The Last Plane Home

S1 Eps 3 - Is New York City Dead?

November 21, 2020 Guy Guyton Season 1 Episode 3
The Last Plane Home
S1 Eps 3 - Is New York City Dead?
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we speak with New Yorker and long time friend, Mike Watson, about the current state in New York City. 

Mike has lived in NYC, or the greatest city on the planet, for 11 years and has stayed in the city during the entire lockdown. Mike and his Fiancee also moved during the early part of the lockdown and decided to stay in the city to ride it out.

In this episode, we talk about: 

  • Why people are staying in the city
  • Thoughts on if now is an excellent time to visit NYC and
  • What changes you should make with your travel credit cards


You can reach Mike at micwatson10@gmail.com

You can follow more travel stories on our website, travelwithguy.com. Follow us on Instagram as we post daily travel tips, stories, and inspiration @travelwithguy. 


Until next time travelers, Peace!





Guy Guyton:

Hey there, welcome to the travel with guide podcast we talk about all things travel content creation and the latest gear will keep you up to date on the latest themes and what's going on outside of your own bubble. Today I have a great show for you where I sit down with longtime friend Mike Watson. Mike has lived in New York City or the greatest city on the planet for the last 11 years and has stayed in the city during the entire lockdown. Mike and his fiance also moved during the early part of the lockdown and decided to stay in the city to write it out. In this episode, we talk about why people are staying in the city thoughts on if now's a good time to visit the city, and what changes you should make if any tear travel credit cards. Okay, without any further delay, let's get into the interview. Mike, thanks for joining.

Mike Watson:

Thanks, Guy. Thanks for having me.

Guy Guyton:

So, Mike, let's introduce you. You've been in New York since 2009, for undergrad, Columbia. So it's been 11 years.

Mike Watson:

Plenty of time.

Guy Guyton:

So fair to say, you know, the vibe of the city.

Mike Watson:

A little bit well known over the years.

Guy Guyton:

So help me out. Help me understand how are how are things in New York right now. We're heading into middle of November. So what's the latest?

Mike Watson:

Yeah, I think they're okay. Right now the is the infection rate, it's kind of getting worse than increasing. But oratia like people are mostly in their routines gotten used to the new kind of life post pandemic, in pandemic and so things are okay, but restaurants are still open. Indoors outdoors, everyone's pretty much still working from home. I think most people are using public transportation a tiny bit, like here or there. But they're mostly walking and so yeah, it's kind of the new normal, but um, I think mostly, we're getting used to it.

Guy Guyton:

Thinking about shutting down the city for two weeks was like, That's insane. There's no way that's going to happen. And now I think about it as I don't plan on going on the subway ever.

Mike Watson:

Yeah, yeah, we use a subway like very sparingly, maybe once or twice a month. So we're not exactly afraid to use it. It's pretty empty. It's very clean, like incredibly cleans and you subway. Wow. But yeah, we rarely go into Manhattan. We mostly stick in Queens where we live. And we'll walk into Brooklyn because it's just a bridge away. Other than that, it's pretty much just taken to the neighborhood and getting to know the locals local spots really well. Every little cobblestone, you know your favorites. Yeah, your walks your routes, stuff like that. But yeah, it's a new New York, but um, there's, there's certain ways to kind of make make the best of it, like most of it.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I like that you're able to kind of explore your neighborhood in a way that he probably never would have done. Otherwise. Right?

Mike Watson:

Yeah, that's been nice finding new local places. I mean, we were in Long Island City, which is like a quiet neighborhood in Queens, and there hasn't been a lot of foot traffic or you know, retail space. Not a ton of bar restaurants in the immediate area. By now. It's, it's kind of nice. There's been a couple restaurants that have made it that have done outdoor dining. And so yes, it's the perfect opportunity to try new places to get to know the bartenders servers, and we like that. And yeah, places we never would have tried. Probably, if we hadn't had an alley we usually do to go into Brooklyn, like we usually do we Yeah, I don't think we've discovered a couple of places and would have appreciated the neighborhood as much as we do now. So it's actually nice. I mean, I kind of think, lions, they might, you know, have a little bit of a an uptick after everything's all over. And we might do more things here. Or we might go into the city a lot more and try to make up for lost time knows.

Guy Guyton:

That's awesome, man. So maybe let's take a step back and talk about how this was in March kind of how this started. What was you know, before we had more information and knew what this plague actually was? How're how were things? You know, kinda it'd be this, you know, the spring.

Mike Watson:

Yeah, so the defining parts of March when this all started for me was mostly the, yeah, just the unknown, the variables that work from home. At that time, I can say my fiance and I read a different apartment. And so just kind of getting used to working off laptops on kitchen tables, and then things, things like, you know, going to the grocery store, waiting in lines, not seeing any pasta and non perishables and just kind of trying to feel out, should I be stocking up? Should I not be stocking up? We're gonna get hand sanitizer Do I need to wear masks that kind of stuff. My company went to work from home a little on the early side, maybe like a week or two early because we had two employees test positive. And so they sent us home pretty early, but even then they said they were going to bring employees back within a week or two. And obviously, there was no being brought back. We were working from home since. But yeah, I think in the beginning, we're mostly just trying to stock up trying to get the equipment we needed like monitors, tables, keyboards, mouse, mice, and all that stuff. And Guess trying to stay sane while still pretty cold and so yeah, it was mostly for me in finance markets were kind of falling and crashing and everything was going to look crazy so just trying to stay on top of work but yeah i think that period I feel like didn't last too long and so within a week or two got a bit warmer we will do go outside take more walks and you know settle into to the new kind of environment I'd say the grocery stores everything being closed I remember one caller said give me a five phase reopening plan and sort of play phase zero and so it's pretty much a stay at home order because nothing's open you can't really do anything so yeah, try and make the most of that and doing a lot of cooking inside that's what I remember from the beginning.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I remember we looked at that as the grocery store was the most dangerous thing we were doing it felt like

Mike Watson:

yeah, yeah, yeah. Everything Yeah.

Guy Guyton:

Oh man. I made a video about it. I don't know if I ever posted it but I made a video of like, having Fresh Direct come and I was cleaning and wiping down every single thing that enter the apartment.

Mike Watson:

Yeah, wiping everything I don't know if it's working I don't know if these germs on your on your eyes you're wiping but that's all he did paying a lot of money for the nearest grocery store, which was like a bootleg wholefoods, that was lower quality, more expensive, slightly annoying, but it was the closest store we had. So I had to make use of it right in the lines. But yeah, that was that was pretty much it in March and April.

Guy Guyton:

Well, in the city, too. I remember when the carrier came in, because we didn't have enough capacity in hospitals. So my only thought was, if it's like, you can't get it. Yeah, I always thought everyone's gonna get at some point. I was like, you can't get it, you can't get hurt. You can't go to whatever you have to do to not get sick for a little bit, at least.

Mike Watson:

Yeah, yeah. And our theory was that we just already got it because you know, taking public transit, holding onto the subway pole, and then going to dairy drinks. And then like, you know, eating something right away. It's like, we probably all got exposed at some point, if it was here. And so we're just trying to not get it again, like you're saying, but yeah, that's uh, that's pretty much the idea is like, just stay inside, don't talk to anyone don't meet with anyone. And honor was the APR got a little better as phase one. And phase one and two, I guess when restaurants could do take out. There were a couple places that we found that like you know, brewery happened to be near outdoor seating. And so as it got warmer, you can just like grab a beer sit outside on like a rock, drink, outdoors and hang out, like, you know, because I think even then we kind of knew outside was much safer. And so once we discovered this again, it was one of those local places a brewery that was actually only five to 10 minutes away that we never discovered before and they just happen to have some life rocks and seating area and so they don't particularly grab a beer sit down and just like pretend to be normal for for an hour or two. So I was that was a bright spot.

Guy Guyton:

I love that I remember us going to the park and just kidding. I love the the innovation that you get. And I love I remember going to one of these restaurants where they just have takeaway drinks. It's like walk up brewery.

Mike Watson:

Yeah, exactly. That I think that sprouted right around them when like, you know, late spring, early summer. I think it's more restaurants were able to reopen, you had like little windows and restaurants would take away drinks and snacks and buy food item with a drink. And I took advantage of that. And so yeah, the parks I think filled up a little bit more with people trying to just, you know, get some some respite. So picnics long days on in the grass under the sun, just doing that kind of stuff. And yeah, just trying to have fun trying to live in New York without living in New York.

Guy Guyton:

So now it's now it's getting a little colder. I mean, that was great in the summer, but now it's getting a little colder. How has kind of the tone shifted? What are you know, restaurants kind of doing now?

Mike Watson:

Yeah, so I think the restaurants haven't gone into total hibernation mode yet. It kind of runs the gambit, certain restaurants still have, they're just sort of sidewalk space, leave a couple tables in the sidewalk and really no overhead sort of screening or protection. I think a bunch of restaurants have some type of like tarp or awning or opening our space. And then a couple have heat lamps or something heaters, heating apparatus in their outdoor area. And some do like full tents, you know, essentially indoors, but just exposed to the cold letter. So yeah, it's pretty much all over the place. But the nice thing is most of the restaurants still have something. And so you still get some nice foot traffic, you get like a nice sort of lively buzz when you're on the street. Even a year or two ago, Long Island City would have days or was just quiet or nights where it was, you know, pretty dead, like enclose it, everything that goes at 9pm. And that's not really the case anymore with all the people around because everyone's staying put. But yeah, right now I'd say restaurants are still going pretty strong in the neighborhood. So we're all a bit scared of what's going to happen January, February, but so far, so good. A lot of them have been pretty doing pretty well with heat lamps, because they haven't gotten that cold yet. So once it's 20 degrees, I think that'll be the true test.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, that's amazing. And you know, being California, California had a cold wave recently, which was 50

Mike Watson:

But yeah, That's feeling good, man.

Guy Guyton:

That's great, right? 50 is about as cold as it gets over here like, Man, I'm freezing, and I'm over here in one layer. Yeah.

Mike Watson:

It's awesome. Yeah. Meanwhile, in New York, it's

Guy Guyton:

like 60 or 70 degrees, but this time a year, it's like in the 30s. Or it could be, you know, towards snow season. So it's great that it's that the weather is held up as long as it has so far.

Mike Watson:

Yeah, even like, you know, high 40s, low 50s, which was this weekend, still let you bundle up and like, go to some restaurant that maybe has an outdoor seating, you can sit for an hour, you'll be cold, but you know, you can eat, you can drink and you can go home, and something as opposed to not even be able to come sit outside at all. So we'll definitely take 50 we'll take 45 we'll take it out. But

Guy Guyton:

degrees lets you just show your character. That's your best. Yeah, that's your baseball fashion. Right? That's what my best outfits come out. Right? at all, I have four coats here that I just can't wear very good.

Mike Watson:

Yeah, oh, we're wearing all the codes, all the codes are coming out, bundling up, just be prepared for anything hand sanitizer, gloves, hats, everything like that. There's also as you know, during the daytime, there's some sunlight, there's a kind of collect art collective that does live music on Saturdays long on settings. So we can go into that. And so this weekend, they just hit it perfectly between one to five, there's nice snow, I'm sorry, nice Sun 4550 degrees. And so that was pretty cool. And then once the sun goes away, it's a little bit harder, but stuff like that, you know, you have little peaks here and there. And it really make a big difference.

Guy Guyton:

That's awesome. So it still feels like you're getting some of that New York City vibe. Do you think because there's been a lot of countries of this, do you think New York is going to be able to come back? Or have you seen like too much of things shut down, that might not ever kind of open up again, again.

Mike Watson:

So I think it's going to come back. My theory, which is told to me by a friend, and I agree with is that a bunch of the late 20 year olds like ourselves, who are thinking about leaving the city will probably just have their plans pulled forward. And so they'll leave a little earlier. And they'll be the kind of gap in the sort of, you know, early 20s to late 20s. Yeah, but in five to six years, we think the city's just gonna attract much of the young people, and they'll come back, they'll fill the gap and the city will be as vibrant as ever. I'm it doesn't seem like enough things are shutting down. Enough businesses are moving out to the point where the city is going to be, you know, I'd say structurally or sexually harmed. So yeah, I don't think there's gonna be lasting damage, except I think it will be really hard for the restaurants, those types of businesses that may have to, you know, some support in some way. But in terms of jobs, I think this will be still like a super huge center for jobs and experience for all levels. So yeah, I'm still feeling pretty good about the city. That's awesome.

Guy Guyton:

I mean, yeah, and both of us have gone through a move during this period. One across the country, and one, you stayed in the city, right, you stayed. So many of my colleagues have been a lot of people have moved home, whatever that means. And folks are looking to buy folks are looking to go into the suburbs more. So what do you you know, do you do you see that as like a trend to?

Mike Watson:

Yeah, all the above. I mean, not for us personally, but we you know, people that have done pretty much every option. Definitely a lot of people more on like people who are single, who went and lived at their, you know, ended a lease or broke their lease and went to live a family wherever that was, was South north, wherever, you know, some kind of a couple of people that just pulled the trigger and bought houses in the suburbs, like we're saying, hold their plans forward and just said, why would we pay now, when we can just start paying on a down payment and sort of saving equity. I heard a couple of those stories. Heard one story of friends that are already in the suburbs and moved like farther and this into the suburbs, just ever gonna move. We're gonna take this chance to just go like even further to where we want to end up. Yeah. And so I'd say we've pretty much heard it all. A lot of people breaking leases that I think was a huge theme, especially the early summer, people would break leases leave for summer, I think some people came back and started new leases or lower prices, or just packed up stuff into storage and then went somewhere else. But yeah, we stayed the whole time. Because we locked into a pretty good lease that was well price with a good space. more natural light was everything we wanted. And like we were saying we moved during quarantine to something that was much better. But yeah, I've heard a lot. And people are fleeing, which is understandable.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah. So So pro tip, if you can break that at least negotiate the deal. Now is the time and ruins leaving. Yeah, there's more supply than demand. Oh, yeah.

Mike Watson:

I mean, if you if you're thinking about it, I don't know what situation would be good to come to New York right now. But the rent prices are insane. I mean, we're talking two months off two and a half months off three months off on the first year. So you can get into some amazing apartments, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and then you know, you probably have to move in a year if you want to have that low rent again. But yeah, it's a it's a really good time not to negotiate. anyone's looking.

Guy Guyton:

So New York when you think of travel right. There's Broadway there. Rock center, there's Times Square. Do you think, you know there's always always associated crowd? Do you think now's a good time to kind of sneak into the city? Or has a lot of those kind of maintained cultural things? Are they close? Or what's the kind of current state there?

Mike Watson:

Yeah, from what I know, most of them are closed things like the mat, museums, a lot of the galleries. And so yeah, anything with a crowd, I feel like it's just gonna be closed. So I don't think it'd be good to come to New York. For that reason I go, we don't go into Manhattan ever pretty much, except for like doctors and dentist appointments. And so I wouldn't be coming for that. And we'll be coming if you want to sort of try it out for later and get locked in a decently good rate for the next 12 months. I think those cultural institutions will come back. I mean, a lot of them are surviving. A lot of the plant therapies in New York are trying to support them for donation, right work is doing a lot of work towards that end. But yeah, I don't think right now that stuff is going to be where it's at. But you know, once bars and restaurants are back open, and nightlife comes back, I'm sure plenty to do and that sort of tourist attraction will, that fire will light back up again.

Guy Guyton:

Sure. If you pick up any new hobbies during the covid

Mike Watson:

trying couple new hobbies, cooking is a big one that's the most I'd say practical and functional one, where especially when the restaurants are an open, cooking everything. And so I'm starting from a very low base baseline of skills, but slowly ever so slowly getting a little more comfortable in the kitchen, being able to sort of whip up some staples. So yeah, that's been a big one for me just getting comfortable and knowing you know, not going to make a chicken and like kill people. That's nice. I still use a thermometer but yes, that's the one new workout routines. I'm a big morning exercise person and so without the gym, and things were close, it was all about finding you know, different types of exercise routines. So there's a lot of at home workouts, bodyweight workouts, pull ups, push ups, those types of things. And so that was a I think a good exercise just to be able to mix things up and then our buildings gym opened. So now that that's back open, I'm just kind of trying again to do new programs, new exercises, new regimens. So it's been fun just getting back in there it's still pretty empty right now so that's it's been really nice. And then other than that, we also got a peloton the sort of stationary bike behind me so in forms of cardio yeah started with when it was warm rover Some are doing some are doing distance runs like 10 to 15 miles and then as it got colder transitioning more towards the the stationary bike peloton, so that's been also kind of cool to, again, mix it up and be able to do something different. Just hop on wherever you want to get, you know, some endorphins going. And then our last thing is trying to get into real estate investing. So under contract for a potential or hopefully investment property and kind of get suburbs met trying to fix it up, rent it out, pull some money out and then repeat and see if we can find some sustainable passive income. So it was just a couple but nothing major. Nothing Nothing life changing. Just some some stuff here. They're

Guy Guyton:

just you know, buy a house figure out an entire new workout system. I got peloton and doing cardio for the first time ever. That's not running. Yes.

Mike Watson:

No big deal. I mean, when you have nine months, nine months to yourself at home, you find stuff to do.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, yeah. I love the cooking one. I'm spending more and more time contributing by washing dishes. And I've learned I'm learning the art of being a good barista. So I have take Lauren's coffee order every morning. And I have the frother we also have a cold brew machine now, which is great. Actually new video for that coming out soon. A little shameless plug for myself. But I think it's so funny. You know, finance guys, we don't know how to. We don't do cooking like we just order all the time. I had a buddy who I used to work with at Morgan. It must have been like four years into being in the city. And he's like, he looks at me at a bar one day. It's like guy. I have never bought groceries in my life. And it's been four years like how is that even possible? He's like, I just come to the bar and I ordered away.

Mike Watson:

works for some people.

Guy Guyton:

I've confirmed he's ordered groceries since. Very Yeah,

Mike Watson:

I feel like we've all gone through some phase. We're trying to save money especially early on post grad. And you just go grocery store and get the cheapest things and try to cook up something edible. But this is the most expensive way you can live your life. Yeah, yeah. I know I'm with you though. The dishwashing is a big part of it. Just like being in there trying to do some work trying to help out.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, we got to contribute every every weekend. Yeah, exactly. I'm

Mike Watson:

gonna drinks drinks are huge. I mean, like coffee. We just got a coffee machine. Doesn't sound like your guys, but it's a nice drip. One does cold brew, sort of like it. And then just making better cocktails. I feel like I'm a little bit better just sort of try out whatever is on the table. Like all these two might go together and it's with something simple and easy. Yeah, yeah, obviously triangle mordern

Guy Guyton:

corner. Jeremy's always, always our bartender of choice. exactly are you sometimes some,

Mike Watson:

sometimes you need to sell.

Guy Guyton:

you've stepped it up, I'm expecting big things and we come back and actually we're coming back in like a month or two. So I'm expecting some good product

Mike Watson:

here and I will be ready. I'll be ready. Now a nice drink on the balcony and then go back inside for 30 seconds.

Guy Guyton:

I can finally wear my coat.

Mike Watson:

Yeah, no, we're

Guy Guyton:

saying outside man. I'm wearing that

Mike Watson:

brand.

Guy Guyton:

Cool. So So we've talked about like saving and stuff to how has how has like your credit card spend, like been different now? Like, if you're pulling out money for investments, things like that? What's that, like now? restaurants are closing?

Mike Watson:

Yeah, so definitely, first six months just spent a lot less right. Because there's, you know, I missed biggest expenses, aside from the sort of fixed stuff like rent, utilities, we're just in New York kind of lifestyle. So like restaurants, you know, going out to events and things. Yeah. Ours here and there, that kind of stuff. And so without, you know, work from home, and lockdown just that kind of goes away. So just saving a good chunk of money, which is nice. But yeah, I still put everything on my Sapphire reserve and my Amex platinum. I have both thought about canceling some but I was kind of down to those two, just by chance at the beginning of the year. And I was looking to add a couple one or two more, and just didn't when everything kind of shut down. And so yeah, I really liked how they both came out with all these extra perks. sapphires continues to add more. So like I think you can now earn it's there's some type of point bonus for grocery stores, such as using that grocery stores, which is like a huge one. That's kind of the last category I was looking to fill out. And I like the Amex card just for the random bonuses like you know the the Dell credits nice if you need something like a Dell monitor or something. If you're this year, like the Uber credit you can use on Uber Eats those type of things, bro rain lifting a little bit more. So yeah, I'd say the spending hasn't been like dramatically lower. But it definitely I've noticed it and you know, I always keep track of me spending. So it's nice to have a period where you're handsome for savings because I feel like y'all everyone always talks about this exercise of what am I just didn't do anything in New York, where I'm just like, shut it down how many when I save? Now, you kind of know. And you kind of see why like, yeah, it's a significant amount. I don't think it's a life changing amount. But at least that exercise is kind of checked off. So So yeah, that's those two cards are sticking with my next one was going to be the Hilton Aspire or one of the Hilton line ones. So I thought they'd had I think the bonus was pretty good. And I like a couple Hilton properties. So but I haven't been looking too hard just trying to rack up points for later.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I'm kind of in a similar boat, I was at the start of this kind of calm down a few cards looking for new. I had done a bunch in the prior cycles. So I still had a couple of chase cards that I wanted to hit like from a five to perspective. So in some of the more like no fees and things like that, too. And then I got to the point of do I keep both by Sapphire and my reserve, I ended up doing it. The Amex and the chase are now mostly because it's like canceling it would have been more worth and I wanted to do it's like you kind of want those just for all the insurances and things you get anyways. I've never seen my point value is high ever.

Mike Watson:

Yeah, there you go.

Guy Guyton:

But I don't know, though. I mean, points, points d value so quickly. And I don't know what it's gonna look like on the other side. And I like your point. Like, I also have a Hilton card too. I don't know. I mean, I'm legacy SPG. Team SPG till I die. Yeah. Sandra. Yeah. Marissa is interesting. But I don't know. I mean, this might be the time that Hilton steps up. I've always I've always enjoyed going to Hilton's Hyatt, I'm probably won't go to. But I am interested. I mean, I do like those two types of cars, because I can diversify my points the most, I think, as opposed to like being just stuck in one spot.

Mike Watson:

Yeah, that's exactly what I think is Dave knows that combination gives you a nice sort of diversity. And yeah, I'm a Delta loyalist. So delta and SPG, kind of go together. So and then pair that with the Amex platinum, you get the lounge access. So yeah, that's sort of my whole strategy. But yeah, I'm totally with you. I think there will probably be a currency devaluation the next few years, especially with airlines don't do a lot of trouble. And so my plan is hopefully things get back to normal sometime in 2021. And so as soon as I do, make it a big travel year, I'll roll rolling a lot of my vacation days over just because when I wasn't able to use a bunch of them, and like what you're saying, point balances are high so strike fast soon as you can just like us on because I totally fully expect some devaluation happened among at least one of the major carriers or brands or something like that. So he's in realism.

Guy Guyton:

So controversial statement. Coming in, but so you don't you know, I've been to delta forever. You remember that time I flew to China to keep my status, literally on a 24 hour flight for this? I don't know, delta is gonna be the spot for this. I just don't I don't know, I think this I mean, I'm not going to spirit ever, but like, this might be the situation where someone actually steps up and changes it one and two. I don't know, if, like, work travel is gonna be as much as it was before. So it's like, how do you find a situation that's more flexible than like, I was consistently find out every single week. And now I don't know if that's gonna be in vain as much anymore. So I don't know if those same benefits are gonna translate. I think it's a good opportunity for some competition.

Mike Watson:

Yeah, yeah, it is a scary prospect. Because like you build up your whole kind of strategy and point balance based on this one thing, or this airline, this one a lion's den have ripped away? I don't know, it's a good question. I'm really hoping Delta, if any of them can make it Delta can because he came into this crisis pretty strong. It looks like it's treating passengers pretty well, like it always does. So I'm really hoping that it comes out just as it came in. But you never know. It's, it's pretty much a toss up. So But yeah, I think the idea of there was fine, more, or maybe at least open to like a status match or a challenge or something like that. Especially one where you know, you're not gonna be sure where you're flying. Yeah, you can do a status match and maybe be like a lower sort of status on multiple airlines, as opposed to like the highest one and a single one, maybe that pans out the next year or two, and then you go back to just choosing one. So yeah, I'm gonna be doing more looking into that more research on it. Because Yeah, I finally we finally got diamond. Yeah, after these mileage runs, and then of course, taken away. Like Marissa says, it wasn't working.

Guy Guyton:

Oh, no. I know, I'm like, why did we do that?

Mike Watson:

Okay, live and learn my soul workout?

Guy Guyton:

Yeah. I mean, I think you bring up a point, right? Like, there's gonna be more, I think there's gonna be more satisfaction, I think there's going to be more room to explore their spots, which is good for us. Because like, we get to diversify our bonds a little bit. But also, I think that means each of the Big Three, are going to have to think more creatively about how they keep their their loyalty. I mean, delta was Delta, United American have the same thing to but there was just so many people, some of the tears, that you didn't get a lot of benefits anyway. So maybe that. So it's hard to say, like, you want to be more inclusive, but also, like, actually create benefits that are meaningful, and I hope everyone learns a lesson from like, SPG, who found a way to do creative things, even if it wasn't like, directly in their hotels. Right.

Mike Watson:

Right. Right, I think there's definitely more ways to get creative. And so maybe they go down that route, where the monetary value isn't like as high for maybe the highest tier, but it's just something nice little perks here and there, that could make a big difference, especially on on airlines where even a smile can make a big difference to the overall experience. Yeah, throwing, throwing, you know, free bag of chips, and I'm a happy camper. You know, it doesn't take much some time. So I'm making, I hope, a video a little bit more, here or there, even if it's not, you know, high priced stuff.

Guy Guyton:

So when are you thinking about travel? What are some of the milestones or things you'd want to see before you felt like, yeah, you know, I'm gonna go international again, or I'm gonna just like, pedal hop to a couple of these cool cities and stuff.

Mike Watson:

Yeah, so we have no plans to travel right now. What we want to see I mean, I don't really know yet, I guess just a general feeling of safety. So maybe next summer, you know, infection rates are incredibly low. Maybe there's a vaccine. And you know, we're close to some type of herd immunity, something like that, where it's just kind of a general knowledge. And CDC is saying, yes, you can travel again, it's okay. Maybe we're traveling for work, also, that type of thing. So that's just an overall air of safety, I think is what we were looking for, which is we just talked to, you know, tough to ascertain. But I'm hoping you know it when you, you know, when you see it.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I don't know what it is. I want to see it.

Mike Watson:

Yeah, yeah. And so until that, I think, you know, I'd be open to traveling for work, if something urgent came up. We haven't talked about traveling until it's a mid next year, but pretty much for us, we are thinking about it. We don't want to fall behind in building out our portfolio. So that's something we're gonna try to be open to. But in terms of like, extra travel, we're gonna try to keep it to a minimum and drive or we can maybe a flight, you know, sometime next year, but yeah, we have no plans really. Just trying to stay conservative.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, yeah, pretty similar here. I don't know what it is either. But I mean, that's obviously a lot of why I'm out here just to be able to do more drives and explore like things locally. Really looking forward to snowboard season I think is gonna be a great season for it. gets easier use my coats obviously.

Mike Watson:

Got to use the coast coming from Northeast.

Guy Guyton:

When you do fly if there's a spot for you.

Mike Watson:

Right Oh, yeah. I see all the space. multitudes of space,

Guy Guyton:

so much room for activities.

Mike Watson:

So much room. Oh, and somebody you said, being able to drive, we have a car. And that's been huge. So it's like bringing a little piece of suburban mobility to the city has been a lifeline for us. So just those little things, you know, being able to drive somewhere and be able to drive to a hike, like, you guys love doing outdoor stuff hiking and snowboarding. And yeah, you get some of that in New York, you can drive or just take the train before to to a mountain. They're not that far. And so you can get outside and get some exercise drive back. And yeah, you're back to the city in an hour or two.

Guy Guyton:

Do you think you would have stayed in the city without access to the car?

Mike Watson:

Yeah, I think we would have. I just think the car was a no brainer, because we had it sitting in Connecticut. Yeah. I think if we didn't have a car, maybe would have rented one. We might have. We have we have a Zipcar account now a membership. Now, we might have just upped that and you know, use the more done the math like, Okay, what point how many Zipcar rides is it makes sense to that just rent a car or lease a car or whatever. So I think we probably will have looked into it pretty, pretty extensively, because having the car has been such a big benefit. But I don't think we would have left the city just because we didn't have fun. Yeah, cuz we were, we were locked into this lease. And so it would have been slightly difficult to break it. I assume. You're working on right now.

Guy Guyton:

I think now, I'm doing a lot of exploring San Fran. So trying to do more like actual like neighborhood by neighborhood guides, which at first, I was kind of just trying to figure out like, what, what are the coolest things to do. And then you know, as Lauren, I go into the city, even though it's quiet, there's still so much going on. So literally exploring, like the culture of each neighborhood, I equated to, if you just go for a walk, one of the things I'd love to do in New York, and I didn't never didn't look forward to like just pick an app and just walk it end to end. And it's like, you find a coffee around the way you find a bakery along the way, you don't really have a set plan. You don't really need anything to do that. And you can kind of experience in the people brain that make that experience a lot better. And it's the same thing that's here. A lot of people in theory have left and a lot of kind of towards the things are closed. But that culture is still here in a lot of ways. So just just exploring more San Fran is one, and then two, I'm really pumped for snowboard season. So when we moved out here, we have a balcony. And we put all of our boxes that didn't really fit. We haven't gone through on our balcony, I'm talking books, electronics, things like that. And we just left it up there because it never rains. It just it wasn't even an issue. It wasn't something we were worried about. We weren't looking we just left it out there. And when it rains here, it almost always translates to snow in Tahoe, which is about a three hour drive away. So rain here the other day, and I told you about that cold front already. You know, I think it's gonna be a fantastic season to just kind of go outside. Plus, like I coughed earlier today. It's November it's the middle of November and out golfing. Like, what is this life?

Mike Watson:

Right, right. It is really I mean, it's really nice. Just feel to get outside, get some fresh air and move around. Yeah, I think that's awesome.

Guy Guyton:

I love it. I'm a little concerned about we did get a recent announcement where gyms that were opening doors for maybe the last month or so month and a half or are closing again coming up on Tuesday in our county. So as we head into winter thinking about how things change from math, but you know, I just built a new computer. I think I'm going to do some more gaming finds inside time to do indoor and kind of go from there. Maybe I'll learn to cook.

Mike Watson:

Yeah, we can always learn to cook better. Yeah, more.

Guy Guyton:

Cool. All right. So Mike, if folks want to reach you, how do they do it?

Mike Watson:

Yeah, I think honestly, my personal Gmail isn't the best among email mostly. So it's MICWatson10@gmail.com. You can hit me on Instagram too @Mikew2179. But emails really the best one for me.

Guy Guyton:

Cool. Cool. Oh, Mike. Appreciate it,

Mike Watson:

man. Thank you guys. It's been awesome. Really fun.

Guy Guyton:

I can't wait to come out there. I'll see you soon.

Mike Watson:

Sounds good.

Guy Guyton:

I rub it Same here. Hey, that's our show for this week. We appreciate Mike providing some insights into how NYC is doing during these times. Feel free to reach out and give him some love from the show. We'll link his info in the show notes below. \ Have any questions about what you heard? reach out to us on Instagram or Facebook at travel with guy ask us a question or just say hi, you can also read the transcript of this episode and more on our website at travel with guide calm. Until next time travelers peace