Samburu women in a Parkishon, Kenya church.

Samburu women singing in a church in Parkishon, Kenya.

If I had to pick a word to describe 2010, it would have to be the Samburu word “kamunyak”. It’s a word that meansblessed, or blessed one, and it was the nickname that the Samburu women I met in Kenya gave me. It’s a word that I feel describes this past year.

2010 has been a record year for me. I visited two new continents (Africa and Europe), three new countries (Kenya, Belgium and France) along with some new islands in the Caribbean (St. Thomas and St. Martin). I also made it to the city that been at the top of US Cities to visit list (Chicago). Plus, I enjoyed another solo trip to New York City.

Just as I’ve done in 2008 and 2009, I like to add up the mileage to all the places I’ve been.

Plane: 32,467 miles
Train: 164 miles
Ship: 3,274 miles
Car (trips over two hours): 2,498 miles
Funicular: 118 ft.
Total: 38,403 miles, 118ft

Other random stats
Visas and stamps added to my passport: 7
Amenity kits collected: 4
Days on the road: 38
Number of people I travelled with over the year: 15
Airports visited: 14
Total places visited: 13 cities in 4 countries.

I flew more on planes this year then in any other year. I’ve had some rather interesting experiences in planes, including 16 hours straight in a Boeing 767, landing at an airport and then taking off without getting off the plane (maybe next time, Rome), and even sitting in the left seat of a Cessna 172 and the right seat of a 208.

On other forms of transit, it was fun taking my second international train trip (the first was from US to Canada). I also enjoyed riding the subways in Brussels and Paris. One interesting thing about the Paris subway that I haven’t seen anywhere else is that the subway doors open before the train comes to a complete stop. It makes the boarding process a little quicker, and no one seem to have any trouble getting off.

Funiculars at Sacre Coure

Funiculars moving up and down near Sacre Coure in Paris.

By car, some friends and I visited various minor tourist attractions around Florida like the Greek community of Tarpon

Springs and the mermaids of Weeki Wachee. I also made a couple of trips to Georgia to see family. And the funicular? It’s basically a large outdoor elevator used to move people up and down hills. I rode one down from Sacre Coure in France.

This year was also the first time where I dealt with getting visas in advance and also filled up a couple of pages in my passport.

It’s been my best year yet for travelling and I hope I can keep the pace up. I didn’t make it to as many new states as I’d hope to (Illnois turned out to be the only one) but with all the international travel opportunities, it was hard to do as much domestic travel.

So what’s next for 2011? Nothing is set in stone yet, but a friend and I are planning a trip to South America. Also, once the merger of Continental and United’s frequent flyer program is complete, I’ll have more then enough miles in the combined account to go somewhere interesting. I’m also hoping to take a few weekend roadtrips to visit a few more of the states I haven’t been to yet.

To my fellow travellers out there, where are you going in 2011?

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