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Hey MileValue readers! It’s been a little while, and the world looks more than a little different since the last time we spoke. Things are looking different for this website as well, with new ownership and a new era on the horizon.

When COVID-19 started to spread across North America in March–and the pandemic took hold–things behind the scenes for us shifted quickly and drastically, as they did for many businesses. MileValue as it is currently structured has two major revenue sources:

  • Commissions from credit card sign ups (when you apply for a credit card through one of our links)
  • The Award Booking Service

Travel came to a screeching halt so both revenue sources all but dried up. I’m not asking for sympathy, I know that as a business owner I had it very easy compared to many others. My overhead costs were not high. Unforeseeable circumstances are just a reality of doing business and life in general.

Over the following few months the thought of selling MileValue, which was already lingering in the back of my mind, became more and more appealing. Doing so had always been a part of my long term plan, as I had my sites set on a different career. The pandemic just moved my timeline up.

My focus has shifted. I feel sure when I say that MileValue is now in the right hands with 10XTravel, hands that want to focus on feeding this community with what it needs to travel for pennies on the dollar. I’ll certainly be following what happens closely, and I doubt this will be the last time you’ll hear from me. Chasing and spending miles and points for free travel are in my blood for life. I’ll be calculating CPM’s and pontificating about value forever.

Thank You’s

Thank you to Scott Grimmer, the founder of MileValue, who gave me the opportunity to get involved when he hired me back in 2015, and sold the business to me at the end of 2017.

Scott Grimmer, founder of MileValue

Thanks to Kevin Bathke and Daniel Gus, MileValue’s newest team members who joined the Award Booking Service last year. Kevin also started contributing content this year under the pseudonym K2. You were a joy to work with, guys. Thanks for helping me improve the business in numerous ways. And thank you to all of MileValue’s prior employees for all you contributed!

Kevin Bathke, award booker & contributing author
Daniel Gus, award booker

The biggest thank you goes out to all of you. Thanks to all of you who kept MileValue afloat and engaged me, the MileValue team, and the rest of this community over the years. Thanks for using our links to apply for credit cards and for hiring us to book your award trips. Most importantly, thanks for reading.

And of course, I want to thank Bryce Conway and the team at 10xTravel for leading MileValue into its next iteration, and in turn helping me to enter mine. I greatly look forward to seeing what comes next, for Milevalue and myself.

What I’m Planning Next

At 21, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). I was thrown for a loop to say the least. At 22, after a year of wrapping my head around the diagnosis and getting my health under control, I moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The diagnosis was an impetus for the move, but I wasn’t running away. I wanted a fresh start with fresh faces. I returned to the US continuously over the years for the majority of my healthcare needs while maintaining Buenos Aires as a home base. A huge part of what enabled me to travel back to the US and beyond as much as I have over the last eight years was airline miles.

Me in Buenos Aires, 2019

I am extremely grateful that my MS has not progressed to a point that is debilitating for me. In my opinion that’s thanks to an early diagnosis, disease-modifying therapies, great doctors, a healthy lifestyle, and a hell of a support network. I have fought hard to get to where I am today with my health, which is actually in most ways better than before I was diagnosed. One of my favorite books, the Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff, mentions the Chinese proverb: “One disease, long life; no disease, short life.” I have been humbled by my condition and learned to treat my body and life like I only have one.

I am also grateful for the cutting edge medicine and technology in the United States that enables me to stay on top of my chronic illness. That being said, paying for it has been and may continue to be a war I will wage for a lifetime. One of the biggest skills I’ve grown over the years in relation to my MS is how to advocate for myself as a patient. It’s expensive to pay for a chronic illness in the United States, which demands resources in various forms: money, energy, and time. It can be very difficult to provide enough of all three of those resources when chronically ill, particularly if you’re choosing Western medicine for at least part of your treatment regiment. Health insurance is complicated, and tends to get more complicated when health and medical issues arise. All of these factors create stress that, in my opinion, feed disease and therefore perpetuate a vicious cycle.

And now I want to help. In what capacity I’m not sure yet, but I’m considering a few different paths. I want to help people navigate their healthcare, provide emotional support, and teach them tools to learn to advocate for themselves so they can get the most out of relationships with their providers. I want to disrupt the vicious cycle as best I can.

If any of you out there have advice, insight, connections, whatever, I’m all ears. I’m in the learning, listening, and connecting phase of this career shift.

In the meantime…

I’m tutoring SAT and ACT Verbal for a company called Onsen Education. With years of professional writing under my belt and previous teaching experience before MileValue, it turns out tutoring english skills is a pretty good fit. Not to mention it’s remote and flexible, which is ideal in a time of flux. If anyone is looking for private tutoring for any test or subject, get in touch with Onsen. We’ve worked with students in over a dozen countries.

Bottom Line is changing hands. I will leave the explanation of what it’s going to look like moving forward to the team at 10xTravel, but I think you’ll find it interesting at the very least. I do know they intend to keep up and even expand the Award Booking Service, so you won’t be left in the dust to plan your own mileage bookings.

With a nostalgic but happy heart, today I say farewell to you as the owner and organizer of MileValue. Follow @sarahpmaxwell on Instagram to accompany me on my journey with patient advocacy!

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