Reflecting on 2016 and 2017 Travel Goals

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What travel goals did you manage in 2016? I achieved almost all of my 2016 goals!

I flew 119 times for business and pleasure last year with 20 airlines, rode 14 long distance trains plus a short cross-border train between Singapore and Malaysia, a few long distance buses and some hire car kilometres. My air flights were mostly concentrated in 14 countries in Asia, Australia/New Zealand and the Middle East with no European or US flights at all, as seen here:

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My goals for 2016 were to:

  1. Visit two new countries which I exceeded by going to Egypt, The Maldives, Philippines and Sri Lanka. This brings me to 64 countries I have visited in my life! My eventual aim is 99 nations visited -so 35 to go, God willing. It was amazing to finally see the Pyramids. Big tick on the bucket list. Not an easy place to travel but utterly fascinating. We fell in love with Sri Lanka and would happily re visit. img_5877
  2. Fly two new Airlines which I also exceeded by adding One World member Sri Lankan (Delightful), Philippines Airlines (pleasant) and tiny Australian carrier Free Spirit (unique).
  3. Maintain Qantas Platinum – achieved meaning I keep First Class check-in, boarding and lounge privileges on all of the One World carriers plus Emirates. I also achieved Virgin Australia Gold Status which gives me reciprocal rights with Delta Airlines, Etihad and Singapore Airlines amongst other airlines.
  4. Fly the  Boeing 787 Dreamliner which I did with four airlines:
    ~Jetstar Airways Business Melbourne to Singapore (Rating: 75%)
    ~LATAM Business Sydney to Auckland (Rating: 70%)
    ~Scoot Air (twice) Business to Sydney (Rating: 68%)
    ~Thai Airways Business to Bangkok (Rating: 88%)
  5. Fly the Airbus 350 which I sadly missed out when Thai Airways to get the plane certified by the Australian authorities following issues with the Thai aviation watchdog. I got a lovely 777 flight instead!

Oh, did I mention I got married in Wellington, New Zealand? 🙂

Other highlights were going to Uluru (Ayers Rock), running in a fun run in Hobart, Australia, catching up on good food in Singapore, enjoying Legoland Malaysia and spending Christmas in Bethlehem (picture below).

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Behlehem outside the Church of the Natvity

For the travel nerd in me, flying with Qantas on their A380 in First Class (review to come) was a delight. I flew my 35oth flight on a Boeing 737 and I travelled through two airports whose codes which begin with the letter “U” resulting in me having flown to airports which have codes starting with 24 letters of the alphabet!

Lowlights were surprisingly few. No major travel hassles, a couple of minor irritations and one awful Air Asia flight.

My other hope last year was to we see some sense globally with people seeking ways to create more peace and less violence in our world. This feels stuck with leaders seemingly focused on power, ego, and suspicion. I have never been more pessimistic for the world. I will still keep on travelling and hope to foster positive dialogues and relationships as I do.

How about your highlights and lowlights?

So for 2017:

  1. Another two new countries-one of which will be Japan
  2. To fly JAL to get to or from Japan, of course
  3. To fly S7 which if I also fly JAL, will mean I have flown every One World carrier
  4. Get on the elusive (for me) Airbus 350
  5. Run five fun runs/half marathons in five cities

I hope 2o17 is a great year for you.

Some 2016 Trip Reports:

2016 Place Reviews

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