One million kilometers. That's a pretty long distance. Going through my travel statistics recently, I discovered that is how much I've traveled during the last few years.
This is what the overall stats look like:
- 698 days of traveling
- 1,126,866 km
- 48 countries
- 109 cities
- 117 trips
I've been extremely fortunate to get the opportunity to travel all over the world. To get to meet so many interesting people, and learn more about different cultures; learn about their opportunities and their challenges; their main motivations and their hardships. And I'd like to believe this has helped me be a more understanding person, both for what the situation can be like for people, as well as appreciating all the amazing things I have in my life. And as part of it, I also feel that if I've gone somewhere it's also my responsibility to educate people I meet about that place to breed better understanding and respect.
Most of my trips have been work trips where I've always made sure to take extra time to see and understand where I am, the history of that place, the nature and take in the enormous beauty there is in so many parts of the world. I'm also very happy to have traveled with my family, and showing my children a number of places and teaching then about respect and compassion for people, animals and nature.
Another thing I think about is the impact on the environment. With my flights I've tried to keep it to a minimum, meaning least number of connections, and fly with the more environmentally-friendly passenger airplanes (Boeing 787, Airbus 380). But I know planes still have a lot of exhaust, so I try to make up for it in other areas, like driving a hybrid car, eat more locally produced and ecological food, recycling and such. Small things, I know, but something at least.
By now it kind of seems like a good-bye to travel and sum up what I've done. Which isn't entirely true, but not false either. I've been to so many places, and I'll continue traveling when it really makes sense or is important. But having had a number of years with 100+ days/year being on the road, I also want to spend more time at home with a more "normal" life. More family time, more evenings at home, more local things with friends, events and such. And I'm sure I'll get restless at one time or another, or when the travel bug will hit me again, but overall my estimate at least is that I'll travel less for quite a while now.
Also, if you like pretty pictures I share a bunch on Instagram from all over the world, and I've also started an album on Flickr with Creative Commons-shared photos you can look at and/or use.
Travel is an extraordinary thing, and I encourage everyone to try and learn and understand as much about the world, its differences and all its wonderful people.