2018: The year in travel

I calculated that I flew around 33,000 kilometres in 2018. That sounds like a lot, but it’s not even the circumference of the Earth.

We began the year with flights down to Launceston in Tasmania, our first visit to that airport. It was also our first time along the West Coast, losing ourselves in mazes, hiking beneath Cradle Mountain and catching the West Coast Railway, before heading to Hobart and back to Launceston. Each visit to Tasmania finds the countryside even prettier and the food a revelation for our tastebuds, if a little slow to appear.

Less than two weeks later we were in the air again, flying to Singapore, with flights beyond to Penang in Malaysia. Sadly I lost my appetite during the trip. My highlight was the very long railway journey alone from Butterworth back to Singapore, four trains, a taxi and a bus ride. That felt like real travel.

Our travel is mostly constrained by school holidays now and the next break wasn’t until April, when we took the precipitous Alpine Way across from Corryong to Thredbo. From there Alex had his first walk (my second) up Mount Kosciuszko.

During the mid-year holidays we just stuck to day trips out of Sydney, heading down to the Wings of Illawarra air show, Fitzroy Falls and Taronga Zoo, with a couple of high rope courses included.

Our yearly trip to Japan waited until the October school holidays. It was an opportunity to catch some railway lines in Hokkaido that face closure, including the Yubari branch already scheduled for the end of March 2019. The others were bored of train travel. but I loved the tiny towns, from eating ramen and discovering Kazumo in Rumoi to the sulphur volcano in sleepy Kawayu Onsen. I also tried driving for the very first time overseas.

One of my goals this year was to earn Qantas frequent flyer silver status, and I did with a day trip down to Melbourne at the end of October. However, that flight was enough flying for the year, so in December I drove down to Canberra for a team meeting.

My final trip was also by land, catching the XPT sleeper to Melbourne and back for a concert.

Although I definitely improved from previous years I still found flying and travel stressful experiences. In 2019 I will put myself to a much bigger test. In January we head to Scandinavia for our very first time. In one month we may we travel further than the entire year before.

See you in 2019.