Who Am I?

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Hello world! I am super pumped up about this blog and can’t wait to share what I care about to everyone out there. I hope this stuff will become something you care about after reading it.

My name is Jason Zhu, 朱臻晟 in Chinese. I am originally from Shanghai, China, have lived in Salem, Oregon for one year. I currently reside in Bullard, Texas and am a high school senior at The Brook Hill School. I will be relocated to Columbus, Ohio this fall and be a buckeye for life! Go Bucks BTW! Although I haven’t flown THAT many times and traveled to THAT many countries, I identify myself as an aviation geek plus a world traveler anyway. I am just simply into aviation, airplanes, airlines, airline products, frequent flyer programs and traveling itself. That’s just what I spend most of my time on while other kids are playing League of Legends.

Traveling is incontrovertibly my favorite hobby. Through traveling, I learned different cultures, broadened my horizon, developed an objective perspective, earned a solid perseverance, and gained a stubborn survivability. I’ve always been touched by beautiful scenics and hospitable people on my journeys. Meanwhile, when I am traveling to somewhere, I honestly think it is the best place I’ve ever been to because there is always something extraordinary of either the place I’m visiting or the local people who never ceases to touch me. I really enjoy being on the road. I am truly intrigued by the local customs of, the languages spoken in, the current political system of and the history (most likely colonial history) of different countries and territories. These factors are unique heritages of a certain place and the truest representation of a certain culture. These discoveries found during my trips which are what I really passionate about contribute a lot in term of deciding my potential major in college. I picked Anthropology and Linguistics simply because I am really into humans, and what and how their behaviors could possibly change not only the world but also the history of all human-beings. This sort of passion was inspired from my journeys and is still the motivation of every single one new adventure.  I have once read On the Road by Jack Kérouac, which is a novel based on the travels of Kérouac and his friends across America. The Beat Generation left me a deep impression by their bold and casual behavior. Maybe for me, to be on the road is also a simple kind of attitude to life and a lifetime motto. For all my trips with my parents, I was always the person who decided on the destinations, transportations, accommodations and so on. On the journey, I was qualified as the job of the tour guide even though I had never been there. Overall, it just makes me feel very proud and satisfied.

How I became an aviation geek was really interesting. I still remember that before my second grade semester finals, my dad promised me to take me to Disneyland if I get a good score. Once got out of the examine room confidently, I started to searching air tickets and hotel options for the certain upcoming trip. Miraculously, I was obsessed with all those airlines and aircraft types and that sort of thing. I started to know everything out there about aviation, air traveling and planes. Although we didn’t actually make the trip happen due to my father’s business, I’ve stuck on aviation ever since. Every time I fly since fifth grade, I would turn in a flight log sheet to the pilots to ask for some information about the flight, and ask for a potential opportunity to visit the cockpit after landing. Being grateful to several dozens pilots I’ve encountered, I visited cockpits of different planes and different airlines in different countries. “A mile of highway will take you a mile, a mile of runway will take you anywhere.” It is just amazing to see how aviation went from impossible to nearly perfected in a single century. Today, flying has become ordinary. But sometimes when I sit in the airport, waiting for boarding, I would think that flying is not just a right which has been taken for granted by the average traveler. Flying is a privilege, simply because we are actually flying, what a privilege it is! We accomplished more than our ancestors’ fantasy. Almost ten years has passed, aviation has been my only interest lasts that long. I still enjoy every single part of flying, from planning, booking, to queueing out, checking in, passing through security, to boarding, settling down, sitting back, and enjoying the rest of the flight. Even the actual “flying” part and airplane food which most people hate about flying, can bring pleasure to me. Maybe for me, the motivation of flying is mutually supplementary with the motivation of traveling. Flying simply enables us to explore places we can’t get access to with ground transportation.

Having realized that my hobby can be extremely costly because of its uniquity, I was in the place of trying to find a more economical and enjoyable way to still be able to do what I love to do. I came across an online forum about frequent flyer programs a little over five years ago. What I saw totally BLEW MY MIND! If you have been in this airline loyalty program world for a considerably long time, you might know Bmi (British Midland International) has the very best program in the entire industry before its merger with British Airways. You could book a round-trip between U.S. and China on Lufthansa or Swiss First Cass for a price less than $1600 (if I remember correctly). Diamond Club’s routing was INSANE, not only you could make a stopover on every one-way trip but you could route your award travel from U.S to China as crazy as something like LAX-DEN-ORD-IAD-FRA-SIN-BKK-NRT-PEK-PVG. Good old days!

I have been researched all frequent flyer programs out there ever since and it was an life changer for me. Being able to fly Cathay Pacific transpacific business class for about 1000 dollars, I think I am able to call my self an expert in this field now. And I hope with this blog, y’all can have the same, if not more, ability to travel in style for a low cost.