Travel is one of the natural rights. Religious folks would argue that God has put us on the earth in His image and likeness, and as he is free, we are free. If you are not big on religion, from a secular perspective, humans are the dominant creatures on the earth. Because we are the only creatures which have to use our brains to survive, and not our brawn, we have the natural rights inherent in our humanity. Enjoying the natural rights means preserving the concepts of justice (not aggressing versus another, not stealing or harming another, not defrauding another). The U.S. Constitution was a noble attempt to try to marry the laws of government to the natural rights. Right, wrong, or indifferent, the US has moved away from its constitutional principles and thus the natural rights. Travel is a natural right.
Regarding travel, God (or The Big Bang) put us on the earth, and it is ours free to roam as long as we don’t harm others while traveling. The natural right to travel existed before any governments, borders, passports, or TSA existed. It is inherent in our humanity and one of the greatest gifts of God (or the earth).
Now that we have governments claiming sovereign over almost every square mile of the earth, regrettably, we usually have to stand in line and get a government’s permission to travel. The freer, the country, the easier it is to enjoy the gifts of the earth, the people of other tongues, and the treasures to your soul from visiting and learning about others. My home country, the United States used to be the freest in the world. It is still in the top 10, but just barely. Our travel freedoms are still better than in much of the world, but have gotten restrictive as government has infringed on the natural right to travel through Draconian immigration laws, creating a federal travel police force, the war on drugs, and unconstitutional “documents please” checkpoints. Nevertheless a USA passport is still better than most. We as Americans take for granted how many visa free countries we can travel to, or how quickly we can apply for a visa and visit.
So what are the different ways of Traveling the Earth, both tactically and financially?
Tactically, one needs:
- Money (but sometimes not as much as you think – see financially section)
- A mode of transportation
- A passport (if traveling internationally and not wanting to draw the ire of foreign governments)
- A timetable for departure and return based on the needs of one’s life outside of travel
Financially, one needs:
- To be born to very wealthy parents, to receive that inheritance, and enjoy the ability to travel with the inheritance money (if you are one of these folks, lucky you, God bless you, and enjoy!);and/or
- To have a job that requires business travel, which allows one to travel, although usually not to destinations of one’s choosing;and/or
- To have savings from the sweat equity of one’s work after the government’s cut and the daily autonomous level of spend required to house, cloth, and feed oneself; and/or
- Points Arbitrage. This is my primary category. I define Points Arbitrage as the taking advantage of the price difference and fluctuation of value of frequent traveler points valued in a local currency (in my case U.S. Dollars) relative to a frequent traveler points currency. To find points arbitrage opportunities one must research and participate in various airline, hotel, rental car, and credit card reward programs. Yes, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to have money, a business travel job, or even savings to travel! This blog will further explore this concept – the Free in Freedom – from intentionally opening credit cards, to subscribing to frequent travel blogs and forums. It is via this method that I have been able to do the majority of my travel, and minimal or no expense to wonderful place all over the world. I have also had business travel, although my destinations aren’t usually of my choosing in that case. Points Arbitrage gets me where I want to go, roughly when I want to go there, and a minimal impact to my savings.
I will begin to explore Points Arbitrage in more detail. Until then, a few resources to get you started.
- Internet Forums: Flyertalk and Milepoint are two of the leading forums right now.
- Frequent Travel Blogs: Gary Leff’s View From the Wing, Lucky’s One Mile at a Time, and The Weekly Flyer’s Points, Miles, and Martinis are three of my favorite and most insightful.
Please send me any thoughts, comments, or feedback to FreeInFreedom@gmail.com. Stay tuned for way more content.
God bless, and good night,