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What are the benefits of traveling?

Traveling is wonderful in many ways. It captures us with a sense of wanderlust and has us longing for more destinations to visit, cultures to experience, food to eat, and people to meet. As amazing as traveling is, most of us think we need to wait until our later years to really explore a lot of the world. Here are 8 wonderful benefits of traveling in this article so you can take the leap of faith you’ve been waiting for.

You’ll find a new purpose

As you travel you’re exposed to more new people, cultures, and lifestyles than you are living in your homeland all the time. With all the newness in your life, you’re also opened to new insights, ways of seeing the world and living, which often gives people a new purpose for their lives. If you’re feeling stuck on what your purpose is, what you want to do with your life, the career or educational path you want to pursue, go travel…you might just be surprised about what you discover as a new sense of life purpose and direction.

You’ll appreciate your home more

When we spend time away from home, especially in a place where we don’t have the same luxuries readily available to us…like a village in Fiji that runs without electricity…we become more aware and appreciative for the luxuries we have back at home. In other parts of the world, like India and Ethiopia, people don’t have as much access to clean drinking water…especially from what’s readily available on tap. Traveling through areas like that really make us appreciate what we do have, and often can spark the movement of something to support people living there experience a greater quality of life.

You’ll realize that your home is more than just where you grew up

The more we travel, the more we realize that our home is so much more than the town, city, state and even country that we’ve grown up in; we realize that our home is the world, this planet, and we become more conscious of how we can harmoniously live and support one another.

You’ll realize how little you actually knew about the world

When we travel, we may notice that some of the things we’ve heard about the world end up being very different than what we were indoctrinated and conditioned to believe. Many of the initial myths that get dispelled are often about traveling itself. Where you once may have thought it was too expensive and dangerous, you may realize how you can actually save more on your lifestyle expenses traveling the world than you do living at home. You may also realize how kind and friendly strangers can be, and how they are even willing to take care of you with a place to sleep at night. Beyond that, you have the whole world to learn about with every place you discover, every person you meet and every culture you experience.

You’ll realize that we all share similar needs

Tony Robbins, American entrepreneur, philanthropist and business strategist, has said many times that no matter what your background is, all human beings share 6 common needs: certainty, uncertainty/variety, significance, connection/love, growth, contribution. As you travel more, you notice the truth of this even more…and as that happens, you are more adept in being able to relate to people regardless of their background.

You’ll realize that it’s extremely easy to make friends

It is easy to make friends while traveling. Something magical happens in how people can show up more raw and real when they’re out of their conditioned environment and open to express themselves without feeling judged. That rawness and realness ends up inspiring others to be authentic, and that’s how you can become best friends with people when you’ve only known them for a few hours.

You’ll experience the interconnectedness of humanity

Just as we notice how we share similar needs, how our perspective of our home expands, and how we become close friends with others from different backgrounds and cultures, we begin to realize how we are all connected. This state of awareness is a jump in consciousness, that is in the way we perceive the world, the life experience and ourselves.

You’ll realize life is a wonderful gift

Life is a wonderful gift. It really is, and as we travel and experience more of the world and life, we often become overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for all the beautiful moments we enjoyed and people we’ve shared them with. More often than not, this is a realization that we can experience and take action from now while we’re still alive with energy rather than stacking up regrets by the time we’re on our death bed. Rather than waiting until you’re saying “I wish I had”, live so you can say “I’m glad I did”.

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Marriott Rewards: new loyalty program “Marriott Bonvoy” is coming

In the middle of January, Marriott Bonvoy was unveiled. This is the name of Marriott’s new combined loyalty program which will launch on February 13, 2019.

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Actually not a whole lot is changing because for all practical purposes Marriott created a single loyalty program in August last year. However, between then and now they’ve continued to have inconsistent branding, as Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest, have continued to co-exist.

As we know, both American Express and Chase will be issuing credit cards for Marriott going forward (they will have access to different market segments), and many changes have already been made to these cards.

In light of Marriott’s new loyalty program officially being launched, American Express and Chase have both announced some changes to their Marriott card portfolios. Let’s look through the changes.

Marriott cards are being rebranded

Marriott cards issued by both American Express and Chase will be updated to reflect the new Bonvoy branding. This will happen as of February 13, 2019, for American Express, and as of February 28, 2019, for Chase. The new branding for these cards will be as follows:

  • The Marriott Premier Plus Card will be called the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card
  • The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card will be called the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
  • The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express will be called the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
  • The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express will be called the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card

In addition:

  • Starting in March 2019, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card will come in a dark charcoal stainless-steel design
  • Starting in May 2019, the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card will be an artist-designed card

Marriott Cards offer 15 nights towards status going forward

This is nothing new, though it’s worth reiterating. As of 2019, all co-brand Marriott Bonvoy cards will offer 15 elite night credits towards status annually. You’re limited to taking advantage of this benefit on one card, so having multiple cards won’t earn you increments of 15 elite nights.

Additional possibilities to earn free night awards

As of February 13, 2019, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card Members will be able to earn an additional free night award (valid at a property retailing for up to 35,000 points) when they spend $60,000 or more annually on the card.

As of March 28, 2019, Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card Members will be able to earn an additional free night award (valid at a property retailing for up to 35,000 points) when they spend $60,000 or more annually on the card.

These are in addition to the anniversary free night awards that the cards offer.

New 100K welcome bonuses

From February 13 to April 24, 2019, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant and Marriott Bonvoy Business Cards will be offering welcome bonuses of 100,000 points after spending $5,000 within 3 months.

Additionally, as of February 28, 2019, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card will also be offering a 100,000 point welcome bonus.

New spend incentives

Starting February 24, 2019, existing Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card Members can register to earn 25,000 points for every $25,000 in eligible purchases on the card, up to 4 times for a maximum of 100,000 bonus points.

It’s worth noting that the potential to earn a second free night award won’t be available on the Bonvoy Amex (just the Bonvoy Amex Business and the Chase Bonvoy Boundless), so you can’t stack the two spending bonuses.

Other card changes

  • The annual fee on the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is increasing from $95 to $125 starting March 28, 2019
  • The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business Card will no longer be open to new applicants as of February 13, 2019, though Chase will continue to service accounts for existing cardmembers
  • The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express will no longer be open to new applicants as of February 13, 2019, though American Express will continue to service accounts for existing cardmembers
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card stopped accepting applications last July, though will continue to exist and will simply be called the Ritz-Carlton Card
  • This summer Chase will be introducing a no annual fee personal Marriott Card

Summary

  • All Marriott Cards from both American Express and Chase will get the Bonvoy branding;
  • As of February 13, 2019, the SPG Personal Amex and Marriott Business Cards will no longer be open to new applicants (because as part of the deal, American Express got the contract for the ultra-premium personal card and business card, while Chase got the contract for the no annual fee and premium personal cards);
  • Marriott is adding spend bonuses that could make everyday spend more interesting, both in terms of bonus points and free night awards;
  • The annual fee on the SPG Business Amex will be increasing by $30.