2017: My Year of Travel

It’s that time of year again!

No, not the one and only time a year I update my blog. Well, maybe it’s that too. But what I mean is: it’s time for my annual travel round-up.

I kicked 2017 off by spending nearly the whole first month away from home, visiting a friend in Vancouver and then hopping aboard the Amtrak train down to Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco.

That’s a big-ass train if ever there was one.

I then added in three brand new countries before the first half of the year was up: Turkey, Wales, and Hungary. And that’s not taking into account some standard work and dutiful-daughter-returns-home trips. It was a busy start to the year!

But then things calmed down in a big way post-August to the point that October saw the start to a 6-week stint in Dublin. That might not sound like much but, in an effort to prove my sister wrong about it being some kind of record, I actually found out that she was right; it was the longest I have spent home since November 2015. Whew! After a few weeks away in November, I then spent another 6 weeks back in Dublin. It’s actually been really lovely to rekindle my romance with my very own bed but it did make me think that there would be a noticeable drop in my travel numbers this year…

Well, let’s see about that, shall we?

This year I travelled an estimated total of 78,853km – that’s almost equivalent to circumnavigating the earth twice. And not only is it not less than I travelled last year, it’s a whole 16,194km more. It took me around 162 hours, which is just under an entire week. I don’t even want to think about adding in the time spent in airports or stations waiting for a flight, waiting for a bag, waiting on a layover…

My longest journey was 18.5 hours: Portland > Denver > Munich > Malta. My knees still hurt. (I turned 30 this year, it’s acceptable to talk about this stuff now.)

I spent a total of 154 days away from home, which is roughly 42% of the time. Weirdly, that’s the biggest percentage since I started keeping track in 2015. Did you miss me, friends?

I’m closing out 2017 with 37 countries under my belt (and a couple of new states and territories). A nice overshoot of the ’30 before 30′ goal I once set myself. Next year’s goal: 40 countries. Considering that I’m already planning trips to 2 or 3 new ones, I daresay that’ll happen.

37 countries down, 158 to go!

Other fun facts and memories from this year’s travels:

  • I slept in 21 different beds while travelling, 2 of which were in tents, and I don’t recall being confused even once. Woo! Adaptability skill level maxed. I did, however, wake up freaked out once, convinced there was someone in my apartment. There wasn’t. I locked every single door anyway ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • I ate billionaire bacon and met a billionaire in San Francisco

I told you so.

  • $40 credit + 1 deadly Lyft driver = an unexpected midnight adventure around San Francisco and meeting two cute raccoons on Treasure Island
  • The reason for one of my trips was to finally see one of my favourite bands live: System of a Down. Ah!
  • I drank hot buttered rum while looking at Krist Novoselic’s tooth and being told its story by a bartender in Seattle
  • Speaking of drinking, I drank gin in 20 different cities and was part of a party of 5 who drank a bar dry in Poland
  • I also unwittingly ended up drinking hot chocolate in a christian rock café in Budapest
  • My Hungarian road trip clocked in at 666km \m/ (which, I now realise, I never included in the total above. Ah well.)
  • I passed off my pyjamas as real clothes in 3 different cities yet I still manage to spend hours trying to figure out what to pack every. single. time.
  • And I did all of that smoke-free, having kicked a 13-year habit. Go me!

These numbers and facts and stories are great to look back on but they don’t capture all the other journeys that have made 2017 an incredible year in my book. Some of my trips this year have been focused on putting myself in challenging spaces and learning more about myself than I thought possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if next year the travel slows down (a little) while I explore this side of life some more. To that end, I plan to use my blog a little differently moving forward and focusing on more than just travel. Watch this space.

I’ll leave you with some photos to round up my year. Here’s to 2018 and all the journeys it holds!


L: Being dorks in Seattle // R: Taking off in a dark and rainy Dublin

Istanbul is simultaneously beautiful and odd

Cardiff Bay

Ghost at Cardiff University Students’ Union

Budapest looking incredible by night

L: Summer in Glengarriff, Ireland // R: Winter in Auschwitz, Poland

System of a Down at Tauron Arena, Krakow

An Amanda Fucking Palmer ninja gig at Her Upstairs, London

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1 Response

  1. Sarah says:

    Yaaaaay! So good to see you and this blog back!!! xxx (Big sis – who won the bet… what did I win?!)

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