SFF is the passion most know me for around here, but another I spend time on is travel. I won't elaborate too much on why travel is important to myself personally – and in any case, I think the reasons for liking or not liking it tend to be quite personal. But I've been fortunate to find ways to do more of it over time, and I'm keen to continue that trend, work permitting. What makes it a hobby for me, though, aren't the trips themselves, but the process in which I plan and build them. Once one decides where one wants to go, there are many different permutations of flights, accommodations, and experiences, and that complexity brings with it opportunity to find really good value, or to burn money and make decisions that encumber the experience. As such, trying to balance constraints and schedule things is like solving a logic puzzle, which (for me at least) makes it uniquely fulfilling and fun. At a basic level, the 'challenge' of booking travel is about local knowledge, good timing, and finding good deals. For those who are more practiced, taking advantage of miles and points and loyalty programs, or even open secrets like hidden city fares and status matching, begin to play an important role, as well. Finally, for those who are really into this – myself among them – strategies around churning signup bonuses, points arbitrage, manufactured spending, and other schemes become the tools with which folks can afford to travel well beyond their means. I've been interested in this enough that those in my immediate social circles see me as the guy who knows too much about award flights and credit cards. I've written articles that performed mathematical analyses comparing credit card products... for fun. And I'm constantly fielding questions around itineraries, or referring folks to the right tools to earn points or make the most of a trip. In any case, I bring this up to see if there are folks around here that share similar interests! I've done all sorts of research as I've helped friends and family, and so I figure I might as well extend that to online communities, and perhaps share some notes and experiences. So: where's everyone been, lately?