk is worth reading, though not daily.

    Above is all my opinion.

    Hey, I can register for FTU Seattle, or I can sit at home and watch ads on HSN and wait for Mr. Pickles’s recap! I then can use the savings to drink alone in the dark or play with my cats, Upgreyds and Hidden Kitty Ticketing. They at least pretend to like me.

    I already mentioned that I’m excited about using miles on Garuda. Indonesia is fantastic.

      • We live three hours from Toronto. I once asked a friend to recommend good Chinese in Toronto. He responded by asking which of the regional cuisines from China I was particularly interested in, which is a great response. All food recommendations for T dot O dot and its suburbs are welcome in my book.

        (A student once related to me that two of the largest refugee populations from the Sri Lankan civil war settled in Geneva and Toronto. We thus had to try Hopper Hut in Markham, and liked it.)

    • Always great to hear from you harvson3 and your infinite wisdom. Your two lists are great by the way. Been to Toronto several times, wife loves the Chinese food there. Couldn’t tell you any names of places though…she picks them and orders for me, I just eat!

      I miss Panera. The hazelnut coffee for $2 and the free refills. Here to get wifi I have to pay 3 euros for a cup of good coffee, no refills.

      It has been 1.5 years since I was in Greece. Things have gotten worse, i see things I have never seen here. People are suffering. Went to my former high school classmate friend’s cloting retail shop downtown and for a whole hour no customer came in….just brutal. This country needs a Marshall Plan numero dos!

      Update: Just read the MMS Friday interview. Another expert who got started in 2011 and reads MSS to keep up. Shaking my head…

    • Maybe I should take another look at Jamison’s posts. The first ones I saw were about his visit to Israel, entitled something like “Everything You Need to Know About Israel.” Having been to Israel many times, I was not the least bit impressed. He spent more time talking about how to park at Masada than why one might want to go there or what he saw after he parked. And he ran around in a rental car – something few tourists choose to do – for a very brief few days. In all my visits, we rented a car just once. Other posts I saw of his were about some hotel near some airport, with tons of pics of lobbies and the toast served at some free breakfast. Not the least bit interesting in any way. He seems to fly into someplace for a few hours or a few days and that is not at all how I like to travel.

      He and I exchanged a few comments on FT – on a thread about good and poor posts – and he wasn’t very nice. Since then I have only read his stuff sporadically and only when someone praises it. But given his lack of knowledge about Israel, I take his trip reports with a huge grain of salt. I did note that he now titles posts “Sights and Sounds of XXX” so maybe he got from our FT exchange that he is better off not claiming to know everything after a rushed visit of a few days. But maybe I haven’t been in this game long enough to know that he used such titles before….

      Anyway, I was surprised at your praise, Harvson3, since I find your analyses here right on the mark. I will give Jamison another look.

      • @bluecat – I laughed.

        As far as I can tell, Jamison’s writing and style of traveling is that of a novice in each country he arrives in. I’ve lived in several countries he’s visited, so when he approaches a particular country with the eyes of a newbie and points out the obvious or misses things that require local language fluency, I sometimes do sigh and roll my eyes a bit and rarely send suggestions via the comments. Yes, and many of his posts have left me nonplussed.or bored.

        I don’t expect him to be an expert or error-free, and I don’t share all his tastes, but at least he has his eyes, ears, and taste buds open. That’s the right way to travel.

        In general, I think there are travel bloggers, who introduce interesting places and sights to an audience, and there are miles-and-points bloggers, who introduce earning tricks and schemes to an audience. People who work in the intersection of these two sets, do it well, and do so with a sense of humility are surprisingly few. (I add humility because I’m not wowed by fancy hotel rooms and in-flight entrees, or impressed that the author earned enough points to fly first instead of business.)

        On a personal side note, I still haven’t finished reading about whether travel is ethical given carbon output and the implications of carbon emissions for future generations and life on this planet. I’ll leave readers this essay. The author makes the following analogy, which I found interesting. Imagine that you’re standing by a river that has flooded because a dam broke and thousands downstream will soon see their lives ruined. You have no power to stop it, but the people downstream have been warned. Why it would be wrong to dispose of the last of the ice in your cooler/water in your canteen by dumping it into the river? The author finds no ethical principle that would argue against dumping the ice/water. I haven’t read the replies to this article yet.

    • Of course I read it, I read everything, I am a hopeless junkie about this stuff.

      I liked it too.

      How can we help all the better blogs that are actually adding value instead of the blogs that are in the link pimping business (the reason they are in this is because link pimping obviously must be working!)?

      This is the challenge dear readers! How can we sustain the good ones before they either burn out or (heaven forbid) turn to link pimping to survive? I think every click the blogs in my “Love” and “Like” get is good for humanity!

      I also may add my own blog in the “Blogs I Love” list because…why not? Mile Nerd added his own blog too. Besides, I do love my blog, it’s so true lol.

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