December 23, 2010

2010 Annual Review: Travel Roundup

As part of the Annual Review series, I look back at everywhere I went in 2010.

It’s a long list! From my usual 20+ new countries to a book tour to every U.S. state, I spent a lot of time on the road this year. In rough chronological order, here’s everywhere I went in 2010:

United States, Canada, New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Maldives, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Germany, Ukraine, Cyprus, Cape Verde, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Morocco, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Thailand

Of these countries, exactly 24 were new to me—I tend to go back to places like Hong Kong, Germany, and New Zealand frequently.

Experiences

Fun things (and misadventures) happen almost everywhere I go, so you’d have to read the whole year’s worth of travel archives for the whole story. I’ll assume you won’t torture yourself that much, so here are a few highlights:

  • Getting to Belarus required a herculean effort of three separate attempts. When I finally made it, I paid for the most expensive tourist visa I’ve ever heard of (anywhere!) and was admitted to the country after a—wait for the travel cliché—Kafkaesque exchange of epic proportions.

    After I wrote about the trip, someone translated my post and the ensuing backlash prompted the ministry of information to write an official response. I then heard from more than fifty Belorussians with apologies and their own stories of encountering bureaucracy—approximately 70% of responses—along with comments on my own incompetence—approximately 30% of responses. Thanks again to everyone associated with Belarus for making my visit a memorable experience.

  • Algeria was also a close call with the visa—after I left the U.S. with my duplicate passport and no Algerian visa in sight, I ended up having it FedEx’d to me overnight in Frankfurt, arriving the evening before going to the airport to fly out. Yikes! But it made it, and that’s what counts.
  • One of my favorite adventures arrived via the midnight train to Georgia from Azerbaijan. My time in Georgia itself was enlightening; I had the impression that Tbilisi was a fairy tale city. I also especially liked Lithuania (I wish I had more time there—it’s on my list to go back), and Kazakhstan was surprisingly welcoming as well.
  • On a couple different trips, I spent a lot of time back in what I call “real Africa” – this time in Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Cameroon. I could do without Equatorial Guinea and its $500-a-night hotel rooms, but the other West African stops were fun.
  • I’ve been to Thailand probably ten times in the past decade, but never to Chiang Mai until this year. The photo shoot with a few feline friends was worth the whole trip and was a great way to transition away from international travel for a while.

Update on the Quest to Visit Every Country

My total number of countries visited is now 151. I use the U.N. standard, not one of the larger lists that includes various islands and other “non-countries.” By the inflated list standard, my total would probably be around 175.

So far along, but yet so far to go—and the closer I get to the goal, the harder it becomes. This year during the review, I spent some time to think through how I’d get to each of the remaining 41 countries before my deadline of April 7, 2013. It’s going to be tight with several big logistical challenges, but so far, so good.

The 53-City, Unconventional Book Tour

I don’t usually do a lot of domestic travel, since I spend so much time around the world. This year was an exception with the all-50-state book tour (more on that in a moment). I also went to Austin for SXSW, to Pittsburgh for TedX at Carnegie Mellon University, to Seattle for a travel industry talk, to Southern California for a short vacation, and up to Vancouver, B.C. in Canada because it’s awesome.

On September 7th, I set off on a different kind of adventure. The launch of my first book, The Art of Non-Conformity, happened that day, and I wanted to travel to meet readers wherever they lived. Most Americans don’t get to visit all 50 states in their lifetime, but the tour took me to all of them in a few short months.

The book tour was self-funded and collectively-organized, mostly by AONC readers and a number of great co-hosts. In most stops we kept it very informal, with a 15-minute talk, lots of “Questions and Attempted Answers”, and often discussion over cupcakes and wine afterwards.

A few highlights of the tour:

  • Driving eight hours through the mountains from Salt Lake City to Missoula (I pulled off the interstate near a “Rest Stop” exit… then I saw a sign that read “Rest Stop, 6 Miles.” I guess that’s a Montana thing)
  • Driving through tornado warnings and talking with a professional train-hopper I met from Oklahoma City to Little Rock
  • Attempting to smuggle a big-ass sign on 15 flights (success rate: 12/15)
  • Great crowds in unexpected places: Lawrence, Kansas; Portland, Maine; Tampa, Florida, and so many more.
  • This fun mini-documentary that Crystal made in Durham, North Carolina
  • Spending time with my brother and Adam, who both joined me for several stops of the midwest portion of the tour (and then with my sister who came to Birmingham and Atlanta)
  • Houston, Texas, now known as “highest per-capita alcohol consumption by participants of any AONC meetup”
  • Seeing Pace and Kyeli at the Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix stops (after that, I told them I wouldn’t be surprised if they showed up in Alaska)
  • Driving from L.A. to Phoenix and catching up with longtime friend Stephanie
  • A full-size mural of AONC in Atlanta… an amazing AONC cake in my hometown. And the list goes on.

I’ve only been off the tour for a few days and am still reflecting about all the conversations and experiences. I have a lot of big commitments in early 2011, but I’m hoping to make some space to write an in-depth report on the whole process of publishing a book and going on tour. In short, it’s been an incredible 90 days and I’m extremely glad I did it.

Whether I write the report or not, the book tour will continue to every province in Canada starting January 14th. (I’m bringing a warm coat.) Canadians, I hope to see you on the road—details here.

Your Turn

Feel free to share your own travel list, stories, or misadventure of 2010. And by the way, don’t worry if you haven’t been to 50 states and 24 countries this year… remember, I’ve been doing this a while. This year was especially manic with the book tour, but every year lately has been manic one way or the other.

I’m grateful I can do this and looking forward to another great year of travel in 2011.

What about you—where did you go in 2010?

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Image: GlobeVisions

Comment on this article

46 Responses to “2010 Annual Review: Travel Roundup”

  1. I failed in my plan to visit three new countries (I managed two), but I’ve certainly travelled plenty.

    I left Scotland to live in Berlin for a few months – my first time living abroad. When I got my heart broken, I left town at once, and then found myself in Spain, Lithuania, Poland and Norway while I figured out what to do next. I decided to take whatever opportunities came my way, so then I went to the USA, where I spent October cat sitting in the Boston area and then travelled around until I returned to the UK in December. I’ve been living rent-free for most of the year. I’m self-employed and I work on the road. More adventures are scheduled!

    Other places I went this year: all the different bits of the UK (including this year’s new island, Anglesey), Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands and France.

  2. Really enjoying these updates, Chris. I am on a mission to visit as many countries as my age, and am finally on target after traveling to Spain, Andorra, Ireland, and Northern Ireland all in the last year. As someone who lives quite simply and frugally, travel us one luxury I keep in my life.

  3. The best thing I did this year was drive down to Kansas and help my pregnant sister and her 3 other kids move out of her abusive husband’s house. They are now living with my parents, which is tough, but she is doing great and smiling again! She is an optomist by nature and she inspires me with her strength every time I talk to her.

  4. Maui, London, Texas + a few other places in between.

    Also, that full mural is awesome.

    p.s. – You forgot about the endorsement you got from the Native American statue in Indianapolis :)

  5. Though 2009 seemed destined to be the most powerful year in my personal history (even beating 2008!), the past year 2010 has yet again been even more crazy, interesting, tough, happy, sad, wonderful, strange & beautful. (“Will this never stop!”)

    I will post in full on the photo & cycling blogs on January 1.
    The easy to recall statistics on travel & photography, as that is what I do most:

    - We spent all the year in South America.
    - I shot over 7000 keepers on my CanonEos 5D mark II
    - We cycled more than 9700km (6000 miles) through 10 different countries
    - some dreams came true: visiting Galapagos (the only flight we took this year), Surinam, Roraima, boating the entire Amazon, Ecuador & more.
    - Summited 5 5000+m peaks and 3 6000+m peaks
    - Saw countless wild animals including egg-laying sea turtles & condor.
    - Ran my expedition & photography businesses and started a new exciting project to replace kerosene lamps with solar-powered lights.

    Oh and more, but no more space :) Enjoy 2011!

  6. Hello Chris. Maybe we crossed paths in some of the countries you have been to this year. My family and I have lived in Singapore (until Feb), Malaysia (Feb – May), New Zealand (June – July), American Samoa (July – Nov), Western Samoa (Nov – Dec) and now back in Singapore to usher in the new year! Have a wonderful holiday season, and happy traveling to you in 2011!

    Tofa soifua

  7. Hey Chris, impressive year for you!!! I was also in West Africa for a good chunk of this year. 2 months in Ghana, 1 in Cote D’Ivoire, and 2 in Mali. Then Morocco for a bit. This was my second time in West Africa (lived in Ghana in 2005) and I share your affinity for it – one of the friendliest, most vibrant places on earth. I’ve heard things in Sierra Leone are slowly slowly starting to look up, which is where you spent a lot of time, correct? Look forward to what 2011 brings. B well, Phil

  8. We made it to 16 countries this year. Our most memorable misadventure was on our bike tour down the Danube. We broke our trailer in near Baja, Hungary. Two days later we tried to enter Serbia but the border crossing was limited to EU residents only. We had to cycle another 30km to the nearest border crossing open to us. It wasn’t all bad though, when we arrived in Serbia there was a huge festival going on complete with tunnel cake and live music. It was a great end to a long day.

  9. Interesting to hear about your experiences in Africa and Lithuania this year Chris. 2010 was a massive year of travel for me.
    After leaving Australia for the first time in October last year and basing myself in London, I’ve covered Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, China, UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Morocco and USA. I’m pretty happy with that effort in 12 months, and I’ve got at least another 6-10 countries to visit in 2011. Gotta love low cost carriers in Europe. :D

  10. December 23, 2010

    hitchcockblonde

    Well, I’m just finishing up what seems to have been a bit of a “hotspots of the world” tour this year.
    I started the year in Cambodia and Laos, then went back to Sri Lanka again in January for the Literature Festival-fantastic!!
    Then, I spent three weeks in June touring round Uganda,I was born there and haven’t been back since I was sixteen.The country and it’s people are as amazing as ever and we spent two days gorilla trekking, which is one of the most incredible experiences.
    I’m currently writing this from Tel Aviv, having just visited Jerusalem, Bethlehem-never mind Manger Square,EVERYONE should see the “Apartheid Wall” the surrounds the city.Tsfat,Rosh Pina and Acre, (we didn’t have much time!)I last came to Israel,when I was working on a kibbutz, incredible to see the changes.
    During the rest of the year I’ve been travelling between Paris/Berlin and Geneva-we live/work in all three cities and have apartments in each,apart from London -that’s all for this year! Happy New Year!

  11. December 23, 2010

    Jason Kallsen

    I didn’t get out of the country at all this year (I’m in Minnesota, which some people consider Canada, but rest assured we are still part of the United States), but I had a total of six and half weeks of travel over the course of 2010 in great places like San Francisco, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Santa Barbara, Chicago (twice), Washington DC, and two great road trips through Iowa-Missouri-Illinois-Wisconsin and our annual Black Hills trip in South Dakota and Wyoming.

    It’s not much of a list compared to some of the travel gurus that comment here, but every year my list gets a bit larger and more important the quality of the travel goes up and up.

    Learning how to have a great experience wherever I am is the goal.

    On deck for 2011: Mexico, Napa, San Francisco, Oregon (see you at the summit!), Washington, Italy, Spain, and hopefully Australia.

  12. Hi Chris,

    Well I didn’t get much travelling in this year–too many other parts of life were going topsy turvy and had to be dealt with first–but I did get a few trips down to the South Bay area of San Francisco which is one of my favourite areas other than Vancouver, BC.

    Speaking of Vancouver, I don’t see any details for your meet up on January 22nd. Are the logistical details still in the planning stage or what? Looking forward to meeting you on the 22nd–when I know where!

    Have a peaceful and happy holiday season.

  13. I was fortunate enough to study abroad for a semester in Luxembourg. From there I travelled to The Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland. If you are into outdoor activities Switzerland is incredible. I went snowboarding, bungee jumping, an hour long sled ride down the mountain, and jumped off 30 ft. waterfalls. My 2011 goal is to go to China!

  14. I have to say, I am in awe of your travels. As I move into a year where I intend to embark on a new journey in my life, I decided that the one thing I won’t sacrifice is my travel. This year, we travelled all over the States while my husband and best friend played their music. We also went to Ireland with two of our closest friends and to Guatemala to see my missionary parents. I have every intention of a lot more US travel this year as well as Italy. Thank you for being an inspiration!

  15. My misadventure of 2010: After 5 hours of sleep at The Hermitage Hotel, Nashville’s only five-star, with my new bride Megan, we woke at 4:20am to catch a 6am American Airlines flight. The captain told us to board the plane. Then he told us to get off. Why? Faulty fuel valve. Arrival of new part? 9:30am.

    We switched to a U.S. Airways flight & sat at the gate for over an hour. Only 2 out of 3 bags made it over from AA. We were told we couldn’t board without our bags. We returned to the AA gate to learn that you can, in fact, board an international flight without your bags. They just can’t fly without you.

    We were prohibited from boarding for no reason!

    After leaving Nashville at 10am & missing our Miami connection, we had a 5-hour layover. We arrived in Providenciales at 8:20pm—6 hours after we were supposed to officially begin our honeymoon. After 5 minutes in our room, Megan walked into a glass door—immediate lump, bruising & headache.

    It was no Belarus, but it was quite a day.

  16. Biggest traveling year for me – ever! New places: Oregon and Hawaii. But even cooler: lived in Seattle for 10 weeks, stopped in Ashland, OR three different times; 3 road trips along the West Coast; visited 3 Hawaiian islands (currently 8 weeks here). I know it’s not the craziest traveling list, but I’m really thrilled I got out there more (and had a goal for 2010 to do so) – very excited for my adventures in 2011! And congrats to you on your goals!

  17. Awesome roundup! I didn’t visit nearly as many countries, but I rounded out my total to nine countries, and traveled almost 20,000kms on long-distance trains in about six of them.

    If anybody is interested, here’s my own 2010 roundup with video:
    http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2010/12/happy-holidays-this-was-2010/

  18. I made it to Safeway each week in Mesa, Arizona, does that count for travel?

    And I am disappointed you didn’t mention “was transported in the largest vehicle I have ever seen during the Phoenix tour stop.” You have to admit that Navajos know how to rig their trucks. ;)

    Happy relaxing!

  19. Moved to Asheville, NC, one of the happiest, hippiest, most energetic places I’ve ever been to, in January. Moved out in April. Miss it very much. Some serious life lessons learned though.

  20. Great updates!

    My top trips this year were a mix of Beauty and Event:
    - The Olympics (!) in Whistler and Vancouver, British Columbia
    - Witnessing a Shuttle Launch (!) across from Cape Kennedy, Florida
    - First game at the Twins’ new Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota
    - West Hawk Lake, Manitoba
    - Hiking + Television/Next Media Festival in Banff, Alberta
    - Toronto Int’l Film Festival in (wait for it) Toronto, Ontario
    - Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, Nova Scotia
    - Hiking in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
    - S, N and central Colorado
    - But best of all… Fulfilling lifetime dream with trip (far too short) to Australia and New Zealand

    Not bad considering I had to work around production of two feature films!

    Here’s to enjoyable, fulfilling and smooth travels for all who want them in 2011!

  21. I visited the United Arab Emirates, Jordan & Israel this year. The F1 grand prix in Abu Dhabi was fantastic, and all the amazing developments in Dubai was awesome. I learned some Arabic! Tom Cruise was there at the Burj Khalifa filming another Mission Impossible film.
    Jordan was by far my favourite. The people were lovely and the amazing sites – trekked 10km through Petra, before crashing at the oldest bar in the world – the Cave bar. Floating in the Dead Sea with body mud mask! – & they say it could evaporate in 10 years, so if it’s on your bucket list then get going! I got abducted by a camel on the streets of Aqaba in the middle of Eid, before spending the night in Wadi Rum in a Bedouin tent! The sunrise the next morning was magical.
    Israel was full of information, you almost needed a degree in process management to remember all of it! The wailing wall, the “Stars & Bucks” cafe in Bethlehem, young soldiers walking around Masada, the Holocaust museum ..
    Amazing trip :D

  22. This year we spent 6 months in New Zealand and the other 6 in Seattle. It was kind of a perfect combo. We also checked out Sydney and visited LA and NY for work and fun. Can’t wait to dream up where next year will hold for us! Thanks for your inspiration.

  23. I’ll see you in Vancouver, Chris. Can’t wait!

  24. At 36 years of age I had never been out of the U.S. aside from a cruise ship and actually hadn’t even flown that many times. I had made many Brazilian friends online on a language exchange website and so when my marriage of 15 years came to a close in July due to infedelity on his part, I decided it was time to make my traveling dreams comes true and do something for me.
    I started planning, even with his help as well because we have two children, a trip to Brazil specifically Rio because I had made many online friends there. I left in November and stayed for 18 days and it was AMAZING!
    I don’t speak Portuguese and being in another country where you don’t speak the language, you are in a completely new country far from home is a feeling that you can’t even describe. Oh..did I mention I did this completely by myself! LOL
    Everyone thought I was crazy but I loved doing it by myself. To me it would not have been the same trip had I gone with a best friend, etc. I learned so much!

  25. I have booked my next trip back to Rio for Carnival and am staying 25 days this time to enjoy life and all of my Brazilian friends!
    If I have anything to say it is to women out there who are also moms like me…you don’t die when you become a mom and you don’t need to feel guilty to do something for yourself. I HAVE to travel, it feeds my soul. My husband didn’t like traveling so we never went anywhere and that was a contention with us. Kids are not going to fall to pieces just because you go somewhere. My kids are 9 and 11 and they were just fine, we Skyped every night-gotta love Skype. Remember, you need to put YOURSELF on the list as well. Now I am a much better mom and a happier woman all around. DREAM BIG AND DO IT!

  26. Wow Chris, you sure did achieve a lot in 2010!

    We sacrificed going anywhere this year in order to go to more places in 2011 and 2012. Our travels were kept to one domestic 4-night getaway but that’s just part of delaying gratification in order to achieve more!

    Here’s to a great 2011!

  27. Love the updates! I didn’t get to travel much this year, and only hit Costa Rica as far as I can remember. Previous years were much more fruitful. I’m excited for 2011 though! Big things coming :) Bummed I missed you in DC!

  28. Keep on touring, we’ll keep showing up! (:

  29. Your blog has been an inspiration. Just finished 279 Days and am working to remember the lessons I have learned in my own journey toward influence and world domination with my TLL Language Coach blog and website to come. Anyway, if ever you stop through Istanbul, I love to buy you some Turkish coffee and show you a bit of this grand city. Take care and be blessed in 2011.

  30. I love hearing about all the travel. Taking care of 94 year old mother-in-law kind of limits our travel.

    Made our annial treck from Las Vegas to Utah to see my brother and his family and then on to Spokane, Wa to see oldest son and 7 grandchildren. Did’t get to Oregon to visit youngest son and four children. He was down here watching ggma. He is here for Christmas with the four kids. What fun.

    Hope to be mobile enough to do some out of the country travel after mother-in-law passes. She may outlast us. See many of you in June at Portland meet.

  31. I’ll jump in! This year I traveled much more than I ever have before. Let’s see . . .

    Vancouver
    New Orleans
    Sedona
    Scottsdale
    Phoenix
    Palm Springs (a few times)
    Joshua Tree
    NYC (a few times)
    DC (twice)
    Las Vegas (twice)
    Playa Mujeres, Mexico and a few minor places around there
    Am about to go to Austin for the holidays

    Aaand most importantly I did the first REAL travel of my life – India! I went all around the state of Gujarati, Panaji, Goa; Mumbai; and New Delhi. It was way unlike anything I’ve ever done and the first time I felt a love of travel – it’s never been a huge interest of mine. While I never thing I’ll enjoy it as much as you do, I understood people who choose lifestyles like you and Karol much more than I ever have before.

    Already on the books for 2011 I have Miami, Bay Area, South Africa, Portland (!), Austin, NYC, Spain, France & likely DC . . . and that’s all in the first 6 months.

  32. Before graduating high school in May, I made it to Lebanon and Syria with my family, despite some Israeli stamps in my mother’s passport… definitely watch out for those, but after a visit to the U.S. embassy in Beirut and a new emergency passport, we eventually made it. Syria was magical, and I would recommend it highly.

    Immediately after graduation I took off for a month and bused it between Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Hungary, and then Turkey. Possibly the highest-speed trip of my life, but I loved quirky, out of the way Albania, Croatia was beautiful, and of course eating in Turkey is awesome :)

    After a summer at home with domestic travel and a trip to Montreal, I headed out for a year of traveling- so far through Poland, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Israel, Palestine, Thailand, and Vietnam. Next? Egypt… and then who knows??? On my wish list: Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, NZ, Australia, Mongolia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Malawi, Mozambique…

  33. I didn’t realize it until I read your invitation to post that I’d traveled quite a bit this year despite a very hectic work schedule. Turks & Caicos, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, and Spain. All were new but Spain.

    I’m focusing on South America in 2011. Colombia and Argentina are high on my list. Brazil I’ve done for both New Years and Carnival–I highly recommend.

    Favorite travel moment in 2010. On the domestic leg of my flight to Brussels, I sat next to retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. We had a great chat. Just a few months before I went to my first supreme court proceeding so meeting a justice was very exciting. He was glad I was not a laywer :-)

  34. This year was different from many…I kept my feet in the USA with my family and had very little travel except here in Texas, Florida and New York. In 2011 though, I’m planning on going to beautiful Portland, Oregon for the World Domination Summit!!!!! All other world travel will pale in comparison after the WDS!

  35. Well, this year, I FINALLY lived my life-long dream of travelling to the USA! Sadly, I managed just two states (CA & OR), not my goal of 50, but I DID get married and almost ended up with a greencard! I married an American whom I met at the start of my trip in October, and now on Christmas Day we are talking divorce. I’m not sad, though, it was just the kind of big, crazy adventure that I absolutely adore!! What I learned is that the USA is an awesome place to travel, but not such a great place to live. Australia, on the other hand, is – I imagine – a pretty shit place to be a tourist in (due to the incredibly, long, boring journeys in between the good stuff – it’s a BIG empty land!) but an incredibly great place to live and prosper! I’m back in Sydney now, having run out of money in Oregon and I went to see a career coach last week. Twenty years too late, but what the hey? Chris, your lifestyle/website/tiger pics/blog are so freakin’ inspiring!! When are you coming to Aus??

  36. Hi Chris! Really enjoying your year-end review posts. One of the things on my bucket list is to visit all 50 states and all the Canadian provinces in my lifetime. I’m well over half on the states, and I’ve been to 5 provinces, so far so good!

    In 2010 I didn’t go as far as I usually do…across Lake Michigan from my home to Madison, Wisconsin, where I stayed for a week at Holy Wisdom Monastery and had some awesome retreat time, hiking in the local parks, and exploring the city and hanging out in the coffee shops. I loved it and I’m thinking about moving to Madison for awhile once I get my house sold.

    2011 will be a big year for me…WDS in June (my first time to the West Coast) and to Ireland in August, my first overseas trip and a lifetime dream come true.

    Thanks for all the inspiration in 2010…have fun in Canada in January!
    Laurie

  37. I felt that the AONC blog and community encouraged me to sell everything I owned in order to live a life of travel and adventure. I left Eugene, Oregon in June and made it through and to 25/50 states in 4 months. I also got to Canada for the first time.

    Highlights included:
    - Driving across the country with my best friend in 2.5 days
    - Training for my marathon in each city I stayed in.. (the differences and beauty in running Des Moines, IA to Hudson River Park in NYC, to Charles River in Boston, to Mont Royal in Montreal, to the colonial streets of Annapolis, MD, and much more…)
    - The wedding between two friends from college and being apart of the wedding party as a groomsman

    My fun curtailed in the beginning of October when I ran out of money.

    Now I prepare for 2 months is Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey – couchsurfing and trying to travel as inexpensively as possible.

    Any advice AONC community?

    Thank you for the inspiration, tips, advice, & insights

  38. This year has been truly amazing! In oct 2009 i left the country for the first time and went to thailand for 3 weeks and one week in cambodia amazing places great food! in feb i went to israel on a birthright trip, was a ten day tour they took us all around the country to all the main spots teaching us the history. I hoped over to egypt for a week made it accross the country for some great and hair raising times.. in the spring i went to indonesia and got to experience the magic of bali..i trully think ubud has to be the center of the universe..
    I then went to vietnam for a quick cross county tour, would love to go back. and then to finish it off i went to ibiza spain where i had the pleasure of spending my birthday.. wich also happened to fall on the same day as the finall soccer game !
    spain one it was a great party all throught he streets !!! one memorable birthday !

  39. Hi Chris, glad to hear that you’ve successfully completed your book tour. Sadly I follow your website from the other side of the world.

    2010 brought me to Athens, Bangkok, Cairo, Jerusalem, London, Madrid and Barcelona! They were great places and really diverse too. I wish I could travel more.

    If you ever pass by Hong Kong again and have time, I and some friends would really like to meet you!

  40. Hi Chris,

    I’m really enjoying reading your blog! I am a writer too, and you have definitely been inspiring to follow. Having moved from NY to charlotte, NC in June of 2008, the past two and half years have been travel-packed with weddings and parties for friends and family (not to mention our own wedding that was already booked in NY before we moved). So for Christmas, and the days surrounding, my husband and I traveled to….drumroll please…our couch. Yes, we lit fires, played Wii, ate like pigs and stayed in our pajamas for three. Straight. Days. It was awesome.

    Looking forward to reading about more of your travel experiences! Happy 2011…

  41. That is very courageous of you Jeremy. Good luck on your couch-surfing adventures. My foremost advice would be to pack light and always have extra photocopies of your passport, plane tickets, other identification, etc.

    While 2010 was the year for the most stamps in my passport, it wasn’t the longest I’ve been abroad. For a graduate school international experience we went to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. I had a great experience and can’t wait to travel more throughout Asia. All of the places I have been there are always so different, I love it.

  42. Nicely summed up, Chris! Fine adventures, great stories. My thanks again to you for talking on my show in October, and for being in Maine!
    Best wishes in the new year!

    Peter

  43. Hi Chris! Best wishes for the New Year and thank you for sharing your 2010 travel experiences and your entire annual review.

    The year for me, once again, was an amazing experience in terms of travel. I made the move to London, U.K. a place where I’ve wanted to live for such a long time and now I made it to do so. I continued to be lucky enough to travel in places which hardly see any tourists or travellers considering they’re in conflict/repression/crises e.g. Gaza Strip, Ayerwaddy Delta of Myanmar and Mindanao in the Philippines, in dispersed with visits to safer places like Israel, Jordan and Thailand. Even though the number of places covered is quite small, I like to take my time in each place to discover more about the people and places. One note to say here, I have never met such welcoming people as I have in places which experience conflict – perhaps it’s the attitude of the people who live in the moment as they never know what happens the next day.

  44. Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and just started your book–as a travel enthusiast myself, I can’t help but notice that you have visited every Central American country except for Nicaragua (according to your color-coded map.) I’m just wondering why you skipped over it–last year I quit my job and moved to rural Nicaragua and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I traveled to Panama and Costa Rica, but Nicaragua remains my favorite. I can’t urge you enough to go. . .and to sleep in a hammock on the remote island of Ometepe. :)

  45. Hello!
    I did a world trip the 20th oct 2009 to 30th nov 2010 from Montreal (I live in Quebec). I have been in Mexico, New-Zealand, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapour, Malaysia, Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, India, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France.
    I Loved this experience and still want to continue to travel. (o:
    When I arrived at the airport of Montreal at the end of my big trip, a man asked me if I wanted to help him to answer to a survey, which I accepted. This man is passionate by traveling and we talked a while and he finally told me about Chris.
    I was recently asking myself how to travel by plane for free as I love backpacking and travel and I was very happyly surprised to find tips about it. Unfortunately, I think it’s not that good for Canadians. Then, I will boat hitch-hike I guess for my next trip to Asia.
    I wish fantastic trips to everybody!
    Freedom

  46. If you guys will decide to visit Lithuania and will need some advice, let me know.
    I wish i could travel as much as Chis. I had a chance in life to travel throughout US many time, but now i am back where i like – Lithuania.

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