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The Story of Monkey Miles
From time to time I get readers asking me about Miles. They’re confused. Where did Miles comes from? Why is there a monkey everywhere? They find it funny. Stupid. LOVE Miles. HATE miles. Love the pics. So on and so forth. It’s all over the board, but I think most people enjoy Miles, and as for the negative comments, I’ve always thought you’re probably on the right track if you have some haters 😉 .
I thought I’d take the time to explain a little bit more about how this blog came to be and why I write it – This is the story of Monkey Miles.
Zachary Abel. Author.
It’s never really been a secret who writes MonkeyMiles, as it’s listed in the About Miles section, but I think a lot of people miss it. It has a hyperlink to me, Zachary Abel, and my wikipedia page which briefly describes my education and a bit of my career as an actor. The broad strokes: I’m from the midwest and got a degree in finance, but caught the acting bug and ended up in Los Angeles. I’ve been fortunate to be a working actor. My big “break” was the ABC Family show: ‘Make it or Break it’ where I had a regular role for a few years. Since then I’ve recurred on shows, shot commercials, guest stars, the lead of a JJ Abrams pilot, and traveled uhhhhhhhhh lot.
Since I can remember, I’ve preferred hotels to museums.
I’ve always LOVED hotels. My faves are old, luxurious and historic hotels: Those that helped define a city or area. BUT, I appreciate all designs and concepts. I think ‘normal’ people want to visit museums when they’re touring a city to understand history, art, culture, etc NOT I FINE SIR. I could spend days going from hotel to hotel. I don’t need to stay in them, I just want to walk through them. Feel the walls, have a drink at the bar, sip coffee and watch patrons go by. You learn a lot about a city from its hotels. I’m an 80s baby and my favorite part of Home Alone 2 was the fact that he was at the Plaza – D-R-E-A-M! I’ve wanted to live in a hotel for as long as I can remember.
Why did I start Monkey Miles?
Before the surgery I’d been helping friends and family plan trips with points, but I don’t think I went deep, deep, deeeeeep down the rabbit hole until I was forced out of commission at the end of 2014. I had to have lower back surgery and the recovery was 3 months of bed rest: No bending, lifting or twisting. I’m pretty good now, but it was over a year before I felt like I could audition without thinking I may fall to my knees in agony.
I have a lot of faith that we’re here for a reason and that most things in life that are difficult or a struggle are meaningfully preparing us for something later in life.
The down time gave me a lot of time to read and read and read and read. I felt like I was in college without the fake IDs and beer pong. In fact, I had fancied myself pretty good at the whole points schtick. I went from having a pre-surgery points GED to post surgery Masters. The more I read, the more obsessed I became. I spent hours and hours everyday on blogs and threads. That was the great thing about having the injury…I couldn’t do anything else.
I also talked about it a lot. People started egging me to take my passion to page and publish a blog. In hindsight, they probably did this so I’d just shut up and talk about something else. Regardless it got me thinking…how would my voice be different? I’m a monkey according to the Chinese Zodiac, and my mom had given me Miles years ago as a gift. One night I was looking at Miles sitting on a shelf and the idea hit me: Miles the Monkey. A voice that was clever, fun, light, and started a lot of conversations.
MonkeyMiles first blogged trip was the feature picture: a $20k+ trip for a wedding in England that only set me back $400.
It was roughly 6 months after my surgery that I began writing with Miles and haven’t looked back since. It’s created a whole new aspect to my life, provided unbelievable adventures, a new business, excuses to meet up with friends, and introduced me to an entire group of people at BoardingArea that couldn’t be nicer or more supportive. My life is undeniably fuller and without a bad back, surgery, pain, and my acting career taking a hit, I would never be here.