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Random Travel Thoughts New Year’s Edition

I’m currently writing this from the Park Hyatt Tokyo, which is definitely the nicest and classiest hotel I’ve ever had the pleasure to stay at (granted, I haven’t stayed at that many hotels in my life). Here are some random things that are on my mind:

1. I feel so, so grateful to be able to have the experiences that I do, and a large part of what enables many of these experiences is miles and points. I doubt I’d ever have the chance to stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo if it weren’t for points (or better yet, free night certificates via the Chase Hyatt credit card).

2. T-Mobile’s new free data roaming thing is pretty great. I took a rather circuitous routing to get to Tokyo, and in Vienna, Prague, and Istanbul, my phone was able to pick up 3G data. It’s nice to not have to worry about getting internet access or renting phones or paying extra to get basic international services via your current carrier, and this will definitely change the way that I travel.

3. I flew Austrian and Turkish in long-haul business class for the first times to get here. Austrian was disappointing because the service was honestly not very good (well, there was one flight attendant out of all of them who was actually good, but the rest were just inattentive and not helpful), and they didn’t have their typical meal service or the coffee menu. Turkish was good in most respects, and the Turkish lounge at IST is definitely the nicest business class lounge I’ve ever been to. Both Austrian and Turkish use Do & Co for their catering, and Do & Co is supposed to be the best out there, but these flights just reminded me that A) if I want gourmet food, I should eat it on the ground, and B) if my goal is to create experiences, I should forgo business class and save up for first class instead.

4. Speaking of food, I just ate one of the best meals of this year at a restaurant called Ushigoro. I’m not a big meat eater, and this was just course after course of beef, but I still loved it (although I might regret it in a couple of hours). Thanks to Aimal for the recommendation!