2012 Annual Review: Travel Roundup


Where did you go in 2012? Feel free to share with other readers … my own notes are below.


Every year as part of the Annual Review, I look back on where I’ve been.

As usual, this year’s list is fairly long—though not as long as some previous years in terms of new countries. This year has been more of a clean-up mission, where I’ve visited a number of places that have eluded me over the previous few years.

In 2012 I made it to the following countries, in rough chronological order:

Tajikistan, Chad, Eritrea, Vanuatu, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Turkmenistan, Sudan, Republic of Congo, Yemen, Seychelles, Kiribati, Sao Tome, Guinea Bissau

Note: this is the list of new countries. I also visited 15+ countries I’ve been to before.

A Few Highlights

  • Early in the year, I was officially deported from a country for the first time. (Readers then had a no-holds-barred debate over whether this trip should ‘count’ as an official visit. Fortunately, a large majority agreed that it should.)
  • In May I went on the road to meet readers for The $100 Startup launch and first tour to 25 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. (Later I went back out to 6 more U.S. cities, in addition to a U.K. launch in London and two reader meetups in Australia.)
  • I ran the Chicago Marathon, then got on a plane the next night and flew to Australia—a long flight! Then I went to Kiribati, where I was stuck in makeshift exile after the Air Pacific plane failed to return from Fiji. I finally made it out and spent the night back in Sydney, probably my favorite city in the world… especially after being stuck on a tiny island.
  • I also got stuck in the Seychelles, which led to an observation: when you’re stuck, it doesn’t matter if you’re in paradise—you’re still stuck. Eventually I made it out of there too and up to Barcelona, where I was speaking at an event.
  • I visited Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, my final “stans” and both surprisingly fun places. Before I traveled in Central Asia, I was intimidated by it. Now that I’ve had several visits there, I’m much more comfortable in the region and hope to return at some point.
  • Right after Thanksgiving, I went on a two-week tour of India with Jolie.
  • I finally made it to Guinea Bissau, country #191 and the place I’ve been flummoxed by in several previous attempts. Like the Chicago Marathon, all’s well that ends well.
  • Lastly, the way I travel began to change this year. I spoke at dozens of events and meetups, including invitations from Google, Evernote, and probably 15 different co-working spaces and small businesses throughout North America. It’s been fun to combine this kind of work with the more solitary travel I’ve done for years. As I look ahead to the future, I expect I’ll be doing this kind of travel more often.


Every Country in the World

I’m almost done! There are only two countries left! Next week I’m going to Tuvalu, and if all goes well there will be a small party in Norway next April. I don’t want to jinx it, so I’ll save my thoughts on the last final efforts for later.

For now: thanks to everyone who has been such a huge part of the journey for the past five (!) years.

Travel Hacking Around the World

Regular readers know that I pay for many of my trips through travel hacking—the art of using Frequent Flyer miles and other low-cost travel strategies to see the world on an affordable budget. A quick look at the earlier list of countries brings to mind a number of especially good opportunities. Miles allowed me to visit at least half of the new countries on my list. I also began a Round-the-World ticket from Sudan, which (at the time) offered the lowest price of origin anywhere in the world.

In addition, I benefited from elite status with American Airlines (equivalent to the OneWorld Emerald level) as well as Hyatt, Hilton, and Starwood hotels. Many of my transit flights came from miles on other carriers—two Upper Class flights on Virgin Atlantic, a First Class Qantas flight to Melbourne on the A380, and at least twenty other flights. It really does work!

Public Service Announcement

You can learn about travel hacking a number of ways, including reading the many free posts on AONC as well as other blogs that are more specialized on the topic. Alternatively, you can check out one of our paid resources:

Travel Hacking Cartel: where we’ve served nearly 15,000 members since beginning last year

Frequent Flyer Master: the original guide to travel hacking (a revised version is coming soon, which will be free to all current owners)

Cards for Travel: a free site that offers updated info and application links to the latest credit card offers

Even as the quest to “go everywhere” winds down, I hope to keep traveling and travel hacking for years to come.

That’s My Story … What About You?

Feel free to share your full or partial list of travel adventures.

By the way, don’t worry if your list of 2012 trips doesn’t include being deported or visiting 30 countries. I’ve been doing this a while. 🙂


Image: Tribe

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    • Dan Garner says:

      I moved, traveled from California to the Outer Banks in North Carolina in a VW van at the first of the year. It was a blast, but somewhat rushed. I’ve only been on a few trips since – Atlanta, Detroit, etc..(boring). I’m itching to get back out west soon and I haven’t been out of the country is several years. I hope to travel a lot more this year. Alaska, Italy, and Spain are on my radar.


    • Jodi Henderson says:

      I set some goals at the beginning of the year and only managed to reach the travel-related ones! I took my niece and nephew to France (with a day trip to Bruges mixed in) in March, visited Seattle in May (gorgeous) and just returned on Monday from a Germany/Switzerland trip (with a day trip to Salzburg). Next up: Oslo in April and Portland in July.

    • Elise says:

      I visited a great friend in London in February. Flew over the Atlantic to spend some time with old friends in NJ and NYC in March. Went from Paris to Berlin over Leuven, Brussels, Antwerp and Gent for a hot summer break. I went on a rail road trip from Atlanta to Chicago through Nola and Memphis for my story telling project collecting life lessons of 70+ seniors. Flew back home from O’Hare to step on the StartupBus that left Berlin in late November to arrive in Paris by early December. Life is a rollercoaster.

    • Kenn says:

      This was a pretty good travel year for me. Most recently, we just got back last week from a couple weeks in Hong Kong and Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai), and back in May we spent about a week in Stockholm followed by a week in Copenhagen, which quickly became my favorite city.

      Domestically, we made a handful trips to Los Angeles, Seattle, and Salt Lake City at various points throughout the year and this September we did a west coast road trip to promote the latest Colette Patterns release, with launch events in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and LA (~2,800 miles of driving over two weeks – ouch!). We wrapped that up with a few days in sunny Palm Springs and a long drive up the coast from LA to central Oregon before coming back to PDX.

      This winter will find us in LA again soon and then out to the northeast in spring for more promotional events in NYC, Boston, and possibly Philly. No firm international travel plans for 2013 yet, but we’re thinking possibly a few weeks in Australia this fall.

    • Suzanne in VA says:

      In my quest to get to all 50 states by the time Im 50 I made good progress in 2012: Louisiana (Nola!) , Texas (San Antonio), Montana (Glacier, Bozeman, Butte etc), Maine (9 lighthouses and yummy lobster) New hampshire (live free or die!). Also made it to the Pacific Coast Hwy via San Diego to San Jose and two trips to Chicago. Hope to make it to Colorado (already booked in March) Arizona, Wyoming and Vermont this year. Thanks for the inspiration even if our goals are different I love to read of your travels.

    • Christina says:

      I’ve been strictly stateside this year; hoping to make it out of the country in 2013. But, I did have a couple cool adventures in the States (outside of my normal turf in Chicago) – I went to San Francisco for a week, and to Oregon for another week, for the first time (Portland + Ashland). AND I just purchased a ticket to New Orleans for February using the Chase Sapphire card that you recommended! So, thanks Chris, I got a free trip thanks to you. 🙂

    • Joseph Bernard says:

      Great Year Chris, almost done with your amazing goal.

      My outer travel have been boring.

      My inner travels simply amazing. I can go anywhere I want for free when I travel the inner highways of visualization and out-of-body- experiences. No travel hacking needed.

      One of my favorite inner travels was to discover that not only was I in the universe but the universe was in me.

      Have the most expansive 2013.

    • Amaya says:

      In 2012 my husband and I were able to cycle through 11 more countries (China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, East Timor, Australia and New Zealand) moving the total to 93…still 100 more to go.

      Hope you’re able to knock off your final two in 2013!

    • David says:

      I got to two new countries for me: New Zealand (right next door to Australia where I live) and Spain (people are often surprised I haven’t been there as I grew up in England). I was also in Austria (Vienna) and Israel. And airports in Dubai (new), Paris, and Rome. In Australia I went to Western Australia for the first time which is my last state or territory I hadn’t been too (not counting Norfolk Island etc.). I went there twice. The second time got to the Margaret River area.

    • MoneyMateKate says:

      I tackled Africa for the first time – and the second! Tanzania happened in February, and South Africa happened in November. My brother tagged along for part of the Tanzania adventure (Serengeti), but was clearly not ready for the Third World and high-tailed it home 3 days early.

    • Lavinia Vitonescu says:

      I’m Romanian, and I traveled twice to the Us (Ga, Sc, Nc, Tn), once to Italy and Switzerland. It was a very good year for me.

    • David says:

      Work-wise the year’s been a bit up and down but in terms of travel, it’s been great… something for me to remember – a couple of times I’ve been reflecting on the year and found myself only thinking of that ‘business’ angle!

      Copenhagen in June. Then a mini-road-trip up to Scotland, via Northumberland, late summer (I’m Manchester, England!), booking only the first night’s accommodation. Then after a couple of days I found myself right on the north coast, Cape Wrath, amazing place. Brighton followed, sandwiched between numerous trips to London, which of course was made all the more special by the Olympics. Autumn found me Paris (and at my third photo festival of the year :-)), then down to London again to lead into the festive season.

      Glad I stopped-by to write, I don’t normally, it’s reminded me of just how influential all the trips have been, in one way or another, on my thinking, my outlook, the rest of the time.

    • Antonia Lo Giudice says:

      I spend the entire 2012 traveling across South America! Brought in the New Year in Valparaiso, Chile, and a spectacular fireworks show. Met amazing people who are living proof that one person can make a difference (Julia who founded the first institute for the hearing impaired, Pilar who changed the structure for preparing prisoners to get back in society, etc.) Moved on to Ecuador, experienced the traditions during the “semana santa” (Holy week), spend over a week in the amazon, with no hot water and electricity, volunteer teaching kids in an elementary school. Moved to Arequipa, Peru, experienced a 4 day trekking trip in the colca canyon, traveled to Cusco to visit Macchu Picchu. Went back to Montreal to visit friends and family, to my surprise, had a major return cultural shock! Went back Ecuador, Quito, where I got my back pack stolen (with my passport in it!!!!). Good thing, there is a Canadian Embassy, turned out fine:) I am currently in Medellin, Colombia, Christmas has been one of my most memorable one.
      Everyone I have met has taught me so much about the value in the simple things. I felt I was re born, like a child discovering all my surroundings for the first time.

    • Kathryn says:

      I spent 3 months in Japan. I actually want to visit every prefecture in Japan. I’ve been to quite a few but don’t count the ones I’ve just pass through on the train.

    • Kasha says:

      Our travels are coupled with races – we call them race-cations. We went to Naples, Florida; L.A.; San Luis Obispo; San Francisco; Boise and Sun Valley, ID; Cambridge, MD; Front Royal, VA; Cozumel, Mexico …
      Next Year will be Kona, HI – for Ironman World Championships, Naples, FL (again); Twin Falls and Ketchum, ID; Spain and France hopefully for some riding.

    • Nine says:

      I started the year where I’m finishing it: pet sitting in New Zealand. In between, I passed through Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Turkey on my way to pet sit in Germany, then the Netherlands, Scotland and France before returning to Malaysia and the boy I’d had a date with during my stopover. I spent most of the rest of the year based in Malaysia, with excursions to Thailand and the Philippines, and we went to Germany together (same route as before) along with England and Belgium; I also spent a few days in Luxembourg. After six or seven weeks back in Malaysia, I visited Australia for a few days en route to New Zealand. And now I’m here.

    • Garin says:

      I went to Iran over the summer. It was probably my most adventurous and most rewarding trip to date. I went with the hopes of coming back and telling people that it was a great country and we shouldn’t go to war, and sure enough I was right. It was one of the most enchanting places I’ve ever been and the people were absolutely amazing.

    • Jacko says:

      I went to a local state park in northern Florida and got lost for several hours it was very fun and it felt like I was in another country, we had a blast.

      Traveling now is crazy with all of the scanners and fondling by “screeners” but whenever they stop that stuff I look forward to traveling more over seas.

      I’m not trying to get tazed or indefinitely detained forever for opting out.

    • Hanna says:

      Phweeeeew! What a travel year 2012 has been! I’ve been lucky enough to visit several countries which are normally off the tourist track including Pakistan, Chad, South Sudan and Sierra Leone. All of them were new countries for me, and in the case of South Sudan which was new in itself haing just turned 1 years old. All were just amazing places to visit too! Attended a beautiful local wedding in Pakistan; endured +48C and the sweet hospitality of the people in Chad; met displaced people in South Sudan who after enduring war are still resilient; and visited the best beaches and ate some very delicious seafood in Sierra Leone.

      Intersecting these trips were some other trips to countries where I’d already been before including Italy’s beautiful Amalfi coast and Florence. 

      Happy travelling to everyone for 2013!

    • Slawek says:

      Does travel hacking work outside US? Specifically, does it work in Asia and Australia?

    • Delphine says:

      I’m on a 2-year-long around-the-world surf trip with my husband. We are one year and two months into it, so far visiting and surfing incredible waves in Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Portugal, Morocco and Senegal (from which I’m writing at the moment!). We still plan on heading to Sri Lanka, Singapore (not for surf but for family), Indonesia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii before ending up back in California. Your blog has been an inspiration all along, ever since the idea for this surf trip was just a seed in our minds three and a half years ago. Here’s to more travel and chasing big dreams in 2013!

    • Steve says:

      Wow what a list of travel exploits, and I thought I had been adventurous visiting 6 different countries in Europe, the Carribean and Africa this year. Love the philosophy of wanting to visit every country in the world, and the info about travel hacking is very enlightening. Thank you for an inspirational post!

    • Matt says:

      I made a trip through six countries in south america and then continued to travel in the US and Canada. After that I visited Paris, London and Amsterdam and now I just came back from a 4-week-trip through Spain. I have travelled almost 50.000 km and only half of it in the air (16 flights).
      But most importantly and aside from all the numbers: I have never learned so much in one year, met so many nice people, did so many things I never thought I would ever do!

    • Letitia says:

      I had a two-month sabbatical from work this year so I was able to travel to Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing, all for the first time. Then I got to rent an apartment in Paris for a few weeks which was amazing with a quick stop in London before heading home, back to work but not before fiendishly devising my plan on how to make travel a much bigger part of my life than it is today (which is why I’m here on this site!).

    • Mariellen Ward says:

      This year, I took my sixth trip to India in seven years. Over the last three months I have criss-crossed the subcontinent, visiting tropical beaches, the Taj Mahal (again), bustling Mumbai, a legendary dance festival, the home of a saint … and much more. India is an exciting travel destination and it has really captured my imagination. In fact, I have followed my heart and built my whole career around writing about this magical place. However … something changed recently, and for the first time while travelling in India, I feel homesick. It’s time for change.

    • Ryan McRae says:

      I moved to Afghanistan. Totally not what the brochure promised. You can see my travels and experiences at my blog above.

      I have a new perspective on life and how these soldiers sacrifice for us.

    • Chris says:

      This was my biggest year of travel yet! In May my wife and I traveled to Greece for a week and than Italy for another week. Then in July my dad and I went on our big father son trip to Vanuatu (the island my grandfather lived on during World War II). We also spent a week in Sydney. Then in August a couple friends and I drove from Iowa to Colorado and climbed Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert in a weekend.

      Next year’s goals are either London or a roadtrip to the Pacific Northwest, climb atleast 4 more fourteeners in Colorado (my life goal is to do all of them), and travel down to Patagonia.

    • mikevallano says:

      Though cut short by some family health issues, we were able to live in Mexico and Costa Rica for a couple months each. Looking forward to much more travel in 2013.

    • Ele says:

      This fall, I spent a weekend in Brussels with some friends and then left to visit the US for the first time!
      I spent almost 3 months in San Francisco joining an intensive course in computer programming… such an interesting and inspiring experience!

    • Sofie says:

      I’ve been to London on the annual trip I take with my dad. As always, ti was great. I’ve also been on an almost two-week trip to the Basque Country with my boyfriend. Although the weather wasn’t that nice, I loved it there. Beautiful nature and lots of cozy coast towns.
      Another city trip was made to Paris and after having visited this city already several times, it was only this last time that I really fell for it.
      My most inmportant trip of 2012 was my two-week trip to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. I’d been wanting to take dance classes in LA for ages and finally I did, and I’m so going back!
      Oh and I also went to Dusseldorf for a day and did several other small day trips:-)

      2013: bring it on!:)

    • Aditya Jaykumar says:

      Well, in 2012 I travelled to the USA for a month. I started on the east coast in Framingham and Boston. I really loved the sunshine, food and warm culture in these places. I then travelled to Manhattan, where I visited broadway, the Empire State, battery park and had a lotta amazing food again like pizzas and spaghetti. It was then time for me to head to the west coast and I started in sunny Los Angeles. I went to places like Beverly Hills,Hollywood, Santa Monica beach, hooters. and Ofcourse the ever popular Madame Tussaud’s. I then took a ride upstate to classy San Fran, and walked across the golden gate, Sausalito, and crooked street. Finally I met my cuz in San Jose and we chilled and drove around in the wonderful hills. I hiked to the observatory in Berkeley from where I could see the beautiful Bay Area, and immersed myself in the amazing greenery that was in the area. All throughout I met some amazing people and had so many new experiences.. Next year however, I don’t want to do the same touristy stuff, I wanna do some backpacking up the Appalachian trail or go camping up in yellow stone. I wanna sit by still lakes, take in the pure air and bask in natures glory.any one in? 🙂

    • Sarka says:

      I am from Czech republic and this year I visited Mallorca, Rome and Vienna.

    • Mark says:

      My goal was to get to at least one foreign destination this year, and I made it to two! I went to Aruba for 4 days and spent 1 1/2 weeks in Japan.

    • Shannon says:

      We taveled across the U.S. for six months hitting 38 states, spent one night in London, and we’ve been based in Istanbul for the last two months, which as been incredible! Our plans for 2013 include a month in Greece, a few weeks Jordan, and a month traveling around Eastern Europe before settling in Malaysia for six months. While we are based Malaysia we definitely plan on traveling around a lot, so who knows where we will end up!

    • Mademoiselle Slimalicious says:

      In 2012 I went to Bali (twice), Kenya, Tanzania and Fiji. I also travelled within Australia (where I live), including Perth (x3), Melbourne (where I met you) and Brisbane.

    • Bryan Williams says:

      Well done Chris. The above comments shows the following you truly do have. I feel you more than anyone have ”bridged the gap” between travel and financial independence or income in able to do so. I have been travelling on and off for 6 years, having now been to 45 countries and lived extensively in 5. The vast majority of people I have met along the way are travelling are on holidays, gap years, extended trips or in between gigs. I have done the ”work -save- travel -work -save -travel” repeat cycle. This is simply non sustainable.. I am now in Bolivia taking a mini retirement researching business plan for my return to my homeland of Australia, so I can work and remote and keep living the dream so to say. Thanks for the inspiration and keep it coming.

    • Rosanna says:

      I went to Guadalajara, Mexico, Paris, the Netherlands, Belgium, London, Bath, England, and Stonehenge.

    • Graham says:

      My strategy is not to travel the world, but to explore as thoroughly as possible just the regions that appeal the most. For me this is the cooler parts of Australia and New Zealand.

      2012 saw me achieve this with Tasmania. After many trips I’ve now been just about everywhere I can get to in Tasmania using two-wheel drive vehicles or within my hiking capabilities. Mission accomplished

      Visiting new places is always a joy, but for me there is also much joy in seeing previously-visited places in great depth, over time, and in different seasons. A bit like getting to know one friend really well, as opposed to having a lot of acquaintances.

    • Jo Lee says:

      Paris in March for a week. Then quit my job and went back for the summer. Lived out of Paris while visiting its suburbs in Crepy-en-Valois, road trip down south to Cannes, Nice and (my favorite) beautiful Castellane with the mindblowing Verdon cradling this paradisiac town. Flew out to Rome for a week, after a quick stop in Frankfurt. Landed in Zurich on the way back.

      All this was done solo and only because a year ago, I discovered this blog and read through the archives like a mad woman, in awe of this nomadic stranger who was ballsy enough to dream of traveling to every country in the world. I figured heck, if he can do it, I can do anything I’ve ever wanted to do. And I have so far.

    • John Carpenter says:

      New places for me in 2012: Nanjing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen (China); Tokyo (Japan), Budapest (Hungary); Abu Dhabi (UAE); Charlottesville, NC (USA). Also in 2012, but not new places for me: Singapore, Munich.

    • Arnaud Van de Calseyde says:

      Man! I hope you don’t do the whole little-flags-of-the-countries-i’ve-been-to on your backpack or it must be weighing a ton by now! Two countries left is really impressive!

      I’m taking a gap year, started on december 1st 2012 and have been to: India, Nepal, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Hong Kong, China, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Brasil, Ecuador, Colombia, Canada and about 7 states in the US. Now in Chilean Patagonia for 2 months! Your 100$ startup book was a good read while travelling, I’m hoping to bring in some cash in a couple of weeks…

    • Lana says:

      14 countries in 2014, including my first summer living in just a tent through Europe. I’m in Korea now, hope to do more travel through Asia in 2013 and maybe Central America.

    • Dustin Hartzler says:

      Started the year with a mission trip to Jamaica in February.

      Then took an 18 day trip through Europe in May. Countries included: Ireland, France, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Vatican City, Austria, Germany and Czech Republic. Most of the travel was done by car, so we saw thousands of miles in between each destination.

      In November we took a Caribbean cruise and visited: Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Lucia, Antigua, Guadaloupe and St. Croix.

      Quite an amazing year!

    • Sherice says:

      This year I managed to surprise myself – I went from dreaming of worldwide travel to actually living it and it all started with one decision.

      I started the year off with a trip to Arizona, then went to Ireland in the spring, Virgina for the summer follower by a trip to Korea and started off the winter in Thailand. We ended up loving Thailand so much that we extended our stay until Feb which meant we also had to extend our visas. So we just did our first visa run to Burma yesterday and in two weeks we’ll do another one to Cambodia.

      It’s amazing what you can do in one year! Thanks so much Chris, couldn’t have made all this possible without you – thanks for teaching us how to build empires so we can live our dreams!

      Khap Khun Kha!

    • Brad says:

      Hi Chris, congrats on hitting 191 countries! This year, I relocated from Orlando, FL to Sydney, Australia. Sydney is by far my favorite city as well (but that could change soon!). While in Australia, I visited Cairns (dove the GBR), the Blue Mountains (amazing scenery), Gold Coast (surfing, drinking, beaching), Forster (surfing, relaxing), and Melbourne (partying, city-slicking). I then went off to Bali for a week of surf and exploring which was my first non-english speaking experience in a 2nd/3rd world country. $1 Bintangs were a nice change from $8 Coopers in Sydney ;). I also went over to the 7th state of Australia (NZ) and did a tour of the north island in a campervan and I’m currently trekking around the south island. Off to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore in min-Jan. Good way to start off 2013! Happy early-NY as well 🙂

    • Marshall Jones Jr. says:

      Wow, it’s always to inspiring to read through these roundups, from you, Chris, and from everyone else.

      This year, 2012, has been the biggest travel year for me, at least in terms of distance overall and new places visited. In January, I finally did the North Korea trip you did, Chris, which I think was definitely worth it also. Later, I flew with a friend to Jeju, the Korean island off the cost of mainland Korea. Toward the middle of the year, I took a month and a half to explore southeast Asia, hitting up a bunch of amazing places in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. I’m back in Kentucky (USA) now after, out of nowhere, scoring a trip to Alaska to see a friend.

      I haven’t set any specific dates yet, but 2013 is looking pretty promising on the travel front as well, maybe even including some of Central Asia.

      Overall, I’m totally blessed… and looking forward to see where you go, Chris, after you close your primary quest for countries.

    • Gigi says:

      Congrats on almost being done with your quest!

      In 2012 I gave up my permanent address and started a life of full-time travel. Countries I hit this first year for the first time include: Belize, Scotland, Belgium, and Germany. Countries I revisited this year include: Switzerland, France, Spain, and Italy, where I’ll also be kicking off the new year!


    • Robin Heinen says:

      Hey Chris, It has been a calm year for me. I visited a few countries. In January I flew to gran canaria, to escape the dutch winter. In June, I visited Riga, Latvia. In July I went to Krakow, Poland. I made my last trip in august. I flew to Dublin, Ireland . I had a great time, but would have loved to travel more. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do so. I have been saving for a 4 month trip to south east Asia in early 2013. Furthermore, I’ll travel to Portugal and Spain, Balkan, Russia and maybe Nepal. We’ll see… Enough fun to look forward to…

    • Theresa says:

      Last December, I quit my soul-sucking corporate day job to pursue my dream/passion of managing tours for bands. The first tour I did in 2012 was an epic, 12,000+ mile road trip with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. We started in San Diego, California and journeyed on a circuitous route across the U.S., finishing up 2 months later in Quebec City, Canada. We played shows in 38 cities along the way.

      I did 2 other tours this year with bands from Pakistan and Haiti, mostly fly dates, to 17 more cities in the U.S. The band of Haitians and I rode out Hurricane Sandy in western Massachusetts, and our first Nor’easter in Connecticut the following week. I spent my 50th birthday in Helena, Montana, where the Pakistanis surprised me with champagne, cake, balloons, and gifts.

      All in all, I visited or passed through many areas of the country that I’d never seen before. Looking forward to getting on a world tour soon….I love my work!

    • jlcollinsnh says:

      Cleveland in the Spring to visit friends, we used to live there. Summer took us in a big circle from Lima thru Peru, Bolivia and the northern tip of Chile and back to Lima.

      October & the beginning of November I returned to Ecuador for about a month. Am writing this in Valencia, Spain. We just came down from Paris with our daughter who is in Rennes for University this year.

      We’ll be back in New Hampshire January 1st. Only certain plans for 2013 is a return to Ecuador in September where I’ll be speaking at a financial/living free retreat with Cheryl Reed, Mr. Money Mustache and JD Roth.

      We are still debating where to spend this summer and the options are all over the place! Might depend on where our daughter does her internship.

      Safe journeys to all!!

    • Tearei says:

      Love these stories!
      Thanks to you and a few other trailblazers, my husband and I stopped our ‘experimental’ phase (6 mo. in Portland, 6 mo. in Seaside, OR as a trial), and went full-stop just before New Years. We celebrated NYE in Las Vegas, Nevada, right on the strip.
      From Las Vegas we visited the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Albuqueque, San Antonio, New Orleans (for Spring Break – WOW!), and Orlando.
      We stayed in a 1/2 million dollar condo on the LV strip, swam with manatees in, saw the Grand Canyon, DisneyWorld and many, MANY other ‘bucket list’ type adventures.
      Came back home for a couple months then back to Las Vegas again to escape the Oregon rain 🙂 Spent Christmas in San Antonio and will head back to New Orleans soon (We’re doing a ‘best of’ trip this time around.)
      We’re a little older than most, have a little more baggage (and a dog), and do this all on a tight budget – but we’re hacking the best we can! (Currently staying in a 1-bed suite at a Hilton for less than the price of Motel 6)
      We’re mostly bummed we missed your party back home in PDX, and we’re super proud our young adult niece and nephew are adopting this non-traditional lifestyle as well!
      Happy travels in 2013!

    • Mike Ragsdale says:

      We took our kids around the world for 8 months.

      We visited many countries in Eastern Europe (Poland, Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Czech Repub, Montenegro, etc.)… in the latter half of 2011. This time last year, we were in Turkey (Instanbul, Cappadocia and Ephesus). We spent January in India (exploring many places throughout Rhajastan), and then went to Malaysia. We then stayed in Indonesia (Bali and Gili Islands) for 2 months, before going to Hong Kong and then home in April. About 20 countries in total during the 8 months. It was a wonderful life-changing trip for our family, and your tales inspire us to take on another trip soon! Safe Travels and Happy New Year all!

    • Matt says:

      I finally got around to going to Israel this year, which was legit. Then, a few weeks later, I was bored at work so I decided to book a ticket and fly to London for the last weekend of the Olympics on a whim. I was able to fly business class from EWR to LHR- awesome. Besides that, I went to Miami and made several trips back and forth from DC to NY.

    • Cynthia Morris says:

      Wow, Chris, I can’t believe you’re almost done. I’m sure I am not alone in wanting to read a book about your trips. Not a how-to, just essays.

      What a thrill to read about everyone’s travels. Truly inspirational to see the variety with which we launch ourselves into the world.

      This year, for me: New York three times (!!), Portland, Oregon coast, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, a wee foray into the mountains here in Colorado, Paris, Rome, Sicily (that was new), Mexico (also new) and Florida – where I was staying at the same hotel as Mitt Romney on debate night.

      Next year I’ll do some of the kind of travel you are doing – speaking and travel combined. Can’t wait!

      Thanks for the inspiration to be an intrepid traveler!

    • Kim says:

      For 2012, Internationally speaking, I dediced to join the “slow travel” movement. I walked the Camino de Santiago. This route started in St. Jean Pied de Port, France and ended in Santiago, Spain. What an amazing journey. Physically I walked 500 miles in 32 days. Emotionally, I gained a much needed new perspective and spiritually speaking I am a new gal.

      For domestic travels, I visited Arizona, California and Michigan. I was also able to visit a few places in New Mexico that I have never been to.

      For 2013 I am still in the dreaming phase. I would love to do another walking vacation and in general Asia is also on my radar.

      Thank you for the great blog.

    • Nicole says:

      Since following Chris in 2011 I’ve made it a goal to obtain a stamp on my passport at least once per year. In 2012 I visited Cancun, Mexico and now spending New Year’s in Ecuador and the Amazon! Next stop Spain! Thanks for encouraging me to do something different! Can’t wait for the adventures of 2013!

    • Jenny says:

      In 2012 I was fortunate to spend January 1st in Texas, a spring break trip to Phoenix Arizona and the Grand Canyon, and a once in a lifetime backpacking trip to Europe in July.

      I hoped living without travel in 2013 would be easy while i pay off debts, but in reality I am miserable when I can’t travel 🙂
      The holiday party in Portland would have been great, but I have big goals in mind to keep working towards, and this blog to help me along. Thanks Chris and the Aonc team for providing such helpful and interesting content this year.

    • Manali Shah says:

      Sounds like a fun year for you, Chris 🙂
      As for me, I made my first international trip this year (and first time on a plane too). Along with my sister, I flew to Singapore, spent a couple of days exploring the city and then, as planned, we boarded a cruise – Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas. It was fantastic. We docked in Port Kelang in Malaysia for a day, where we went around Malaysia and had a great time!
      I’m looking forward to more countries and fun experiences in 2013! Hope you get to visit the last two countries on your list 🙂

    • Laurenne says:

      I think I spent about 25% of this past year on vacation and much of that was traveling. I went to San Jose, San Fran, Sacramento, and Los Angeles to start the year. I took a week in Chicago in March and went on a 31 day adventure around Europe (Barcelona, all over france, northern italy, Poland, and London). I took a quick trip back to LA and a long weekend in NJ beyond my local travel adventures around the Northeast. I also went down to Baltimore for the first time.

      It was a great year. 2013 is going to be even better in terms of traveling. Bring it on!

    • Dani says:

      I think I spent way longer reading where everyone who commented traveled in 2012 than reading your actual post 😉 Amazing that you are almost done with your quest to visit every country in the world – you inspire me to travel to more places, although my girlfriend and I made it our goal for 2012 to travel slower – after two years of full-time travel, we were beginning to get tired. We ended up visiting only 10 countries last year, and I think we’ll keep this slow pace in 2013. Happy New Year, Chris, and looking forward to finding out what your next big challenge will be!

    • Beth says:

      Hi Fellow Travel Enthusiasts,
      I had a dream opportunity for unlimited air travel this year for little or no cost; the only catch was I had to stay on United Airlines routes and I only had six months in which to travel. I had to be back in the US by July 31st and no time to send my passsport off for visas. And of course there was this little thing called the lack of money, but isn’t that always the way? There were dozens of reasons NOT to take advantage of this opportunity but only ONE reason to go; see the world! Since we still had to check in at home for business reasons we couldn’t be gone continuously, so we bounced back to the US in between adventures. My husband and I visited 10 countries on 5 continents: Japan (twice), Thailand, Cambodia, Spain, Morocco, Peru, Costa Rica, Argentina and the east coast of the US. We travellled over 75,000 miles first class and paid under $2,000 in total airfare for the both of us. We became spoiled quickly. We had no itineraries and no reservations just freedom. We had the time of our lives and met incredible people and saw unbelievable wonders. Now we are ready to plan a 2013 with more incredible travel destinations!!!

    • Rachel Walaskay says:

      Since reading your books, I’ve spent a LOT of time contemplating my own situation in life. I am impressed by your determination to reach your goal of visiting every country in the world – I can see that this is very important to you. I’ve only traveled overseas once in my lifetime. In 1991, I visited England and France. Most of my time was spent in London, with a few days in Paris. I was less than impressed with both experiences. However, what really resonated with me was the time I spent in the English countryside. I find this to be generally true for me no matter where I go. I am most drawn to natural places of sacred spiritual energy. It has been my wish for many years to some day visit all of the sacred places on earth… but, your blog has gotten me to thinking that my fantasy could potentially become a reality, if I am willing to take the steps necessary to make it a tangible goal. I am investigating this – and starting to envision the possibilities for making it happen. Thank you for the inspiration! Namaste!!!

    • Michael Smith says:

      Thanks for sharing your 2012 travel, sounds fun! Last year I traveled in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Argentina, UK, France and Belgium. I learned to tango in Buenos Aires, I did a 4 day sun-moon dance in La Paz with no water or food during the dance (that was a stretch for me!) and I visited Ypres where my grandfather had been in WWI which I found very moving.

      I spent most of the year living in Peru and learning Spanish. I sold my house and car in Maryland and feel freer to travel now.

    • Holly Minch says:

      Like Suzanne, I am also on a quest to visit all 50 US states, and my goal is to do it by my 40th birthday. 2012 brought me to states 42 (Alabama) and 43 (Delaware). And started planning yesterday for states 44 & 45, which I’ll visit next month. That leaves 22 months to visit the final five states, so I am confident I’ll meet that goal. Hardest part will be choosing which of them to celebrate my 40th birthday in!

      2012 also brought some excellent international travel opportunities, with a month-long trip though Africa. (Ethiopia to visit friends, Tanzania for a safari, and South Africa to visit a place I’ve long been fascinated by.) And I had a chance to travel to Australia for work, and enjoyed taking a few days to visit an old friend in Sydney.

      Excited to see what 2013 will bring…

    • Valerie says:

      All within the US:

      Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida (where I currently reside). This was a roadtrip around the south, completing a goal of travelling to each of the 48 continental United States (next, award trips to Alaska and Hawaii.)

      Las Vegas, where I presented on social media to a small group of 100 people or so. It was more terrifying for me than my later trip to about 14,000 feet where I found out what clouds feel like (cold! fast when falling through them!).

      New York for my grandfather’s funeral. My cousin’s wedding in Connecticut a few days later. Visiting friends in New Hampshire and Massachusetts after that.

      Finally, I went out to California, home of family and many friends, and spent time in 3 cities in Southern California. Next week, San Francisco. And then Los Angeles. And then home to Miami.

      All in all, a pretty eventful and exciting year of travel. Even though I sit around feeling bad about not having made it out of the country, now I realize I did travel, a lot. I’m not from anywhere, but I want to go “home” to Palestine in 2013. 🙂

    • Cmk says:

      Ecuador, Galápagos Islands, abaco, Mexico, Tahoe, Copenhagen, Berlin, Rome, amalfi coast, London, Croatia, Slovenia, Budapest, Portugal, Spain, Africa, Ireland, wales, Colorado, California, and New Mexico.

    • Emily Anthony says:

      I had the most amazing 2012! I spent three months out of my home country of Australia – and travelled Europe and South America.
      Europe was England, France, Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and The Netherlands. I also visited Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai on that trip.
      Next trip was South America – Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina – two months of bliss! Absolutely the best time of my life, cannot wait to visit again.

      I’m loving your website – just came across it on a google search of ‘where in the world should I go’ and this just popped up!

      My next trip is soon, Ulaanbaatar to Istanbul. Can’t wait!

    • Jessie says:

      Isn’t being kicked out of a place proof that you have officially been there? I wish I could go out of country – OK, I am kind of a homebody. I went to the mountains this winter – blowing rock, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Lake James below the Linville Gorge. These are the things I love now, and it is getting to be March – the perfect time for a jaunt to the resorts in Myrtle Beach SC. There’s something about a beach in March, when you can almost feel the heat. Maybe I’ll wait till June this year!

    • Jaroslav Sopuch says:

      I live in Prague, Czech Republic and I love travelling the world. So far I have visited about 50 countries plus and one of my goals is to become a member of C7, i.e. to visit all 7 continents (americas count as two and Antarctica is the biggest challenge, I gather, and the only one missing in my portfolio now!). I started 2012 celebrating the New year on a yacht near Tortola island of British Virgin Islands. A fabulous place not only for sailors! Then later in the year I visitied the icehockey world champs in Stockholm, Sweden, the soccer EuroChamps in Poland and the Olympics, indeed, in London. Then there were few business trips including Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Austria. And eventually,another highlight was a two-weeks’ tour with my family of France’s Provence with a Recreational Vehicle. A highly recommended experience!

    • Na says:

      Travel Hacking in Canada using Aeroplan Miles have allowed me to travel to S. America at a fraction of the costs. I can’t thank this blog and post enough!

    • priyanka says:

      hi, it is very awesome..

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