2016 was a spectacular year of travel and drove home for me just how fortunate I am. The reason I travel is to collect as many experiences as possible and the reason I maintain this blog is so I don’t forget them. Here are some highlights from last year…

Including business travel, I flew just shy of 200,000 miles. This year, I spent all of my time in the Western Hemisphere, focusing on South America. But this year also marked a major milestone. Thanks to an unforgettable January visit to Antarctica, I’ve now been to all seven continents!!

Chile in January

Out for a leisurely row in Valparaiso, Chile.

Visiting the world’s skinniest country was supposed to be nothing more than a stopover on my way to Antarctica. But how could I not have written about my experiences in Santiago, Valparaiso, and Punta Arenas? All were really interesting places.

Antarctica in January

Sea Kayaking in Antarctica was amazing. Yes, that’s water and not glass.

Where to begin? This was such an incredible place that I ended up sharing seven separate posts about it. Even now, I have to pinch myself when I think about having visited. Crazy? Right! But there’s definitely a return visit in my future. I’d love to make it all the way to the South Pole sometime.

Ecuador in April

Spoiler alert! I made it.

Visiting Quito, Ecuador was a wonderful way to spend a long weekend. Standing on the equator is a memory I’ll cherish (although I’m still not exactly sure which one to treasure the most). Loyal readers may recall that there are two “equators” near Quito. One is the original mapped by the French in the 19th Century and the other is a more recently discovered — and probably accurate — line.

Bolivia in August

Cerro Rica. Rich mountain.

Yes, there’s no doubt visiting Antarctica was incredible in every sense of the word. But my favorite trip of the year had to be Bolivia. There’s just something amazing about the lost worlds of South America. I can guarantee you I will return. It’s a place that’s off the beaten path and will challenge even the most experienced traveler. That said, it’s totally worth it.

Panama City in December

And many of the buildings are truly spectacular!

Visiting Panama City, Panama was relatively easy because it’s the closest place on this list. However, unlike Antarctica and Bolivia, I’m not chomping at the bit to return. It was commercial and just wasn’t as interesting as other places. That said, seeing the canal was pretty impressive.

In conclusion, this was an amazing year of travel for me and next year is already off to an amazing start with an unconventional route to return to Australia. Can’t wait to share it with you in the coming weeks.