Last year, I travelled too much. By my final trip to Kiev almost exactly a year ago, cities and trips were blurring into one another, I was on first name terms with most of the easyJet cabin crew, and I'd re-qualified for my gold frequent flier card with several months to spare. I was so sick of being away from my family that I would catch the 6am flight to my destination and the 11pm flight home the same day, in a vain attempt to minimise my time away from home.
As I stepped off my final flight of the year, I have no problem admitting I was a little emotional. Not because the year's travel was coming to an end but because I was reminded that just a few years ago I was so scared of flying that the very idea of getting on a plane was enough to make me feel nauseous. Overcoming my fear of flying remains one of my biggest personal achievements. I'm proud of myself, quite frankly.
I'm able to write this post a little earlier than usual as my trip to Istanbul was my last trip of 2011. This is the fourth year I've done this summary but I used a new tool to come up with the miles. In the past I've used the awesome Great Circle Mapper but this year I stumbled across OpenFlights which is a bit more weapon's grade. It spits out neat analysis of all the flights you enter, some of which I've listed below. So for 2011 I did 29 flights covering 80,732 miles, down substantially from last year's 103, 828 miles on 36 flights. But still a heck of a lot of travel. I made a conscious effort to travel less this year so I could spend more time with my wife and son and it seems to have worked.
On our way home from California last month, somewhere over Greenland, I broke through the 100,000 mile mark for travel in 2010. In keeping with the past (2009, 2008) I've put together a "year in travel" review, for posterity if nothing else.
Inspired by my buddy Josh Spear I decided to compile a list of cities I went to in 2009. My travel 2009 wasn't as epic as 2008 but I still count myself very lucky that I'm able to travel so much.
2008 was a ridiculous year of travel. Nearly 100,000 miles. Multiple, non-consecutive stays are noted with asterisks. London, England *
San Francisco, California *
Livermore, California *
New York, New York *
Paris, France *
Amsterdam, Netherlands *
Los Angeles, California *
Long Beach, California *
Johannesburg, South Africa