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2010: My Year in Travel

Visiting Spain was one of my highlights of the year

Visiting Spain was one of my highlights of the year

2010 is a year I am looking forward to putting behind me. The passing of my father was the single biggest event of the last year, which left a scar on everything. It will be difficult for 2011 to be worse.

It was also a year in which I traveled both the more and less than I did in any of the previous four years. Here is a quick summary of the places I visited in 2010:

  • Fiji
  • Australia
  • Thailand
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Canadian Atlantic Provinces
  • South Africa
  • Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City
  • Aruba
  • Bonaire
  • Curacao
  • Las Vegas
  • Honolulu

South Africa was also one of the highlights of the year

South Africa was also one of the highlights of the year

That is a lot of travel for most people, but it really wasn’t that much for me considering what I’ve been doing the last few years.

At the same time, I did an awful lot of flying this year. It was also the first year I gave attention to my frequent flyer programs that I belong to. Believe it or not, during the first two years of my travels, I didn’t pay any attention to earning frequent flyer miles. Lets just say I’m making up for that with a vengeance now. I achieved Silver Medallion status on Delta and Premier status on United. Having elite status has totally changed flying for me.

In terms of travel, the biggest thing for me this year wasn’t where I went so much as what I did. I got to experience some really amazing this year including: covering political protest in Thailand, eating amazing meals in Spain, swimming with great white sharks, hot air ballooning, taking part in an Indian Holi festival. SCUBA diving in Aruba and Curacao, driving 6,000 miles to Newfoundland, speaking at BlogWorld in Las Vegas, eating at my first Michelin Three Star Restaurant: L’atelier, and getting a medical check-up in Thailand.

Changes In How I Travel

My travel year started in Fiji

My travel year started in Fiji

2010 also brought about a change in how I travel. Prior to last year most of my travel was sequential. I’d move from one place to the next and so on. Last year I spent more time jumping around, which is how I amassed so many frequent flyer miles. Part of this is due to getting more offers from destinations to vist their country. I’m able to visit places for much less cost (always a good thing) and get access to more interesting activities than I would if I were traveling independently. Also, just being able to change locations frequently is appealing if for no other reason than it provides a change of pace.

In what would seem like a rather innocuous change, I switched from a backpack to a bag with wheels this year. It has been a major relief on my back. So far, there has been no downside to forgoing the backpack.

As mentioned above, I’m not elite status on Delta and United. Flying with elite status has totally changed my flying experience. While I am still not a fan of flying, not having to deal with lines and first class upgrades makes the entire experience much better. I am an elite status convert and I’m sort of miffed at myself that I didn’t do this sooner.

Travel Plans for 2011

So far, my January is looking pretty boring. I have nothing scheduled and if I go anywhere, it will probably be within the US or maybe the Caribbean.

February and March are looking pretty busy. In February I will be in Puerto Rico and Spain. In March I will be on the island of Lanai in Hawaii, SXSW in Texas, and attending the LA Times Travel Show. There is also the possibility of a trip to Thailand in there as well.

In May I’ll be back to Europe on a cruise from Venice to Barcelona as well as visiting some more spots in Spain. In June I’ll be speaking at TBEX in Vancouver as well as taking a pre-TBEX trip in Canada.

At some point this year I’ll also be taking a tour with Gap Adventures. I’m currently thinking of going to the Galapagos or Antarctica.

I also have some big projects which I’ll be announcing over the next few months.

I’m really looking forward to 2011 and I hope to meet all of you on the road!

  • 20 Comments... What's your take?

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Comments

  1. starralex76 says:

    wow!! not bad course. you choose a lot of really interesting places to visiting. great man, good luck with traveling

  2. starralex76 says:

    wow!! not bad course. you choose a lot of really interesting places to visiting. great man, good luck with traveling

  3. Brian says:

    Of all your places traveled, Fiji is the one I’d love to visit. Have fun in your travels.

  4. 2011 doesnt sound too boring to me!

  5. My home state is WI…southern part with relatives all over the state, looks like the only place our paths would cross! I’ve enjoyed following your adventures. Best to you in 2011.

  6. Death, difficult; it was my grandmother – who I was very close to – just the other month, whilst I’m here in China. As for Galapagos or Antarctica? Myself, having visited both of them (2003) … Antarctica is it.

    the candy trail … a nomad across the planet, since 1988

  7. Losing one’s father is incredibly painful. I’m in my thirties now, but when I was in college, my dad became very ill, and the doctors couldn’t figure out why he was dying. He ended up having a rare disease for his demographic, and they caught it just in time; but even today, I can’t think about the words, “Your father is dying” without getting teary eyed. I am so sorry for your loss. In Spanish we say, “Mi mas sentido pésame.”

    On a brighter note, you sure managed to do a lot in 2010. And 2011 looks like it’s going to be a blast! I would pick the Galapagos over Antarctica, but that’s probably because I picture it as a place where only people like Ernest Shackleton go. Plus seeing a Galapagos tortoise would be amazing!

    I’ll be at SXSW in March, so hopefully I’ll run into you.

  8. marianney says:

    i am really sorry to hear about your father. :(

    however, it sounds like you still had an amazing year nonetheless. looking forward to hearing more about 2011 for you.

  9. Andi says:

    I am so so so sorry about your Dad. I didn’t know. :(

    I wish you nothing but the most amazing adventures in 2011!!!

  10. Laura says:

    What a 2010 you had in terms of travel! It sounds like you’ve got some exciting things in the works for this year too – I’m looking forward to reading about the Antarctica/Galapagos trip for sure. And you’re right about the elite status, I first made it 3 years ago and never looked back. The upgrades, miles accumulation, lounges and short lines make flying so much better!

  11. nateniale says:

    Amazing plans for the year! Would be looking forward to the stories from your travels, especially on Galapagos or Antarctica – either way!

  12. Deidra says:

    Looking forward to your talk at TBEX Vancouver. See you there! Happy New Year!

  13. Baron's Life says:

    I’m very sorry about your Dad’s passing. May he rest in peace..my sincere condolences.

    Wishing you a better 2011…Happy New Year to you

  14. Jim says:

    The passing of one’s father is a significant event in one’s life…I just hope my kids realise that when I move on. :-)
    Galapagos and Antarctica…? How you going to choose? That’s a toughie.

  15. Sorry to hear about the passing of your father. I lost mine 13 years ago this April. I hope 2011 brings good fortune and travel for you.

  16. Elaine says:

    Hi Gary, How do you fund your trips these days? Do you get deals from other countries now that they know about your blog?

  17. Magda says:

    Galapagos is a great choice! I went there last year, spent amazing 10 days. Go if you can!
    I went there independenty (without a cruise), so if this is something you think of doing let me know if I could help you in any way.

  18. Yaaaaaaaay, Gary!!! :)

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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