Oh no, another Trip Report is on the way. This one is called Adios Puerto Rico, Hola Espana. For those who don’t read and reread TPOL faithfully like a Seinfeld enthusiast, here’s why this is exciting. Last year, I decided that in addition to my crazy jaunts around the globe, I would also take up residency in a pre-selected, first-world big city for four months out of the year (see Vote for Where TPOL Will Move Next And…). The initial destination was supposed to be Dubai where I could commute to the World Cup. Although I went to Doha (see Coupe du Monde Trip Report), the fly-in/fly-out model was unfeasible due to plane ticket/hotel prices (see Housing World Cup Qatar: Adventurous or Fyre Fest?).
The next opportunity for residency was Melbourne in May 2023. I found a 55k business class flight using Alaska points with a stopover in Fiji (see 55K Alaskan to Fiji And My New Melbourne Residence). However, when I checked return availability from Melbourne, I was shocked by the outlandish points prices. I would also like to knock out the surrounding islands near Fiji like New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea to enhance my Country Count which currently stands at 131 (see Where I’ve Been), making this a vintage TPOL trip (see ThePointsOfLife Travel Philosophy) rather than a residency retreat. Finally, I also have been in Puerto Rico too long since the start of the pandemic (see The Lost & Found Year(s): COVID Trip Report) and didn’t want to wait until May to implement the residency ritual.
Checking availability in February with a return in March, I found a round-trip ticket in business on Iberia direct from San Juan to Madrid for 34k points each way. That is a stupendous deal, especially since I don’t have to connect in JFK. With no fear of being kicked off the plane for not wearing a mask (see Iberia Business ORD-MAD: Mask Jokes Literally Don’t Fly), I immediately booked. The next step is to find an apartment.