Over the weekend, I spent a few miles to fly to NC, visit my mother, and take in the opportunity to see extended family, including an aunt and uncle now in their 80s. Then, I took yesterday off to attend the memorial service for a former colleague of mine. Not only had we worked together, he was a mentor, and my friend.

All of these events came together at about the same time late last week, and I had to put together a plan to be in Georgia, North Carolina, and Oklahoma over a 2-day period. Buying the tickets would have been easy enough in theory, but in reality, I was looking at over $2,000 in airfare. I’ve seen less charged for advance purchase biz class across the Atlantic.

In the past, I have winced at the thought of redeeming miles for domestic travel, especially for shorter flights. In some ways, it has just seemed wasteful. MrsMJ and I rarely take more than one trip a year outside the country by plane, but when we do, we like to do so in comfort. Miles make that happen for us, and I am fortunate to have plenty of miles. Miles also made the last 2 days happen for me. I’ll be the first to say that I did not waste any time figuring out if I could fly some unique route to save a few miles….no doubt I could have hacked together something better than I did with some effort. I had the miles, so I spent them. That’s what they’re made for. I’ve got plenty more, but it would not have mattered to me if I had spent my accounts to 0 this weekend. In the end, what really matters is that I got there, for my family and my friend.

-MJ, April 1, 2014