Following up on last year’s “year in review”, I’ll take another stab at this for the 4 people who might be reading this (if you are, please leave a comment!).
Seven (7), the number of new countries that I visited in 2019, bringing my lifetime total to 47 countries. In 2019, I visited Okinawa (Japan), Taiwan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazahkstan, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe & Zambia. Only Japan & Namibia were repeat visits from earlier years. Excluding Europe (which often feels like a huge cheat when you can easily & effortlessly visit a half dozen countries in a single day), this is my biggest single year new total since 2018, when I visited 6 new countries. 2020 is promising to be an even bigger year, if everything currently being planned falls into place. I will likely visit 8 new countries in 2020, which would actually tie me for most countries in a single year (including Europe). I’m not going to say what they are now though.
Two (2), the number of times that I entered the same country in 2019. Its a four way tie between Taiwan, Namibia, Botswana & Zimbabwe. Technically, that also means that I’ve now officially entered Namibia three times in my lifetime. Thankfully, Namibia is a free visa on arrival for Americans, so it cost me nothing.
Seventeen (17), the lifetime number of times that I’ve traveled to Asia, with two trips earlier this year (Taiwan/Okinawa & Central Asia). Asia remains the continent that I’ve visited more than any other. Europe still hangs on at second place, with 6 trips (most recent was 2017). Africa is catching up, now with 5 separate trips (most recently 2019, southern Africa).
Also notable in 2019, I finished off my first passport, and received a replacement. Amusingly, that resulted in Namibia being the first stamp in my new passport. I’m kinda curious how rare that is for someone who doesn’t live anywhere in Africa, and isn’t a Namibian citizen.
Airlines are still weird. Not counting US domestic airlines, which generally suck, and are boring, I flew EVA (Taiwan), Peach (Okinawa), Vanilla (Okinawa), JAL (Okinawa), Emirates (Dubai), FlyDubai (Kyrgyzstan), Uzbekistan Airways (domestic & international for Uzbekistan), Astana Air (Kazakhstan), Lufthansa (Frankfurt), Air Namibia (Namibia) & Mack Air (domestic, Botswana). This does increase my lifetime trips on JAL to 2, EVA to 2, Emirates to 2, FlyDubai to 2, Uzbekistan Air to 5, Astana Air to 3, Lufthansa to 3, & Air Namibia to 2.
I’m looking forward to travel in 2020, where I’ve already got 4 international trips planned.