Anyone who knows me well knows that during the last four years, I have picked up a bit of a habit. Thanks to a lot more business travel, I've become slightly obsessed with points and miles. I can remember the exact moment it all began to spiral: on one particular trip to New Hampshire, one of the co-founders at my consulting firm asked me if I'd ever read The Points Guy.
I subsequently stayed up half the night in disbelief. Open jaw flights? Same day turns? Maximizing stopovers? Credit cards with massive bonus point schemes? It was too much to take in. There were so many tips and tricks that I could hardly understand them, but the prospect of flying all over the world for cheap was tantalizing. The Points Guy was there to patiently explain everything through his FAQs and helpful posts. (TPG, you are an ENABLER!)
Fast forward four years and hundreds of thousands of miles flown, I now follow a dozen or so travel blogs that constantly tip me off to new and interesting places. In November 2014, I spotted one such tip - unbelievably low business class airfare to Madrid, which was cheaper than what I typically see for coach! The only problem was that the flights flew in and out of Portland, Oregon. On the plus side, it would net me more than 20k MQMs and 35k miles. I pulled the trigger without hesitation.
I lined up a positioning flight (see? the words of an addict.) so that I could spend two nights in Portland - one on the way out and one on the way back - and a few days in the Spanish capital. And I spent a glorious few days in Madrid working in the mornings and then heading to the Prado and Reina Sofia for afternoons of inspiration. I wandered the streets late into the evenings and observed the famous Madrileño night owls in their natural habitat. I fell into a lovely rhythm of strong coffee, Spanish wine, and delicious tapas. I might have even had a siesta or two.
My Hasselblad in tow, I hoped to capture just a taste of the culture and colorful street life I saw. Madrid, I promise I'll be back someday. Until then, hasta luego!
All photographs shot with my Hasselblad 501CM & Zeiss 80mm lens. This gallery includes a selection of films, including Fuji Velvia, Ilford Delta, and Kodak Portra.
Oh, and for those of you who care about such things, my itinerary went a little something like this:JFK > PDX (overnight) > AMS > CDG > MAD (3 nights) > AMS > LAX > PDX (overnight) > SLC > JFK