My Musings (Sundays)

Category Archives for My Musings (Sundays).

China was the 75th Country I have visited!

After just over half a century of travelling, I have visited my 75th country. An average of 1.5 countries per year through my life. I think this puts me in the top 1 percent of travellers vis a vis countries visited! 27 of those countries are in Asia with 24 countries in Europe, 11 in Central and North America, seven in the Pacific region, four in Africa and just two in South America. Apparently, the average Australian has visited six countries. This is lower than the average Brit (10 countries), but higher than the average…

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100,000+ miles to 9 countries-Overview of My 2017 Travel Year

I remarked recently to a friend that this had been a very quiet year for me for flying. “A quiet year?”, he repeated with a wry smile noting this year I visited nine countries- mostly in Asia. Four were very familiar: Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and five were new for me: China, Finland, Japan, Lao and The Philippines. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them but would be less likely to return to Lao than the others. I flew 50 times this year -around once a week. This is lower than my average 88 flights per year…

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My New Year’s Eve 2017 Sorted!

Each year choosing a destination to ring in the new year usually comes down to where we can find the best deal and/or where I can cash in some Frequent Flyer points. I have now celebrated NY Eve in 15 different cities including Sydney, Australia, Dallas, Texas and Cebu, Philippines. Thanks to some excess Delta points, I was never going to use, we are off to Shanghai, China for the Western New Year 2017/2018. This will be the first time I have actually set foot in China (as opposed to traveling through).  China will be the …

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Measuring Star, Skyteam, One World – Which is the “BEST” airline alliance?

Every airline passenger will have seen the name and logos of the three big airline alliances carrying almost two out of three of the world’s airline passengers.  The names adorn planes, airline marketing materials, boarding passes, in flight magazines and airport signs. All three of the big US airlines (American, Delta and United) are linked to one of the alliances.  In Europe, it is the same with the three major airline groups. There are also three smaller and newer alliances: U fly, Vanilla, Value. I list of all the members of the alliances at the…

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Las Vegas Shock 

Like most of the world, I am in a state of shock over Las Vegas. The numbers are boggling. At least 50 people who were enjoying themselves have had their lives snuffed out. Over 400 have gone to hospitals. Accusations and recriminations won’t bring back the dead. Reflection and wisdom will prevent future actions like this. Thoughts and prayers to all those affected and impacted.

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3 September 1967: Sweden switches Road sides

I have been having an on-going debate with a US friend about which is the best side of the road to drive on. I have lived most of my life in left hand driving countries. Most of the world, however, drives on the right. Fifty years ago today, Sweden switched the side of the road they drove on from left side to the right side. This fascinating video explains that “fateful day”: These images show the impact on streets: Stockholm’s tram system was shut down as a result of the change. It was resurrected in…

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Off to Japan

Japan will be my 69th country – and my 18th Asian country. (After Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam). I have been fascinated with Japan since studying it in my High School Modern History class. From the Edo Period with 260 years of stability and isolation ending in 1912 before the country slid into militarism culminating sadly in World War Two. Then came the last 60 years with its massive economic and technological growth. Home to 127 million with 35 million people…

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Excitement of Qantas Gold for Life Muted by Qantas non reaction

In the 2009 movie “Up in the Air”, George Clooney fantasises about the time, he will hit ten million miles. When it finally happens and the airline hands him his rare ten million miler club card, he is lost for words. I have just reached “Lifetime Gold” with Qantas after 20 years in their Frequent Flyer Program. This means I get all of the Gold-level perks including: 75% bonus on points Business Class check-in Greater checked baggage allowances (which I rarely use) Airport lounge access, and better access to upgrades For the rest of my life…

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162nd Blog in Top 1000+ Travel Bloggers

The Top 1000+ Travel bloggers started in April 2014 with 1000 travel bloggers and 700 additional bloggers have since joined the community. The main objective of this success tracking program is to give each blogger a regular personal score that reflects as accurately as possible their success in their activity – in this case, blogging about travel.   The #travel1k score has been designed to measure digital & online influence. The scoring algorithm is not perfect but it is an interesting measure. For a numbers nerd like me, it is fascinating! My ranking is 162nd…

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