Why would we undertake this big journey? We have no children, and so we are free to travel whenever work, other commitments, and finances allow it. Our pattern has been to take long weekends, or perhaps a week or 10 days now and then, and go travel to interesting places in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. S has also been privileged to travel for work to Germany, Turkey, and Egypt. And when one works for a large company like MG*, the vacation can accumulate very quickly. If one accumulates too much, they stop giving you more (the modern version of "use or lose"). Ten years ago we decided to use most of vacation balance by taking an extended trip to celebrate our 20th anniversary, and so we stayed in Kona, Hawaii in a rented house for six weeks. It was a legendary experience. The plan was to do something similar 5 years ago for our 25th in Europe, but medical issues and finances worked together to prevent it. Things are much healthier now, so the target was to do something this year for our 30th anniversary. Europe was still a possibility, but a lot of people we know have been there and done that. We wanted to do something more unusual. Utah snow is beautiful and powdery, but after a while it also becomes a burden to move off the walk and driveway. So we decided to get two summers this year - one in South America and our normal one in North America. Avoiding the peak tourist season and the madness of Carnival celebrations moved us into late February and March.
The decision made, S tried to use his frequent flier miles to book "free" air tickets to Buenos Aires. Thanks to the incompetence of his preferred airline following a recent merger, this destination proved to be quite impossible to book, even though it was connecting with a Latin American subsidiary of itself! Plan B was to see where the airline goes in South America by itself, without connecting to anything. One answer: Sáo Paulo, Brazil. Then S had to determine what dates one can use the "saver"awards, which cost only half the miles. Several days later we have the answer: Depart Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb 26 and return leaving Sáo Paulo 6 weeks later on Sunday, April 7. Both legs use overnight (redeye) flights for the intercontinental portion. All told we will have 40 days and 40 nights in South America. Hmmm. 40 days and 40 nights - where have I heard that before? Maybe here...
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
For those unfamiliar with this story, after the 40 days and 40 nights, Noah emerged to find the entire world had changed. We hope that expanding our horizons for this timeframe will help us to change our view of the world. Perhaps after reading along, it will help you to do the same.
*Mundane Ginormous - a pseudonym