Everyone does top 5 lists at the end of the year! Why should I be any different? I’m sure a nobody like me name-checking Ben Schlappig is really going to boost his career, but god dammit, I’m going to do it anyway. So, in no particular order, these are the 5 blogs that kept me going during a particularly shitty year.
- View from the Wing. This should be self-explanatory… the only reason I’m languishing in near-obscurity rather than total obscurity is thanks to Gary Leff’s propensity to link to things that I write. I had pretty much left this blog for dead until he started to send me traffic, and it’s that stream of readers that has motivated me to start posting on the semi-reg. Aside from the traffic, I find VFTW to be the most well-rounded blog out there, covering general aviation news, funny/weird travel stories, credit card strategies, and trip reports in equal measure. On top of that, VFTW is written in a really opinionated yet engaging and humorous voice, and I appreciate that he doesn’t efface his individuality in a bid to expand his reach (cough POINTSGUY cough).
- Doctor of Credit. This is a must-read every morning. I actually check this one first, since he breaks stuff before it makes the rounds on other sites. Plus, he turns down a fuckload of possible affiliate revenue in the name of integrity, which is admirable. I’m quite sure that if I had the traffic he did, my first thought would be how to milk the hell out of it (which may explain why he’s where he is and I’m over here!). Don’t forget, he was writing about the Sapphire Reserve back when it just a glimmer in the Sapphire Preferred’s eyes.
- One Mile at a Time. Honestly, unless you’re a raging homophobe, I don’t understand the hate this guy gets. Out of all the people that blog about their luxury lifestyle, Lucky is the one whose writing illustrates how much he legitimately loves every minute of it, and not just for bragging rights. He also seems like a really nice guy, although if I ever meet him in person, I’ll make sure to report back. I love the reviews too, to the point that I actually look forward to them when he publishes the introductions to his trip reports. I don’t even bother taking photos when I go on my trips, since it’s almost guaranteed that whatever I would review has already been exhaustively documented on his site. The volume of review content he has produced really is amazing. So yeah, I don’t mind admitting I’m a total fanboy.
- Bald Thoughts. Solidarity for bald people! I started going bald at 17, so I immediately gravitate to other chrome-domers.
- Miles per Day. I fucking LOVE this blog. Do you know about the guy who created a pain scale of insect bites by letting a bunch of poisonous bugs bite him while he took notes? It’s a real thing, and the guy is amazing. Anyway, Miles per Day is the blog equivalent of that guy – if you were ever wondering what’s the limit of what banks will allow, Vinh has probably smashed through it and either found a way to get his account reinstated or just said fuck it and moved on to the next thing. He’s like this guy I used to go mountain biking with – I could never hang with him on the downhills, because he was just too damn fast. Then he crashed and broke his neck, was in a halo for a while, rehabbed for a year, and smoked me like old times on his first ride back.
That’s my list – what did I miss? What should I read in 2017? I think things are going to get way worse before they get better, so I’ll need to keep distracting myself with all these miles…