Can you believe that it has been three years since I last posted an end of year review here on my blog. You didn’t even notice? Oh well, I always suspected that these are only for my own benefit anyway. Nevertheless, time to rectify this.
I would be lying if I pretended that my travel this year was anything like it was back in the day. However, we don’t have some pandemic to blame for that, it is just the nature of my job these days. Less face-to-face meetings, more desk projects. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t travel at all this year. En contraire. I guess for a lot of people, the number of flights done this year still far exceeds their average. Even though it is barely a quarter of what I did back in 2018.
OK, without further ado, let’s get started with the numbers.
My travel stats for 2023
Business and leisure combined; I went on 17 trips this year. A far cry from the 50 trips I did back in 2019. But definitely more than in 2021 or 22.
I took 27 flights via 17 airports and with six airlines, including two new ones: KLM and Eastern Airways.
Overall, I visited seven countries this year, none of them new, and I spent a total of 42 nights away from home.
Nevertheless, the year did have some highlights, so let’s look at those in more detail:
No travels in January
After three years, this February Mr T and I finally made it back to New York City. No surprise, we did miss it big time and were glad to finally be able to visit again.
This time, we decided to stay on the Upper West Side, so had the chance to explore this area a bit more.
And since I’ve accumulated frequent flyer points for the past three years, we splashed out and booked Business Class for the first time ever on a long-haul flight. What a treat.
No travels in March
Over the Easter weekend, we headed to North Wales for a little glamping trip in Criccieth. This was our first proper trip to Wales, and we absolutely loved it (and so did the pup). If it wasn’t for the long drive, I’d happily go there again.
After Easter, it was finally time for my first business trip of 2023. This time a brief trip to the Netherlands, including a night in Amsterdam. Needless to say, I made the most of it and cramped in as much sightseeing as I could in such a short time.
No travels in May
The month started with a quick trip to Germany to visit two dealerships. But as is so often the case with Germany trips these days, not much sightseeing in between.
However, the second trip of the month was a little more exciting. A meeting in Ballymena meant a trip to Northern Ireland for the first time ever. Including an overnight stay and a sightseeing tour through Belfast. I can’t believe that I’ve lived in the UK for 15 years, yet have never managed to visit Northern Ireland (or the Republic of Ireland for that matter).
In terms of travel, July was the big one with four trips.
It started with another trip to Germany. Meetings in both Leipzig and Düsseldorf meant a lengthy roadtrip and overnight stay en route. Leipzig also meant a Ryanair flight… and you all know how I feel about that.
The second trip was to Vienna and Graz. I love Vienna and had not been for four years. So, I was absolutely delighted to get two nights there this time. And had the chance to catch up with my friend.
Next up was a day trip to Zurich. No sightseeing this time, but I have been to Zurich before (and would be back soon), so it didn’t matter that there wasn’t any sightseeing this time.
And lastly, a trip to Palatinate in Germany to see the family and friends.
August started with two trips to Cambridge. Not really a foreign travel destination, since it is only an hour away from where I live. But that doesn’t mean I can’t spend an afternoon sightseeing. Even though it is so close, I had not been to Cambridge in quite some time.
After that it was back to Switzerland. This time I had an overnight stay in Zurich and Montreux. I’ve always wanted to go to Montreux (and see the famous Freddie statue by the lake), so I was delighted to get the chance. Even if it was only a brief visit.
Yet another trip to Switzerland, this time Zurich and St. Gallen. This was my first ever trip to St. Gallen and I was hoping to get there early enough for some sightseeing. As I really really wanted to see the amazing library.
My next trip was to Rotterdam. I have been there before, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy another visit. There is plenty to see (and great food to try).
Followed by another site visit here in the UK, this time down in Cornwall. Including my first ever flight with Eastern Airways coming back from Newquay Airport. Don’t hate me for taking a domestic flight. It made much more sense than a 6+ hour train ride back to London).
Early November, it was time for our annual mother-daughter weekend. If you followed me for a while, you will know that mum and I try and meet up in a European city every year. And after Paris in 2021 and Copenhagen in 2022, this time we met in Barcelona. I had been to Barcelona once on a work trip in 2019, however did not actually see much. So, a proper sightseeing visit was long overdue and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I promise, there is more to come about our Barcelona weekend. But somehow I haven’t quite managed to finish the post just yet. I guess that would be a suitable New Year’s resolution. Get some more blog posts out… the list of drafts is getting longer and longer.
At the end of November, I flew to Hamburg for another work meeting. It’s been quite a couple of years since I was last visited Hamburg. Luckily, we had time for a little evening walk through Hamburg, including a quick visit to the Elbphilharmonie viewing platform. Unfortunately, we did not time our trip very well, since the Christmas markets weren’t due to open until the following day.
The last business trip of the year was another visit to Germany. This time Schwäbisch Hall. And this time we managed a brief visit to the Christmas market. Although we only had 15 minutes for a mulled wine before they shut the market.
And lastly, we headed home for Christmas to spend a week with family and friends.
So, you see, even though none of the countries were new, I did manage to explore some new sights. And revisit some old ones that I love and haven’t been to for a while.
What does 2024 have in store? We shall see. Nothing booked just yet. But I already know, that I will have a work trip to Germany in January. Plus, a family visit in February. Followed potentially by a few days in France. And hopefully a trip to the US in June/July. After we missed out on the New England road trip for our 10th wedding anniversary, we are considering a trip to Boston and New England this time.
What about you? Any exciting travels in 2023? Or coming up for 2024?