So long 2012 and thanks for the incredible memories. As I sit here, on the banks of the Mekong River watching the sun set on 2012, I cannot help but smile. Sure, part of that is the large bottle of Beerlao I’m working on. But a much larger part comes from looking back at the past year and the tremendous travel experiences I had.
My final tally for miles flown in 2012 comes in at somewhere over 220,000; I’m not exactly sure as a quick audit shows a few missing routes in my records. Those miles were spread across 106 flights; 54 of those were a route I hadn’t previously flown and two were routes which were inaugurals for the airline. I visited 50 airports, 16 of which were new to me. And I flew on 20 different carriers, excluding regional/express affiliates, 5 of which were new to me.
But it isn’t just the amount of time I spent on a plane that made 2012 so great. I started the year on an Emirates A380, flying in a first class suite from Dubai to London. I finished the year flying from San Francisco to Hong Kong on Singapore Air, getting to experience their first class suite (and first class on Thai Airways’ new A380 as well). I flew the world’s longest flight, from Newark to Singapore and I was on the first flight of the Boeing 747-8i, operated by Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Washington-Dulles. There were three other inaugurals, too, but that was the most significant. I was on flight #1 from two different airlines, both new to me.
My passport got quite a workout; I entered a foreign country more than 20 times. And while many of them were repeat visits to places I’d been before many were new. Laos, Singapore, Slovenia, Macedonia, Ukraine and Switzerland were all first-time visits for me.
I also met up with friends – either by accident or on purpose – around the world. Those were some of the best experiences. From Stockholm to Singapore to Vienna to Portland to Honolulu to San Francisco, I shared meals, drinks and stories with other travelers I’ve met over the years. Great times.
And perhaps the best part is that those good times show no signs of slowing down. I may not be able to start and finish the year in suites this time around but that doesn’t mean the adventures are going to be any less fun or less frequent. At least I sure hope not.
p.s. – Sorry for the lack of photos, maps and other pretty in this post; internet connectivity in Laos is rather hit-or-miss and I’ve mostly been on miss lately. Hopefully this actually posts…
p.p.s. – Seems that there’s a rather nifty way to have TripIt data rendered into something reasonably pretty. I know the total miles number is a bit off but the gist of it is pretty darn close. Here’s the view of my year.