2011 Annual Review: Travel Roundup


As part of the Annual Review series, I look back at everywhere I went in 2011.

As usual, it’s a long list! Despite a lull when I spent several months at home writing a book and preparing for WDS, I still made it to a decent amount of places.

All told, I made it to at least thirty countries, including twenty that were new to me. Highlights included a visit to a gorilla reserve in the Eastern Congo and running a half-marathon in Cuba, my final country in the Americas. I also traveled to every province in Canada for the conclusion of my first book tour, and lots of U.S. cities for various meetings, talks, transit stops, and adventures.

In rough chronological order, here’s everywhere I went in 2011:

Afghanistan, Iran, Libya, East Timor, North Korea, Monaco, Angola, Madagascar, Comoros, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo (Kinshasa), Gabon, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Uzbekistan, Australia, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Djibouti, Cuba, Central African Republic, Somaliland, and South Sudan

Note: this is the list of new countries. I also visited approximately 15 countries I’d been to before, on every continent except South America and Antarctica.

A Few Highlights

  • Completed an “Axis of Evil” tour to Afghanistan, Libya, and Iran
  • Successfully arrived in Angola without a visa
  • Nearly got stranded in Comoros, but fortunately made it out (a tough one)
  • Began my adventures in several Pacific islands (Palau, Micronesia, Marshall Islands)
  • Got shut out of Nauru, but detoured to Australia
  • Visited the world’s newest country, South Sudan
  • Visited the gorillas in the Eastern Congo
  • Ran the half-marathon in Cuba with Stephanie (that’s her photo in this post… see more here.)
  • Traveled in a Somali bus for two three-hour trips (this just happened last week; full story in January)


Update on the Journey to Every Country

The reason I go on many of these crazy trips is because of the quest to visit every country in the world. I began this journey about five years ago, and I’ve been dutifully traveling the world ever since.

Much to my surprise, I’m not falling behind on the goal—I’ve had plenty of hardships along the way, but I’m now well on track to finish in April 2013. In fact, I’ll end December with only 16 countries to go. Woop woop!

Yeah, I’m psyched… but I’m also a little afraid and uncertain of the future. Traveling the world has been a big part of my identity for a long time, and while I expect to keep wandering after 2013, there’s no doubt that some things will be different. I’m still processing what these means, and I’m sure I’ll be doing so for some time.

I’d usually say something like “next year will be even more intense,” but this time it may be different, since I’m down to less than 20 countries to go. I’ll still be traveling a lot over the next year, but the itineraries will become more specific. I’ll be visiting Sudan, Guinea Bissau, Turkmenistan, and several other countries that can be challenging to get to. I’ll also be preparing for the big finale in 2013. Everything is on track! And I’m still having fun.

Your Turn

Feel free to share your own travel list, high point, or misadventure of 2011. And by the way, don’t worry if you haven’t been to many countries this year… remember, I’ve been doing this a while.

I’m grateful I can do this and looking forward to another great year of travel in 2012.

What about you—where did you go in 2011?


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    • Scott Kosman says:

      This has been, by far, the year of my life where I’ve visited the most countries. I moved to Europe from North America two years ago and finally got a chance to start exploring!

      – Sweden
      – Finland
      – Denmark
      – The Netherlands
      – Germany
      – Spain
      – Czech Republic
      – Ireland
      – UK
      – Greece

    • Brusca says:

      I travelled to Cambodia earlier this year to document the rescue and relocation of endangered crocodiles. Spending 3 weeks in the Cambodian jungle was an amazing experience. Highlighted by a treetop chopper flight across the jungles relocating crocodiles. I’m now currently on a photography journey throughout Australia. Next year I hope to hit the road full time.

    • Caanan says:

      We just did a wrap-up post on all things travel in 2011. Highlights = food in Italy and wilderness in Montana & Alaska. Low points = bears!

    • Monique says:

      First visits to places I’ve been wanting to see for a long time: Montreal and San Francisco. Both have emotional ties for me too. Montreal is where my father was born and San Francisco is where my long-time best friend is living.

    • Sam says:

      That’s quite a list Chris; the cloud must be full to bursting with your photos. For me, great travelling this year to the Galapagos Islands, the Grand Canyon and Salt Spring Island, B.C. The Galapagos has got to be the highlight – I became a marine mammal that trip! More “water” vacations must be planned in the future.

    • Ian says:

      I visited The Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos!

      Thanks to your inspiring work, I made it out the door.

      It has been a richer experience than I even imagined. There have been some hard times too.

      The best part is having your assumptions pleasantly shattered.

    • Leah says:

      I love following along with your travels. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do after 2013 too! Guess I’ll have to set out on my own odyssey. In 2011, I stayed pretty close to home to save up vacation time. Short trips included Vegas (four times!), New Orleans, and Cozumel. I sacrificed all year for my big trip to New Zealand (with a short stop in Tokyo). Those three weeks in New Zealand was totally worth the 10 months I spent without international travel. In February 2012, I’m off to Rio for Carnival. I think that’s a pretty good start for next year’s travel plans.

    • Sherrie Phillips says:

      Have greatly enjoyed your review and have been doing one of my own. While I do have a goal to travel more I don’t really have the desire to see every country. Think I’ll live vicariously through you on that one. However, I did attain my travel goals. I traveled 11 weeks this year visiting 16 cities in America as well as the UK and France. It was a great start! While I am doing my review I’m planning for next year and there will be more travel!

    • Bo Loevschall says:

      Let’s see…. in 2011 I went to:
      Armenia, Azerbaijan (Nagorno-Karabakh), Cambodia, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Georgia, Indonesia, Iraq, Laos, Moldova (incl. Transnistria), Qatar, Romania, Slovenia, Thailand, Turkey, UK and Vietnam (where only 10 are new ones).

      I’m getting close to 100 countries, which is my ‘goal’ and will hopefully be achieved in 2012. I’m not speed travelling, just travelling a lot 🙂

    • Anita C says:

      I wanted to go to the World Domination Summit in June but it sold out. I decided to go to Portland anyway in hopes of getting in – I never did but I had an adventure nonetheless. Went to Mt. St Helens, drove up the Washington coast to explore the rain forests, camped by the ocean (not prepared for how cold it was!), went to Seattle, went to a senior citizen dance with a random person I met, stayed in a hostel – it was awesome!

      While I wanted to meet the people at the summit, I realized that a “choose your own adventure” trip for me would be just as beneficial. I want to visit more countries but I also enjoy checking out the local culture of various states and all of the little interesting things that people are fascinated by. I would love to come back and explore more – your part of the world is BEAUTIFUL!

    • JP Taboada says:

      May 28th I’m heading to Rockland, ME and starting a cross-country bicycle ride through Canada. This ride will take me east to Banff to enjoy the Canadian Rockies and it will end in Walla Walla, WA, home to quite a few wineries that I know personally from the wine business. The idea is to record the trip on video, make a documentary or film and distribute it. The end goal: raise money for Malaria No More. Bill Gates asked the question not too long ago, “Can social media put an end to Malaria?” I want to test and put my best effort towards this, and see how much trouble I can get into. I hope the effort will be successful, at any level. My younger brother will be going with, riding as well, and we’ve recently enlisted our mother to provide assistance. She’s going to be our follow-car. During the ride, i haven’t been too sure on what to talk about, and I’m leaning towards talking about people and projects that inspired the idea. Chris, you’re one of them, along with Seth Godin, Michael Bungay Stanier. Julien Smith, Danielle LaPorte and a few others will also be included. Cheers and good luck with the rest of your travels.

    • Fred Messier says:

      – Took my 3-year old son to wander in Cuba (easy street: Havana and Varadero, but with no plan & on a shoestring).

      – Also took him to Taiwan to visit family

      – Also wandered around Phuket, Thailand to go elephant-riding. (A family-friendly spot was a must).

      He now has over 30,000 FF miles to his name (!). This was all aligned with my 2011 overarching plan to wander together. Things went well and will get easier over time.

    • Paul Atfield says:

      My son and I went on a mad trip around Europe in an old cabriolet car covered in 6500 stickers, and we managed to do 10 countries in 5 days and 2500 miles. Best moments being drives around the Nurburgring in Germany and grand price track in Monaco (I see you went there too), and then when someone in a Lamborguini Gallordo super car took pictures of us in our old mad car!!!!

      Love the blog and the book, managed 13 countries this year

    • Scott McMurren says:

      Very cool, Chris. Predictably, you were “Up in the Air” more than me during the year. But I did get the chance to visit a couple of rural Alaska communities that qualify as different countries–at least in my book.
      Although I’ve been to Barrow (on Alaska’s arctic coast) several times, I never had visited Wainwright–about 90 miles west. It’s also on the coast. The community had just harvested a whale. We ate some…well, OK. one bite. There’s no “tourism infrastructure” there. We stayed at an oil field service camp. But the whole town showed up at the community hall to welcome us. They sang an inspirational version of “How Great Thou Art” in Inupiat.
      We went on to visit Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island. Now this is one of those places in Alaska where you REALLY CAN see Russia from your house. It’s 37 miles away. We actually spent most of our time buying ivory carvings from the locals. INCREDIBLE. Come back and see us in Alaska, Chris!

    • Jeffrey Trull says:

      I only went to one new country this year (Spain), but I loved it and happy I go to do at least that! I’m hopeful that 2012 will have even more travel in store.

    • Greg LaRowe says:

      Love your blog. Here’s a list of countries in chronological order that I visited along with my wife in 2011. Laos (where we celebrated New Year’s), Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, Morocco, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and Mexico. Love your blog. Keep it up!

    • Amy says:

      Sounds like an eventful year, Chris!

      I just started travelling this year, and have done more of it than I have my whole life! My list pales in comparison to yours, but here goes:

      •Sedona, AZ
      •Washington DC
      •Kauai, HI
      •Portland, OR (woo!)
      •Costa Rica (landed in San Jose, drove to Tamarindo…and almost threw up)
      •Hampton, NH
      •San Francisco, CA

      Next year, we’re doing Paris on miles, Costa Rica again, and much longer in Portland, but that’s only what we have planned. Who knows where else we’ll go!

      Thanks for the inspiration, Chris!

    • Christine A says:

      A co-worker introduced me to AONC in August, and I’ve been lurking ever since. Thanks for the inspiration and the new look at life!

      I’ve done a “Year in Review” since 2006, but never a serious looking forward process. I’m starting this year.

      One ‘resolution’ I’d made for 2011 was to travel more.
      I’ve logged in the most miles and my passport got the most action in the past year than my whole life, mostly for leisure.
      March: Nassau, Bahamas.
      April: Columbus, OH
      May: New York, NY; VA Beach, VA
      June: Miami/Fort Lauderdale, FL
      July: Netherlands, Belgium, France
      August: Punta Cana, DR; VA Beach, VA
      September: Washington, DC
      October: Merrimack, NH; Columbus, OH;
      November: Los Angeles, CA
      December: Montego Bay, Jamaica

      There were multiple weekend trips to NYC and DC, as well as weekend trips to go white water rafting and tubing/skiing in central PA/MD scattered among the major trips listed above.

      I’m very satisfied with the results.

    • Christine A says:

      Oh… I meant to sign…

      Christine A, Philadelphia, PA

    • Arabelle says:

      Hello there,

      I am ubber new to this site and your writings, Chris. I just finished your book, The Art of Non-Conformity and am very much inspired! Like most, my goal is to be self employed, and i sort of got that rolling this year, but with much hardship…still tugging through.

      I have only been to Haiti this year, twice… it’s my homeland. But my goal is to visit Ethiopia next year and im working hard to make that happen!

      Thank you so much for your work and am excited to hear more of your travels and journey.

      Be well

    • Scott says:

      I was just curious about where your stop was in Saskatchewan, Canada. I live in Prince Albert. This is 4 hours from Regina and an hour and a half from Saskatoon. Great blog! I like the idea about not always doing the same thing everyone else does, just because that’s what everybody does.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks, Scott – I was in Regina. Hope to see you in SK or elsewhere next time.

    • Rinkoo Wadhera says:

      These countries are on my list of future destinations:

      -South Africa
      Its a short one I know but its a start. I’ve been wanting to visit these two places for a long time but this is the first time that I ‘ve committed it to writing…Lets see what comes out of it!! I am optimistic!

    • Arabelle says:

      One more thing which was actually spiritual for me… on my way back to NY from my second trip from Haiti, i got caught in Hurricane Irene and had to stay in Florida for a whole week! Funny thing because it was my very first time in Florida(got a free ticket whoo hoo). But i was a lil upset that i missed the Hurricane… HA! I also missed the tiny earthquake that hit NY! Rats! HAHA

      Florida was such a spiritual trip for me because the friends that i was staying with were very much into their spirituality and a lot of the thoughts/questions that was going through my head around that time seemed to be answered in Florida. cool!!

      OH…forgot, i did visit Santa Barbara for the first time as well. Visited My sister.

      Be Well

    • Maia Duerr / The Liberated Life Project says:

      My big adventure of the year happened in January and February when I spent a month in northern Thailand, and 10 days of that time on a journey to “Find Your Elephant Self” with musician Jami Sieber. We visited elephant hospitals and sanctuaries, and got training to be “mahouts” (caretakers) at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center. This involved learning multiple ways to jump on top of an elephant — what a hoot!

      I just LOVE how travel helps me uncover new layers of myself and pushes me beyond my limits.

      Thanks, as always, Chris, for your inspiration!

    • Clay Myers-Bowman says:

      I didn’t travel nearly as much in 2011 due to a change in job, but still got out of town 51 days so far with another trip next week. I should be close to 60. Living in the middle of the continent and surrounded by hundreds of square miles of prairie can make me feel quite isolated, which is why I track the number of days I leave to go somewhere else.

      Destinations this year (not inclusive of a dozen or so day trips to Kansas City, Wichita, and Salina) were: Woodland Park, CO; Chicago; Angola, IN; Door County, WI (for a week); Houston and Galveston, TX; Beaver Creek, CO; Denver, CO; Fargo, ND; Orlando and Lorida, FL (not a typo).

      In total, about 15,000 miles traveled.

      I’m most excited for an upcoming trip to NY, NY, my first ever.

    • Mark says:

      Thank you for doing what you do! Your blog and your travels have inspired me greatly this year – in many, many ways.

      My wife and I are restricted to three vacation weeks per year plus we have two school age kids, so its hard to rack up a lot of countries – but we max out every minute of our vacation time. In 2011 we went to Costa Rica, Iceland and Mexico, and we enjoyed every second.

      The whole family is bitten by the travel bug, and we are working towards our goal of finding the freedom to travel even more.

      Thanks again for the inspiration.

    • Amy says:

      I made my first trip to Europe in 2011 and visited UK, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France.

      Not sure I will go International in 2012 because I bought a house and probably wont be able to afford it but I am hoping to visit Denver, CO, Savannah, GA, New England and maybe NYC.

      So cool to see everyone’s travel list!

    • Tiffany says:

      This year I stayed in the country, but got to see Vegas, El Paso and San Diego for the first time. Hoping to travel more next year, but we’ll see!

    • Benny says:

      I didn’t do as much as I would have liked but did go to Ubud, Bali for the first time. Loved it.

      Just recently got into travel hacking so looking forward to putting some points into use next year.

    • Darlene says:

      I made it to Turkey, Spain and France this year.

      For 2012 plans for Hawaii (never been), Cuba, and possibly Peru (a return trip).

    • Amy C says:

      My husband and I traveled and lived out of our self-converted van this year. We covered 22,607 miles, 25 states and 2 provinces and visited 23 National Parks (in the US and Canada) and a few more National Monuments over the course of 364 days.

      We’ve settled down for 2012, but definitely looking forward to a Spring trip out east and may even go live on the road again soon. We miss it!

    • Gail Nickel-Kailing says:

      I think they are making new countries all the time – a few of the ones you’ve already visited might no longer exist, but the list will continue to evolve.

      Will you do a “Year Book” like the encyclopedia used to do as a annual update on changes? That way you can keep traveling to new countries for a long time yet – it just may be a very short list at the time.

      Thanks for your great ideas!

    • Chris says:

      They don’t actually change very often – South Sudan became a new country this year, and that was the first one since East Timor several years back.

    • Joy says:

      Gosh, considering your question, I realize I hadn’t physically traveled that much this past year; but my inner journey (travel) was much more intense and expansive than I could have imagined. One of the local barriers that I broke through was to buy a new car so that my children and I could once again participate in local road trips..which we love..
      Staying local allowed me to host people in my home (then boat) that expanded my horizons beyond my wildest dreams…so now perhaps 2012 is one of physical travel, which I greatly enjoy!

    • Nine says:

      My new countries this year were Iraq, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Georgia and Armenia. I’ve been travelling since before the year began, with the longest amount of time spent in one place being six weeks. I’ve had a ton of new experiences and probably the most exhilarating year of my life. But I’m excited to see what adventures 2012 will bring, too.

      Here’s the chronological order of where I’ve been this year:
      Wales – England – Iraq (Kurdistan) – Sweden – Germany – Austria – Turkey – Sri Lanka – Malaysia – Australia – New Zealand – Australia – New Zealand – England – Germany – Spain – Turkey – Georgia – Armenia – Sri Lanka – Malaysia – New Zealand.

      (I also deliberately avoided where I’m from – no real reason, I guess, but just to know that I could.)

    • Karen Talavera says:

      Made it to Chile, Mexico and (in a week) Amsterdam then on to Turkey. Highlight was skiing in July near Santiago, Chile! Three new countries for the year, not bad but nothing compared to you Chris!

    • Stephenie Zamora says:

      I traveled a lot more this last year as part of my mastermind program, it was awesome! I went to NYC twice, Santa Monica CA and Playa Mujeres Mexico. I’m looking forward to traveling places on my own, and just for exploration and relaxation in 2012. Except for fun events like WDS. 😀

    • Angela Andrews says:

      So, I am not yet a world traveler, though I will be. This was a year of great adventure for me, though. Aside from a year-long stint in New Jersey when I was a baby, I have always lived in Washington State. I am happy to report that we moved our family to Northern California this past March. And it has been amazing! Exotic enough to catch me by surprise and fill me with joy at the prospect of being somewhere completely new. I’m definitely still in my honeymoon stage here, and oh what a feeling! I have fallen in love and may never go back! And it has sparked within me a latent hunger for adventures. I don’t know when, but I will travel the world!

    • Vijaya says:

      Went travelling Round The World………
      Started from UK- Hong Kong- Bali – Australia – New Zealand – Los Angeles -San Diego – Las Vegas – Grand Canyon – Vancouver – Whistler – Chicago and back to the UK

      Also travelled to Spain on a seperate trip.

      2012 starts with a trip to India – Mumbai -Pune – Nashik – Kolhapur – Pondicherry – Bali – Bandung – Belingtung

    • Cynthia Morris says:

      I had the great good fortune to visit my family in Lancaster, PA, which is an annual event. While there, I swung by DC for a day and thoroughly enjoyed that.

      Portland, OR for WDS was a real treat! Can’t wait to go back next year.

      Now for the travel:

      Paris (3 weeks)
      London – highlight of my year was riding a rented bicycle for one exhilarating hour across the city.
      Paris (7 weeks)

      Happy to be back in Denver, snug and cozy and preparing for 2012 travel!

    • Di says:

      Life is not so much about how many breaths you take, but more about how many moments that take your breath away. Travelling is like that for me. Not so much a list of the places I’ve been to but which ones touched me in that special place and changed me forever. (Goa, Lombok, Koh Samui to name a few) Off to Vienam /Cambodia next week. Hope it happens there too 🙂

    • Melissa says:

      This was a banner year for travel for me. I only explored two countries but I got to see a lot of places I had never been before. In chronological order (because I’m OCD like that):
      – San Francisco
      – Las Vegas
      – Los Angeles
      – All around Ireland
      – Washington DC
      – Chicago

      I also made a few trips home to New Brunswick and a few days in Toronto this summer. In 2012 I will be visiting Costa Rica and who knows where else!

    • tanja says:

      I’m 24 and thought about the goal to visit every country in the world since.. since I had geography at school, I think. Now that I see it’s really performable – I will begin with it too! You’re so inspiring.

      Here’s my list to which countries I’ve already been – but what’s also important to me, how much I have the feeling that I really saw something of the country and made memories there – those countries are marked with an X.

      – Germany (where I live) – X
      – Switzerland – X
      – Austria
      – France
      – Great Britain
      – Spain
      – Italy – X
      – Slovenia
      – Croatia
      – Greece
      – Turkey – X
      – Canada
      – USA (that’s another goal, maybe the more important to me – I want to visit every state of the USA.. I only been to New York and New Jersey till now, but there’s more to come soon)

    • Katie says:

      I’m 24 and I just moved to Albania where I’ll be living for two years. I love traveling but just started a couple years ago. I’ve made it to some old and new countries this year though…

      –Honduras // 1 week
      –Germany // 1 week
      –Italy // a couple days 2 times
      –Spain // 1 week
      –Albania // 5 months

    • Cate says:

      I’m traveling right now! We’re in the Swiss Alps, totally snowed in. (My husband is sitting on the couch reading your book.) It’s absolutely lovely (and cold) here.

    • Rob says:

      Just started following your blog, great stuff, love the travel
      Have you given any thought to what your last port of call will be? Where will visit last in the world?

    • Gillian Frances says:

      Australia is so isolated that big trips are infrequent, but this year; Barcelona, by sea to Genoa, then train to Austria and Budapest via Bratislava (just for the name and another country). Then flew to Scotland for five weeks including a brilliant week playing fiddle on the Isle of Skye. Back to Lisbon, round the bottom of Spain (Seville, Granada) and back to Barcelona to fly home.
      Next year more fiddle playing but in Northern California.

    • Andy Scarano says:

      With similar goals and ambitions, these are the subjects I look forward to reading. Needless to say, I thuroughly enjoy your entries. Cheers for all the motivation and inspiring ideas.
      My 2011:

      -Trinidad and Tobago (yes, both islands)
      -Puerto Rico (4 times)

      ….and for the states:

      -South Carolina
      -North Carolina
      -West Virginia
      -New York

      …looking to at least double, maybe tripple the list in 2012!

      Atlanta, Georgia

    • steve dunham says:

      I live in Long Beach, CA and had a very interesting year of travel (middle east). Now getting ready to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in January 2012!

      2011 Travel:

      United Arab Emirates
      Breckenridge, Colorado
      Houston and Dallas, Texas
      Cancun, Mexico
      Napa Valley, California

      Here’s to a great 2012!

    • moom says:

      South Korea (new)
      India (new)

      In 2012, New Zealand (new) is scheduled and after that we’ll see…

    • Red says:

      I love the annual review.
      This year I’ve travelled out backpacking style with:
      – Trips to Bangladesh, Kaiping, Zhu Hai (both China), Macau, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Hainan, around South Korea, Ladakh, Delhi, Kuching (Malaysia), Anambas (Riau archipelago), Maluku, Manado (all Indonesia).
      – A grand total of 9 trips out of the country
      – 4 New countries visited (China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, South Korea)
      – Best places visited this year would have to be Dhaka, Gyeongju, and Nubra Valley.

    • Barak says:

      During 2011 I traveled for work to Utah (a couple of times), Michigan (very hospitable people), North Carolina (good BBQ), Rhode Island (twice, spring and fall), Texas (best steak ever in Buffalo Gap), Colorado (twice, where I “taught” at the Air Force Academy and had some video shot for the project I’m working on), Oklahoma, Georgia and South Carolina. Personal travel this year included a trip to Tennessee in April (to explore the RV lifestyle) and Iowa in September (attended and spoke at Wayland Independent Bible Church 50th Anniversary). Both personal trips included stays at Bed & Breakfasts.

    • Tristan says:

      Great roundup Chris. I’ve been very fortunate this year. We visited Port Douglas (north-east Australia) in March, followed by a trip to New Zealand for adventure – paragliding, kayaking, cave-climbing and gorge swings), Thailand for scuba diving and Spain for practicing Spanish, visiting the Alhambra and eating too many delicious Tapas.

      Next year we’re hoping to visit Egypt and/or South America.

    • Elizabeth says:

      This was a fun travel year for me. I visited South America for the first time and went to Lima, Easter Island and Buenos Aires. I also did a roadtrip across the US with a friend. And since the year’s not over yet, I’m making a quick hop over to Frankfurt, which will be my first visit to Germany. All in all, a good year for me. And thanks to some travel hacking, I’m planning to return to Asia somewhere next year.

    • Suzanne Tilton says:

      My husband and I opened the year in Hawaii (most beautiful place I have ever been) and went snorkeling, whale watching and this 55 year old even went surfing. We spent the last two weeks in Florida and stayed at our friends beach house.

      In February we went to Quito, Ecuador. We went to Mindo which is a cloud rain forest.

      In April we spent a few days in New York City and Brooklyn. (Ate some wonderful pizza!)

      In May I traveled with my daughter to Medellin and Bogota, Colombia, and then went to Cuzco, Peru, and Machu Pichu. An absolutely amazing experience!

      July I traveled to Salt lake City, Utah for the Days of 47 and went to a rodeo.

      In November I had the opportunity to go to Madrid, Spain, and stay at a resort for a week, all expenses paid. I was involved in program where I helped Spaniards learn English by just talking English.

      I am leaving for Hawaii next week.

    • m says:

      In July I went to the Galway Film Festival and travelled from Edinburgh to Galway in Ireland by train & ferry (i’ve always flown before). I went Rail & Sail more info from It was fabuous. I want to do more slow travel in the next year.

    • Brian says:

      This year I visited (x denoting countries I visited for the first time):

      Pakistan (x)
      Poland (x)
      Latvia (x)
      Estonia (x)
      Finland (x)
      Lithuania (x)

    • Jenny says:

      Tulum, Mexico – Jan-Feb
      San Pancho, Mexico – February
      New York, NY x 3 – April, August, October
      Costa Rica – November

      2012 (planned)
      Las Vegas, NV, USA
      Tulum, QR, Mexico x 6wks
      Portland, Oregon – July
      somewhere new?

      Great article Chris! This year has been a good one. Much more positive.

    • Dave says:

      A year in Ethiopia for work, with a two-week vacation riding a motorcycle through the Alps in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Then a week in St. Thomas before returning back to the US today!

    • Socko says:

      After seeing the entire USA the past few years, in 2011 I started visiting lands outside our nation. Here is the list:

      Canada (Ontario and British Columbia)
      Cayman Islands
      Mexico (Yucatan)
      Puerto Rico
      The Bahamas

      My favorite was Bermuda, but they all were great for different reasons. And I already have my list for 2012 and a goal, 12 new countries in 2012.


    • Maggie Dodson says:

      2011 has been my big travelling year.

      In order of appearance:-

      Australia – Melbourne + Queensland
      Senegal – Dakar
      Australia – Melbourne

      Africa, US and Eastern Europe constituted the meat in my Aussie sandwich this year and then all roads lead back to London. I feel as if I have almost constantly been on the road this year partly because I always spend months in Oz and Dakar and that adds up to a lot of time away but compared to some people here and especially you, Chris, I barely moved.
      I loved being on the move in so many ways and in each place I had unforgettable experiences, in fact some of them were quite momentous, but I’m considering how much I need to be in one place for a long stretch in order to consolidate. At least for next year.

    • Sharon Knight says:

      This year’s highlight – Tuscany, Italy checking out castles. Which is easy to do since they’re on every hilltop.

      Aside from that, drove all over the U.S. playing music. There will be more of that next year – so far a highlight is to perform Halloween in a New Orleans Mansion. That should be fun! Also hoping some European tours come through.

    • Scott says:

      Chris. Thanks for the roundup. Always inspiring.

      I failed to chalk up any new countries in 2011 but did manage to finally move to Jakarta, Indonesia. Not an easy place to find a comfort zone. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Big move aside I ran a half marathon in Dili, Timor-Leste, went on four visa runs to Singapore, carried out field work in Sukabumi, Bali, Lombok and Yogyakarta, island hopped across seven islands via six bridges in Riau province (also in Indonesia), slashed around in the Thousand Islands just off Jakarta and today i’ll visit Bogor for the first time. This was a real contrast to the previous year back home in England where I followed by football team (Burnley) to every Premier League ground with just one victory out of 19. Throughout the whole season I took one weekend off from football fandom to run the London Marathon. Loved it so much that four weeks later I ran the Edinburgh marathon.

      I’m kicking off 2012 with a family holiday in Ko Lanta, Thailand and have set a goal to visit as many Indonesian islands as possible. 40 down, another 17,000 to go.

    • Hannah says:

      Thank you for sharing Chris!
      While I’m writing this from 30,000 feet above the North Sea (gotta love onboard wifi), I can only reflect on the year being WOW! I made several separate trips such as Thailand&philippines, Palestine&israel(getting lost in a very orthodox Jewish neighbourhood), Nepal (breaking ankle), Italy, and last but not least Cairo (where Tahrir Square protests flamed up again when I was there). Often I think it’s not the number of countries but what adventures you have while there which make it most memorable.
      Bring on 2012!

    • Anna says:

      Thanks for your fantastic blog, Chris. I’ve been reading it for a year now & find it very inspiring. I’m stoked you made it to Australia. If you’re down this way again, please let us know in advance & I’ll be happy to arrange all sorts of exciting trips. Sydney is great but there is so much more to see and do.

      Getting to lots of countries from Australia is challenging as we’re comparatively georgraphically isolated to you northern hemisphere types!

      I’ve been lucky that work has been providing me with opportunities to visit Europe for the past three years & various other random countries along the way. I’ve just changed occupations entirely and won’t get quite the same travel occasions in the coming years.

      This year I visited Luxembourg, the UK, Dubai & Portugal for the first time. I also returned to France, Belgium, the Netherlands & Spain. London was incredible, Portugal fantastic but I am truly in love with Spain!

      Last year I was lucky to visit Canada, Lithuania, Belarus & the Czech Republic for the first time, as well as several European destinations again.

      I’m flying ‘across the ditch’ to New Zealand tomorrow & will see in 2012 over there. Merry Christmas to all!

    • Monica says:

      My uncle travels a lot so when he moves somewhere new my mom and I usually go and visit him. Keep in mind, some of the things on here we visited just for fun! Here is my list:

      -Hong Kong
      -France (Paris, South of France, Champagne)
      -Mexico (Cozumel, Puerta Vallarta, Progresso)
      -Italy (Rome, Venice)
      -Australia (Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Phillips Island, Cairns, Great Barrier Reef)
      -Christchruch, New Zealand

      (I might be missing a few)

    • Jo says:

      I live in Israel and did a bit of travelling this year, although next year we plan on doing a lot more, including Africa for the first time! Unfortunately I didn’t visit any new countries to add to my list of 30, but that will change soon.
      2011 travels:
      South Korea
      Australia – the highlight being 4 nights on Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef for our honeymoon – what a piece of heaven! 2 meter long Turtles were laying eggs on the beach every night, 1000s of birds were nesting on the island, and the diving was spectacular.

      Thanks for the inspiration Chris. There is so much of this amazing world to see.

    • Kirsten Lodge says:

      This year I visited Sweden, France, Switzerland, Germany, England, Scotland, Spain and, after two years away, came back home to Australia. Last year was a mammoth travel year, 2011 was a little slower. But 2012 is the year I take my take my business out of Australia and become Location Independent…. and that means loads of TRAVEL 🙂

    • Suzanne says:

      Still sticking around America but ticked a lot off my list:
      Nassau Bahamas (well not America)
      Portland Oregon, Chicago!, Nashville, Charleston SC, San Francisco, NYC for new years.

    • Nico says:

      My main trip was three weeks to QingDao in China for an internship in a hospital for Traditional Chinese Medicin. Didn`t have much time for travelling but was able to spend a weekend at Qufu. I loved it all very much. Definitely am going back in a few years.

    • David Urmann says:

      Its hard to compete with the “Axis of Evil”. Looking back I had some interesting travels which mostly revolved around work. Last February I took my mom and wife on a tour of Rajasthan. In June I travelled with my wife in the Philippines. We found the very nice island of Camuigan. Also spent some time in other islands in Visayas. We will see what this year brings.

    • Michael W. says:

      Just curious- how did you get to go to Cuba? Did you go legally on a mission/ volunteering type of trip or did you go the illegal kind of way? Or was it some other way?

    • Chris says:

      See this post.

    • Ryan Victoria says:

      My travel goals are much less than Chris’: 1 international and 2 domestic travels.

      – For my international travel, I was able to go to France, Germany, Switzerland and India (stopovers in Amsterdam, Dubai, Bangkok).

      – For my domestic travel, I was able to go to Iloilo, Guimaras and Negros Occidental.

      Next year will be a good challenge: London Olympics!

    • Chris Reynolds says:

      I spent 2011 making my first long term move out of the States. My girlfriend and I moved to Costa Rica, and successful traveled to almost every nook and cranny in the country, also making a trip to Panama and Nicaragua! While living here we found a charity to work with in San Jose and successfully raised over $5000 for children with Developmental Disabilities by trekking across the country!!! Another great success is that we also became completely online this year by becoming English teachers, teaching students every evening from Mexico to Argentina. I would have to say that life has became even more KICK ASS in 2011, and only getting better. We are now preparing for our next move to an Island in the Caribbean in Panama, or the mountains of Peru….decisions, decisions. Life is way better out of the Rat Race!!! Pura Vida!!!

    • Eric says:

      I made it to:
      Kansas City, KS/MO
      New York, NY
      Omaha, NE
      London, England
      Paris, France (first time)
      Amsterdam, Netherlands (first time)
      and will be in Costa Rica for new years (first time)

      I love adding places to my first time list!

    • liisa says:

      Went to Australia (4th time) and travelled from Sydney to Perth on the Indian Pacific, fulfilling a dream I’ve had for a long time. Also had the joy of interacting with dolphins at Monkey Mia.

      Visited family in Sweden.

      Finally went to Estonia, where my father was born. Saw the places he lived as a boy, the road where my grandfather was killed during WWII, and met a swarm of cousins for the first time.

    • klaartje Loose says:

      I had very little chance to travel this year, my focus was in Holland to get some important work done, but have been to Portugal, Spain, and Belgium; none of them new on my travellist, but in all countries I went to new cities and landscapes 🙂

      I’m a slow traveller by the way, if I’m somewhere I take my time (spend 10 weeks in Vietnam and Cambodja earlier, 3 months in India, etc.)

      Next year I plan to travel to Asia again, it’s been too long…
      Maybe a massage-course of 1 month in Thailand?!?

      The Netherlands

    • Wyman says:

      Here is a thought. Sense some of these countries are so hard to get into maybe you can use your goal to visit every country to advantage. Write a blurb to their leader and ask, “do you want to be listed as the only country that would NOT let me in?” Stroke their ego. You might even get a royal welcome.

    • Cesar Kuriyama says:

      2011 was about accomplishing a life long dream. I spent all summer June/July/August (95 days total) driving around the Country, and drove back home to Brooklyn through length of Canada.

      This is what it looked like from the top view: 15,000 Miles

      I only paid for lodging about 5 or 6 times and crashed with friends, friend of friends, or camped under the stars.

      Bonus: I earned enough travel miles along the way to go around the world next year on OneWorld!

    • Dan says:

      Just came across your site- enjoying it so far, great stuff.

      For me this year I got to Malaysia, Singapore, India, Nepal, Thailand, and moved to Chile (from Australia).

      All these were new except Malaysia. I think I am 16 countries total now, but plenty more to go. Hopefully a few more countries in South America for 2012, and maybe a trip to Europe too.

    • Melissa says:

      2010 was my big travelling year where I fulfilled a lifelong ambition of travelling South America but 2011 is shaping up pretty well too. So far have travelled to:

      – Las Vegas
      – Copenhagen
      – Barcelona
      – Miami – where I flew in with no accommodation and partied for 3 days straight with some new found friends!
      – Colombia (Best country in the world for me and always my high point!)

      Coming up in the next few months:
      – Singapore
      – Menorca
      – Berlin
      – Mauritius!!!
      – Plus vietnam and Cambodia TBC


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