Curious how many miles I traveled? How many countries I have been? And how my 2017 flight schedule looked like? In this blog I am recapping all my trips of 2017 and I collected some cool statistics about my travels. Plus some insight in my travel plans for 2018.
In 2008 I traveled around the world for exactly 1 year and kept track of a lot of crazy statistics like in how many different beds I slept, how many hours I spent in busses and how many stamps I collected in my passport. Unfortunately I stopped doing this nowadays, but a recent post about ‘the 50 most traveled bloggers’ triggered me to figure out some of my statistics. Nope unfortunately I was not mentioned in that list, which is a shame as I figured out I would have easily made it to the top 15!
Up until 2015 I tracked all my flights on flightradar24.com, a cool tool for people that travel a lot and like to keep track of their flights over the years. I figured out that I took close to 40 flights this year so it was a bit of work to fill out everything but this is the result.
As you can see I only traveled to 3 different continents and visited 24 countries. In some countries I stayed only 3 hours (Gibraltar) but in Indonesia and Australia I spent a couple months. In total I flew more than 80,000 miles and including my overland trips I traveled over 85,000 miles in 2017. This would have ranked me #11 on the list of most traveled bloggers of the year 2017 by the way.
I sat in planes for more than 190 hours. That is almost 8 days! Only 2 times I flew business class with Qatar Airways, all the other flights I sat in Economy unfortunately. Really gotta work on that! :)
Somehow Istanbul airport turned out to be my 'favorite' hub. I seriously gotta do something about that too, as I really hate that chaotic airport with very limited free WiFi options. Istanbul is an amazing city but to get in I have to €30 for a visa which holds me back from visiting the city for a day or two. I rather hub in Qatar, Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
Yes I also know the planes that flew with produced more than 15 ton CO2, I am aware of that. But what can I do? Stop traveling? I am sorry, I can't! At least I only drove about 4,000 miles on the road plus some off-road adventures like here on my roadtrip in Israel.
A summary of my travels in 2017
Last year was an enormous break through for my adventure travel blog and before this year I never really considered myself a blogger. It all started with my first travel blogger event in Istanbul: World Toursim Forum. Somehow I was invited and found myself in the middle of all these successful travel bloggers. This was such an inspiration that I really started to believe in a life as a full time blogger, but there was a long road to go.
All the bloggers together in Istanbul.
I climbed the Edirne mosque minaret on a daytrip from Istanbul.
From Australia to Asia
I was working and living in Australia on a working holiday visa before and after my trip to Istanbul.
And it was already mid May when I left Australia and flew from Sydney to Tel Aviv, visiting Israel for the first time on invitation of Vibe Israel. Even before our amazing roadtrip through Israel I experienced my first Burn at Midburn, the second biggest Burning Man Festival in the world. I had such an amazing time in this much questioned country, but when you haven't been you cant really judge!
Crazy days at Midburn Festival.
The face of a straight guy seeing the first woman on the Gay parade in Tel Aviv.
Being recognized from Snapchat on the streets in Tel Aviv.
Taking a selfie with the Death Sea, the lowest point on earth.
I had a little stopover in Hong Kong on my way from Tel Aviv to Bali, but I was actually looking forward spending at least two months in Indonesia. I did my first house sitting job, I did the Mount Rinjani trekking and started my weekly adventure blog.
Climbing Mount Rinjani got me one of my favorite photos of 2017. What do you think?
The magical coastline of Nusa Penida.
Click on the photo to read about my adventure on the Gili islands close to Bali.
The amazing places to see in North Bali, including lakes, mountains and waterfalls.
The dinosaur shaped beach is just one of the many amazing things to see in Nusa Penida.
But the best of all I got invited by the Indonesian Tourism Board to join the Trip of Wonders. On an organized press trip with 8 other amazing bloggers I discovered some cool off the beaten path locations like Lake Toba in Sumatra, Tana Toraja in Sulawesi and learned about the Dutch historical sites in Central Java. My time in Indonesia was so incredible that I seriously fell in love with this country.
The burial caves in Tana Toraja Sulawesi.
One of my favorite trips of 2017: Trip of Wonders with the Indonesia Tourism Board.
Back to Asia again
I had to choose a flight out of Indonesia and headed towards Amsterdam to see my friends and family after a long time on the road. It was great to be back in summer in the Netherlands but not for long as I was heading back to Asia where I was invited to attend the International Travel Expo in Ho Chi Minh City and got to chance to visit Mekong Delta again after 8 years.
Unfortunately I could not connect my Vietnam trip and my Maldives trip so I first flew back to Holland and 3 days later again to the Maldives for the World Travel Writers’ Conference, where I did my first public speaking job. See this recap created by Maldives TV.
Of course I stayed longer in this magical country. Islandlife is my life! And wouldn’t you do the same if you had the opportunity to stay two more weeks in the most amazing resorts in the Maldives?
One of my favorite resorts in Maldives: Lux South Ari Atoll.
It is not always fun in paradise, click on the picture to read what happened!
The most asked question after 3 weeks in Maldives: wasn’t it boring? Don’t forget that I am a digital nomad and also work during my travels. So imagine your office would be in a 5 star resort, what would be your answer? ;)
Trip through Europe
Once I got back from paradise I was supposed to go on a trip to visit all the Balkan countries after I completed my press trip to Lesvos Island in Greece.
A week later I took a bus to London for $25. It was not the most comfortable trip, but I made it to World Travel Market in London and made a lot of great connections in the travel industry before I took an overnight bus to Edinburgh. It was super cold, but I was happy to be in Scotland for the first time.
As you see I do take busses sometimes not just flights, it just comes down what is the cheapest way to travel. Yes if you are looking for budget tips on how to travel the world I can help you out for sure. Most of you probably know but I am now traveling the world continuously since December 2012. How I afford to travel forever? Read my story in the link.
I was on a trip through Europe with just my hand luggage so catching flights with Ryanair (I hate them, but I use them wherever I can! LOL) was easy and cheap and I flew from Edinburgh to Porto to pick up a campervan for my roadtrip in Portugal.
I discovered that I really liked Portugal as well as the city Porto.
A vanlife trip had been on my bucketlist forever!
I made a detour to see the crazy 'country' Gibraltar.
Via Gibraltar I ended up in Valencia from where I took a flight to another country I had never been: Malta. I didn’t get the feel with Malta but in the end I wanted to stay longer. I couldn't because I had to go back to Holland to repack my stuff for another blogging trip: Georgia. The warm-hearted people in this former Soviet country pleasantly surprised me. Stay tuned as soon I will write about my adventures in Batumi as well as about my trip from last week to the Alps where I was finally able to get back on my snowboard again after 2,5 years.
How I choose my trips
To be honest 2017 was not even a crazy busy year in terms of traveling when I compare it to 2013 and 2014. Those years I got close to getting into a plane every week and definitely traveled more miles than this year. I actually really miss those days, as traveling was different before I was blogging. Don’t get me wrong I am still not sick of traveling, but becoming a blogger changed a lot. Yes I still choose my own destinations, but I also have to think about the business aspect of this job, because somehow I have to fund all these trips (unless you are willing to donate money :P). Therefore I can only accept trips that cover all my expenses. It is not that I get snobby it is just that I am not in the position to keep on spending money unfortunately. But I am sure you can understand. So please forgive me for going back to Maldives again in a couple weeks!
Travel plans for 2018
That said I am really gonna do my best to squeeze in some trips to countries where I want to go myself. My goal for 2018 is to explore the Central Asia countries: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan. On top of that I want to take my dad to Nepal and hike up to Everest Basecamp with him as well as showing my mom how magical Bali can be.
A magical morning from the ricefields in Bali. Like this a compiled a blog post with all my breakfast photos from around the world.
For sure I will be around in Southeast Asia this summer season living my favorite island life. I have not been to Thailand for more than 16 months now, which is a shame considering the fact that I have been to the Country of Smile 17 times in the 7 years before. Now you know why I wrote so many Thailand blogs. ;)
Oh yeah I stay tuned as I am going to organize my first group trip to make it possible to travel with me! When? Somewhere in October 2018. Where? East coast Australia! So don’t read my article about all the things I don’t like about Australia! LOL ;)
For the rest I will see where my blog will take me and I am open to all kind of trips that will be offered to me. Hopefully I get back to my beloved South America again. Between 2008 and 2014 I made 3 big trips and stayed more than a year in Latin America and Brazil, but I haven't been back since. Seeing some more of Africa would be great too and it is not a goal but it would be cool to get to a 100 countries, which means I have to travel to 14 new countries in 2018.
Thanks again for keeping up with Traveltomtom. Because of you guys I am able to live this life so from the bottom of my heart: THANKS A MILLION!