Reviews

Get out! 7 Reasons why you should go abroad NOW.

a stuffed animal in front of a large stone building

We may receive a commission when you use our links. Monkey Miles is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com and CardRatings. This relationship may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Monkey Miles is also a Senior Advisor to Bilt Rewards. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.


Get out! 7 Reasons why you should go abroad NOW.

I love America, but nothing is quite as exhilarating as getting out of your comfort zone and immersing yourself in a foreign country. I’ve been very fortunate to take some absolutely life changing trips with some of my nearest and dearest. I’ve been perusing photos and I started to reflect back on why I even started this blog. It’s so easy to get tied up in earning points, achieving the highest multiple on your spend, and luxuriating that it can become easy to lose focus on the WHY. The biggest reason I started this bad boy, and collaborated with Miles, was because of MY EXPERIENCES and how they’ve shaped me as a person. I wanted to show people how travel, especially outside your homeland, puts a mark of grateful experience on your soul. Points and Miles are simply a way for you to achieve those experiences. So here’s 7 reasons why you should go abroad NOW!

7 reasons why you should go abroad NOW!

 

  1. You will grow as a person

    • Travel will thrust you into places that your mind can’t really imagine. Dealing with different food, culture, and ways of life enrich our experience here on earth.  After every trip I’ve taken outside the US, I’ve come back with a new perspective on life, and who I am.  Meeting the kids sponsored by the Royal Chundu Foundation in Zambia and the work that the foundation does in conjunction with the Royal Chundu Lodge was nothing short of incredible. screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-11-10-59-am
  2. Memories with loved ones

    • Not only will you grow as a person, but you will grow together with whomever you take along. Travel bonded me with my best friend, Dave. It was senior year of high school and we went on a month long, school sponsored trip through Spain. By the time the trip ended we were #besties. Yes, we learned about Spanish culture, but also how much our feet stank, we found farts hilarious, and that we were both willing to serenade random girls who spoke a different language than us. That was 18 years ago and we still bust out laughing at that trip. You can’t put a price on that. It’s why we still take trips, like this one with our buddy Tyson through southeast Asia.
      Our First Fish Foot Spa in Singapore. And nope - we didn't get Hepatitis!
      Our First Fish Foot Spa in Singapore. And nope – we didn’t get Hepatitis!


  3. Empathy and Appreciation

    • We have it so nice here in America. Unbelievably nice. After taking a trip to India 6 years ago I came back a changed person. Comparatively, the people of India have so little in the way of material possessions, but they are rich beyond belief in what matters most: richness of love, spirit, and humanity.  To witness this firsthand was a privilege and deeply effected me. Look, I still complain and get caught up on the littlest of things like Amex vs Chase credit card perks, etc, etc. But the Indian experience deepened my appreciation and gave me perspective – it made me want to be a more empathetic and patient person who is more appreciative.screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-10-40-13-am
  4. Things will go wrong – and that’s great!

    • You will think that the moments you will remember the most are the beautiful photos in front of the great wall of China, the Blue Mosque, or Big Ben…WRONG! Most often, you know what I remember most? The crap that went absolutely wrong, but bonded me with my buddies, family, mate, or just pushed me to persevere. Travel creates opportunities to unite. It’s the whole strength through adversity saying, and it’s true. A couple years ago I was on a trip to Istanbul with my girlfriend and we had a whole day planned to see Hagia Sofia and The Blue Mosque. IT RAINED CATS AND DOGS. We ended up nipping into a Turkish Bath to find cover and it turned into one of my most favorite stories. If you’ve ever been to a Turkish Bath then you know you bare it all and it’s a VERY up close and personal experience. Had the day been perfect…we would probably have better photos of the Blue Mosque, but certainly not the story the Hamam – which was better than any perfect photo.
      screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-10-47-01-am
      It rained the entire day I was supposed to see the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. As a result I ended up having ONE OF MY FAVORITE AND FUNNY MEMORIES in a Turkish Bath.
  5. People love to bond over travel

    •  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten into a long conversation with a complete stranger because we have both traveled to the same place. There is something about travel, especially travel abroad, that creates a bond not only with those on the trip, but also those who have gone to the same place. Whether it be street food in Bangkok, fish and chips in London, or hearing the call to prayer in the Istanbul – it’s always fun to relive those moments with others.
      Check Point Charlie in Berlin is something that can drive a conversation on for hours, and I've been lucky enough to visit it first hand.
      Check Point Charlie in Berlin is something that can drive a conversation on for hours, and I’ve been lucky enough to visit it first hand.
  6. Confidence in the unknown

    • The best of plans don’t always pan out.  In every trip there is the unknown, and more often than not, it’s that uncertainty that prevents people from taking trips. Money, food, culture,and language are just some of the unknowns that people stress over. The more you travel and confront the unknown, the more you gain confidence in your ability to navigate it. Look, it’s not always going to go “right,” but like I said in #4, it’s those times when things go wrong that often are the most fond of memories. The confidence you build through confronting unknown factors abroad spills over into your every day life as well, and that confidence leads to a broader and more enriched life.
    • Dave and I had the pleasure of eating at Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo (featured in Jiro Dreams of Sushi) where the chef picks a 20+ course menu of raw fish and other unknowns. It was incredible…as was this Raw Sea Urchin. screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-11-17-32-am
  7. Regret

    • You will only be as young as you are today.  I’ve been so lucky to create unbelievable memories with the people I love and to help send people on their own adventures and trips. Don’t let your most valuable commodity, time, go to waste. Who knows…you might take a nap with a lion 😉
      monkey see ,monkey do.
      monkey see ,monkey do.

       

Often times the hardest part of the trip is pulling the trigger on booking it. Once you pull that trigger, you will make it happen! I’d love to know some of your favorite experiences and especially when things haven’t gone as planned, but ended up creating some special moments.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

a blue credit card with blue lines and white text

Learn More

Refer a Friend Link 

 Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


4.8
4.8/5
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

*you may find an elevated offer walking into a branch – see below

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
    • Some people have seen Chase branches offering the following:
      • 75k Ultimate Rewards After $4k spend in 3 months + 10k Ultimate Rewards after $6k in 6 months 
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

3 Comments

  • Miles October 25, 2016

    Kay – I”m so happy that you wrote me. What a special thing to have shared and I truly value your readership and contribution. It sounds like travel has really provided a different level of living for you and I’m so happy to hear that you took those brave steps to make the time count. Please don’t hesitate if you ever need help, thank you!

    • Kay October 25, 2016

      I used to travel “on the road” as a publicist for major rock bands – but that was travel for other people, never for me. Taking the past 7 or so years for “me” travel has been, like you wrote, eye-opening and life changing. Thank you for your kind offer and your wonderful optimistic and informative blog.

      P.S. Incidentally, I am departing for London and Italy (Rome and Umbria) in a few days – so more adventures ahead! ????

  • Kay October 25, 2016

    I think this is a really thoughtful and insightful essay, Miles. (Really loved the safari photo – laughed till I cried.) Travel can, in certain instances, really open up ones viewpoint to not only the world, but add perspective to one’s own life. It was due to an unexpected loss of one of my best friends that I had that “life’s too short” awakening and began traveling to those places I had always dreamed of going. I travel by myself, not on tours, research what I want to see on my own terms, and make sure I learn a bit of the language before I go. Traveling alone has afforded me the opportunity to break outside my invisible walls and meet the locals which have resulted in a lifetime of treasured experiences that have touched my life and changed my humanity and my empathy as well as my sensitivity to the value of time. I thank you for writing such an important piece. I hope those who read it take it to heart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.