Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

Major Trips

Round The World 2004: An RTW trip based on the oneworld Alliance's AONE4 deal (One World Explorer, First Class, 4 Continents), in this case purchased in Cairo. This report covers the main part of the ticket's use - a six-week journey to the Far East, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and the continental USA. It's the trip that started this website!
Portugal - California 2004: An unlikely sounding combination, from the time when 'ex-LIS' was part of the BA Board vocabulary on FlyerTalk.
Round The World 2006-07: My third RTW trip and the second to be based on the One World Explorer ticket, in this case an ex-Gibraltar AONE3. The trip is split into four parts and takes in the Middle East and the Far East, as well as multiple visits to North America, including Alaska.
Spring Fever 2008: Due to circumstances at the time, separately planned trips to France, the Middle East and the Caribbean ended up being done back-to-back. The result? Spring Fever!
Far East 2009: A visit to some new destinations and some old favourites in the Far East, starting in ... erm, Barcelona. (All will be explained.) Journey highlights include first-time experiences of several Star Alliance premium products. Best of all, I get to sample Singapore Airlines Suites, aboard my first flight on the A380 super-jumbo.
South America 2009: Despite the extent of my travels over many years, South America had always been my Lost Continent. I'd never set foot in the place. 2009 was the year to rectify this aberration, with this visit to Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
Shanghaied in Tuscany!: So there I am on my hols in Italy, minding my own business, when suddenly these people in uniforms whisk me off to heaven-knows-where, saying all this weird stuff to me, like Herzlich Willkommen an Bord and Möchten Sie noch ein Glas Champagner? I mean, I ask you, what's the world coming to?
A Tale of Two Cities: Not London and Paris in this case, but Madrid and Beijing. It was also meant to be something of a clash of the titans, with Lufthansa and British Airways going head-to-head in First Class.
Tasmanian Devils: A long awaited return down under, majoring on the Australian island state of Tasmania and including a cheeky initial stop in the Italian Lakes!
Vietnam 2010: A two-week, in-depth exploration of a brand new destination for me.
Canada & Mexico 2011: First part of a North American triple bill in 2011.
USA Road Trip 2011: The North American theme continues with a fly-drive trip to Utah and Arizona, ending with a weekend visit to San Diego.
Planes, Trains & Automobiles: More American adventures as New Year is ushered in on board Amtrak's Southwest Chief, somewhere between Los Angeles and Santa Fe.
Indian Ocean 2012: The main focal points of this trip are the Indian Ocean islands of Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Langkawi, Malaysia. Old favourites Dubai and Singapore also feature briefly, and it all gets underway in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The Portuguese Connection: Built around some of my last redemption flights with bmi Diamond Club, this trip begins in Lisbon, transitions to the former Portuguese colony of Macau and then continues to Hong Kong and Seoul.
A Taste of the Deep South: My first visit to the US states of Georgia and South Carolina is topped off with a welcome return to the Big Apple.
Planes, Trains & Automobiles - The Sequel: Following on from the original 'PTA' journey over the 2011/12 New Year holiday (see above), this trip explores a sizeable chunk of America's west coast by road and rail. The highlight is a train ride from Seattle to San Francisco on board Amtrak's Coast Starlight.
Bohemian Rhapsody: Bruce and I take to the tracks once again for a week-long, off-season exploration of the western part of the Czech Republic.
Russia & Sweden 2014: A jaunt to Moscow and St Petersburg is rounded off by calling at Stockholm on the way home, partly for the purpose of visiting a certain museum. You could say that it was the Mother (Russia) and Father (ABBA) of trips!
Japan 2014: My fourth visit to Japan steers clear of both Tokyo and Kyoto in this unusual 'off-piste' itinerary, the highlight of which is a week-long circumnavigation of the northern island of Hokkaido.
A Yorkshire Ramble: The first of my extended trips to take place entirely on the ground, this ten-day, self-guided tour of a sizeable chunk of northern England uses public transport throughout.
American Double 2014: Two separate and highly contrasting US road trips follow on from an outbound routing that only a pair of frequent flyers could devise.
Singapore & Malaysia 2014: The 2014 globetrotting fest is brought to a close with this visit to Southeast Asia, featuring my first experience of the island of Borneo and my first flight on a Boeing 787 'Dreamliner'.
Northern Spain 2015: Bruce and I get another year of travels underway with this road trip from Bilbao to Barcelona, exploring areas with a particularly strong sense of local culture and identity.
African Contrasts 2015: A few long-standing entries on the 'hit list' are finally tidied up with this visit to Tanzania's 'Spice Island' (Zanzibar) and the Ethiopian destinations of Addis Ababa and Lalibela.
Voyage of the Glaciers: The main highlight of this trip is a scenic voyage with Princess Cruises from Vancouver to Alaska, which bears the same name. This is preceded by a road trip through Montana and Washington, which also happens to visit Glacier National Park.
Round The World 2015: My fourth RTW journey is the first to go westbound and the first to be assembled on a do-it-yourself basis (i.e. no RTW ticket involved). The main objective is to visit Cambodia and Laos, but the Eastern Seaboard of the United States also features heavily. It's amazing what can result from a bit of unconstrained thinking!
Round Ireland: After reading Tony Hawks' book Round Ireland with a Fridge, I felt sufficiently inspired to arrange to make my own circuit of the Emerald Isle, albeit with one or two differences. There's no bet involved, no hitchhiking, no white goods for company, and my own journey is split into three distinct parts. My trip, my rules!
Mediterranean Magic: A late-spring journey from Greece to Spain, via Montenegro and Italy - yes, the cruise bug has bitten again!
Canada & Hawaii 2016: A road trip in British Columbia is followed by a leisurely stay on the 'Big Island' of Hawaii. Talking of which, could five consecutive nights spent in one place be something of a personal record?
New Year in India: My first visit to India takes in the states of Goa and Kerala, as well as the 'garden city' of Bengaluru.
Singapore & Malaysia 2017: Following a similarly named jaunt in 2014, now seemed like a good time to repeat the successful combination. This trip features a luxurious and relaxing stay on the exclusive holiday island of Pangkor Laut. It also brings my first experiences of flying the Airbus A350.
Roaming the Rust Belt: Starting in Rochester, NY and ending in Detroit, MI, Bruce and I take a road trip through the area that has recently been dubbed 'Forgotten America'. I follow up with a solo hop westwards, for a brief look at California's Gold Country.
Waves, Wine & Warmth: A wine-themed cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver leads on to a week spent exploring Phoenix and southern Arizona.
Japan 2018: Following on from our 2014 visit to Japan, which featured the northern island of Hokkaido, Bruce and I thought that it would be fun to explore the opposite end of the main archipelago. After an initial stop in Tokyo, our 2018 itinerary is therefore based on Kyushu.
Chilling Out on Phu Quoc: My participation in this trip was triggered by the closure of Lufthansa's UK credit card, use of which had been keeping my Miles & More stash alive when it would otherwise have long since expired. Every cloud has a silver lining and in this case, rather than see my miles go to waste, I was able to join my friend Bruce on what had been a solo jaunt to relax on this Vietnamese island.
Mexico 2019: This four-centre visit to Mexico is interesting for many reasons, but none more so than the story of how it came about. The lion's share of the travel was funded by frequent-flyer miles, the vast majority of which were generated in a 24-hour period at minimal cost, then spent almost immediately when they posted to our accounts. The latter part involved a middle-of-the-night booking session!
Amtrak Adventure 2019: Bruce and I fly to Chicago and embark on a Portillo-inspired Amtrak adventure across the Midwest and the Rockies to spend a few days in each of San Francisco and Los Angeles. I then take a short Californian road trip before returning to Europe.
Quebec to Florida, by Sea: 2019's cruise goes all the way from Quebec City to the Sunshine State. The busy itinerary has a strong focus on the Canadian Maritimes and New England.

These are trips where I have kept a full diary of each day's events, logged at least one (sometimes all) of the flights and reported on every hotel I stayed at.

These trips also tend to be longer in duration and the original idea was that the story would unfold in something approximating to real time; however that last part seems to have fallen by the wayside in recent years.

Nevertheless it's the style of reporting that makes the distinction!