The long way around

It really was the long (wrong) way but I finally arrived in New York on Thursday morning local time after leaving Sydney Wednesday morning (Sydney time). A one night stop-over in Ho Chi Minh City padded out the scheduled a bit (arrived Wednesday evening and didn't depart until 24 hours later) but also allowed for a bit of rest.

There was method to my madness though - this was to take advantage of some incredible Qatar Airways business class fares that were only available departing Vietnam. These were some lovely flights, especially the DOH-JFK leg in a shiny A350 - even though it was a 14 hour flight! The seat, food, service and in-flight entertainment were all top notch, a wonderful way to fly.

The Path Less Traveled
Doha by Night

Final Approach to JFK from the Tail Camera


First travel mistake of 2018

Found out the hard way last night that it is _not_ a good idea to walk from Ho Chi Minh City's airport to the airport hotel, no matter how short a walk it seems on Google Maps!

After several wrong turns and following paths that disappeared, the way involved crossing three chaotically busy roads (apparently busier than usual due to people celebrating Vietnam's win the AFC U23 Championship by riding around on scooters waving flags and screaming) which appeared to have pedestrian crossings that were completely ignored by drivers (not that I'm familiar with how crossings work here).

So yeah, I've booked the shuttle bus on the way back...


2017 Travel Year in Review

A very busy travel year by my standards, involving some 56 flights (up from 27 the previous year). I visited the US for the first time, had a couple short trips to NZ and also headed to a number of Australian cities - some for the first time, some that I just hadn't seen for a decade or more.


Flights: 56 segments
Distance: 48,682 miles / 78,346 kilometers
Flight Time: 4 days, 15:35 hours

Total flown48682 mi
Around the world1.96x
To the Moon0.204x
To Mars0.0014x
Journey records
LongestAKL↔SFO, 6529 mi, 11:33
ShortestSEA↔PDX, 129 mi, 00:31
Average869 mi, 01:59
Airport records
NorthernmostSEA (47.45°N 122.31°W)
SouthernmostIVC (46.41°S 168.31°E)
WesternmostPDX (45.59°N 122.6°W)
EasternmostWLG (41.33°S 174.81°E)


Quite a few new travel experiences for me in 2017, the stand-outs were:
  • First time in Business Class on VA, QF, NZ and AA.
  • Domestic First Class on AA and VX
  • First visit to the United States
  • Visiting Zion National Park, UT: just an amazing place, I'm glad I took so many photos
  • Seeing a Green Bay game live at Lambeau. It's a real shame that Rodgers wasn't playing but still an amazing experience

Lambeau Field



As a result of all this flitting about, I hit Velocity Gold (and came very close to Platinum, well within striking distance now). Last few flights of the year moved me to Qantas Silver, with flights from early 2018 booked that should push me over the line to Gold.

On the hotel side, I mainly booked through aggregators but I had enough stays direct through IHG to hit Gold with them. I came close to leveling up with Accor but the benefits didn't seem to justify specifically moving any bookings.