Wow. I think that’s the best word to sum up the traveling we did in 2014. I knew when I looked ahead at the plans for 2014 it would be a busy year, but now looking back on it I really see just how much we experienced throughout the year. What an amazing and wonderful year this has been. Check it out…
Countries Visited: 9
- Belgium, Belize, Canada, France, Honduras, Mexico, Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States (yep, I’m counting the US because we did lots of exploring around home this year)
New Countries Visited: 4
- Belgium, Belize, Honduras, Mexico
Most Countries Visited in One Day: 3
- Belgium, France, and United Kingdom
Flights Taken: 10
Total Miles Flown: 32,886 miles
Approximate Number of Hours on an Airplane: 67.5 hours
Highlights from the Year
- Visiting 4 new countries and being in 9 all together is a record for me.
- Actually reached Premier status with an airline. Though only Silver level, this is the first year I have ever reached Premier status with any airline.
- Was able to take the kiddo overseas for the first time and visit 4 new countries. He seems to be bitten by the travel bug too now. Yay!
- Started One Trip at a Time which has enabled me to connect with some great people and learn so much more about traveling.
Highlights Month by Month
- Road trip with L to San Antonio, TX over New Year’s Eve which included visits to the following:
- L, the kiddo, and I played tourist in Houston and visited the following:
- Visited the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston with the kiddo
- Road trip with L to learn about the history of WWI and WWII in Normandy and Belgium which included visits to:
- Charming little town of Honfleur
- Utah, Omaha, Sword, Gold, and Juno D-Day landing beaches
- Mont Canisy
- Crisbeq, Azeville, and Longues batteries
- Pointe du Hoc
- Canadian, British, American, and German WWII military cemeteries and WWI Commonwealth cemeteries
- Bayeux Cathedral and Tapestry
- Pegasus Bridge and museum
- The Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate
- St. George’s and St. Martin’s churches in Ypres
- Flanders Fields Museum
- Hill 60 and Sanctuary Wood
- More hometown fun with the kiddo for a movie night and picnic at Discovery Green in Houston (though we ended up too cold to stay for the movie. Too cold? In Houston? Wusses, I know.)
- Road trip with L to Fredericksburg, TX with a little side trip to Austin, TX where we visited:
- Played tourist in our city again on a visit to the Museum of Natural Science
- First ever cruise for L, the kiddo, and I and we:
- Made the most of a business trip that included stops in:
- Rotterdam for some wandering around the town and a night out with colleagues overlooking the Erasmus Bridge
- Amsterdam for a canal cruise, a visit to the Basilica of St. Nicholas, and some strolling along the canals and streets with L and one of our colleagues
- London for a Jack the Ripper Walking tour (so much fun!) and a day out with L to show our colleague all the famous sites
- Back to London to visit L, this time with the kiddo to show him all the cool sights like:
- British Library
- Clink Prison Museum
- Harry Potter Studio Tour
- Imperial War Museum at Duxford
- Clue Quest
- Tower of London
- Tower Bridge
- London Eye
- British Museum
- Buckingham Palace
- House of Parliament
- Westminster Abbey
- Abbey Road and Beatles Store
- Emirates Air Line cable car
- Thames Clipper cruise
- HMS Belfast
Jiminy Crickets! How did we manage to get all that in one week and still find time to just wander the streets taking it all in? What an awesome week it was.
September and October
- We stayed home! But can you blame us really? We rested up from a busy summer and planned our last big trip of the year.
- Weekend get-away with L to Franklin, LA where we:
- More fun in Texas with L and the kiddo at the Renaissance Festival
- We are wrapping up out VERY busy year of travel with a trip to Canada with L and the kiddo to visit my family and show L a little of my home country. There will be lots of time playing cards and enjoying the family and then out for some sight seeing to:
I said it at the beginning but I have to say it again. Wow. I just can’t believe how much we were able to see and do this year. This is definitely the most I have ever traveled in one year and I really hope there will be more years like it. As I’ve talked about on my ‘About’ page I think if you make travel a priority it can, and will, happen for you. And even if we can’t pack up and backpack around the world for months on end we can still see a lot if we put our minds to it and keep an eye out for opportunities to take us places.
Some people may be reading this thinking I must have oodles of vacation time to burn. I have worked up to four weeks with my company, which is more than the typical two weeks here in the US, but certainly on par or less than the lucky folks in Europe. It definitely takes some planning to make the most of those 20 precious days. I was also very fortunate to have traveled for work this year which enabled me to see some cool places without burning vacation time.
Traveling for business offers another benefit to allow me to do more- free flights and hotels. That is a huge help to me because, in addition to limited vacation days, I also don’t have a money tree in my backyard so I always have to keep a budget in mind when I plan my trips. Thanks to past travel (business travel included) I have saved Air Miles too and tickets to Canada and London were purchased with those this year. Beyond that there has been a lot of research to look for Living Social deals on hotels (Franklin, LA was a sweet deal), free things to do in particular cities, and looking for discount tickets like our 2for1 deals in London. This year I’ve shared some of the ways I save money to travel and while traveling and as I continue to learn and find new ways I’m looking forward to sharing them with you. Be on the lookout for ideas like this and many more things I have in store for One Trip at a Time in 2015. Because if I’ve learned anything from this post it’s that I still have a lot to share with you!
For the rest of 2014 I’m going to take a little vacation from blogging. It’s time to finish up the last of my Christmas shopping, start packing (oh my goodness it’s only 8 days until my trip and my suitcase isn’t even out of the closet yet!), and then just enjoy every minute of my time with my parents, my brother and his family, L, and the kiddo back home in Canada.