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2014 was a great year of travel for me, and hopefully for you too.
Last year (2013) was a year of deep and broad travel since I spent almost six months in Argentina and another two months flying through 21 total countries. I spent over nine months outside the United States
This year (2014) was focused on three main trips with much more time spent at my home base on Oahu:
- Fly the best First Classes / see SE Asia / follow UVA basketball through the ACC and NCAA tournaments.
- World Cup
- Start of a nine month trip to follow Summer through South America and Europe (next summer.)
COUNTRIES VISITED (14)
In chronological order (excluding countries where I never left the airport):
- United States (9 months; Hawaii: 7.5 months; mainland: 1.5 months)
- Macau (1 day)
- Singapore (4 days)
- Cambodia (8 days)
- United Kingdom (2 days)
- Slovenia (4 days)
- Brazil (10 days)
- Hong Kong (4 days)
- China (3 days)
- South Korea (5 days)
- North Korea (2 minutes)
- Colombia (28 days)
- Argentina (24 days)
- Chile (5 days)
All of these countries were new except the United States, United Kingdom, and Argentina. My total is now 55 (counting England, Wales, Macau, Hong Kong, and China separately):
PREMIUM AIRLINE CABINS FLOWN (12)
In chronological order (with links to trip reports):
- United BusinessFirst 4x (flat bed)
- Cathay Pacific First Class
- Cathay Pacific Business Class
- Singapore First Class
- Lufthansa First Class on a 747-8
- United Global First 2x
- Asiana First Class on an A380
- Avianca Business Class
Unfortunately six of these premium cabins were the front of United planes, which are comfortable but not exactly luxurious.
My favorite flights were in Cathay Pacific First Class and Asiana First Class.
MILES FLOWN (88,392)
- 88,392 miles flown over 45 segments
- If I had flown all these as paid flights on one airline like United or American, I wouldn’t even have top tier status!
- Longest flight: JFK to Hong Kong in Cathay Pacific First Class (8,072 miles)
- Shortest flight: Honolulu to Kahului, Maui (100 miles)
- Favorite flight: JFK to Hong Kong in Cathay Pacific First Class. 16 hours wasn’t long enough
- Runner up: Puerto Williams to Punta Arenas, Chile in the front row over the mountains, fjords, and oceans of Patagonia with a view of the cockpit
FAVORITE MOMENTS OF TRAVEL
- Biking the walls of Angkor Thom in Cambodia.
- Jumping into the FREEZING cold Beagle Channel in Puerto Williams, Chile
- Trekking 4 days in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
- Watching the last few minutes of the United States loss to Belgium in the World Cup as we mounted a frantic comeback surrounded by Americans and Brazilians at the FIFA Fan Zone in Sao Paulo.
- Playing two USTA National Championship tournaments in Palm Springs, CA and Tucson, AZ with great friends from Hawaii.
- Celebrating at the Obelisk in downtown Buenos Aires when River Plate won the Copa Sudamericana soccer tournament.
- Being at all three UVA games at the first ACC tournament we’ve won since 1976. Being at all three NCAA tournament games including the Sweet 16 loss at Madison Square Garden with my brother.
- Haircuts and a shave in Medellin, Colombia and the Indian section of Singapore.
- Cliff jumping from 30 feet at several spots on Oahu and Maui.
- Flying a friend to Oahu and Maui with Avios to spend a week together.
- The nightlife-turning-into-daylife in Sao Paulo, Rio, Bogota, Medellin, and Buenos Aires.
- Hiking the Great Wall of China with my brother.
- A bike tour of rural livelihoods in Battambang, Cambodia.
- The DMZ between North and South Korea.
- Hiking to Sai Wan in Hong Kong and discovering a beautiful beach and natural pool.
- Meeting new friends along the way.
- Reconnecting with old friends from previous trips.
- Visiting family.
Upon reading the list, I’m struck by how idiosyncratic my favorite moments were. Surely most of my readers wouldn’t have enjoyed many of my favorite moments. What’s great about miles is that they work for you to make your dream trips happen. They are not one size fits all. We can all be a part of the same community even though we have wildly different travel styles and goals.
What were your travel stats for 2014? More importantly, what were your best travel memories from this year?