2016 in Travel

According to Air Canada, I racked up 89,121 miles this year. I don’t know how accurate this is, because it includes bonus miles and excludes a number of flights – including a flight I had rebooked from Seoul after a delay (somehow no-one has a record and I never got the the points – grr), and round trip from the UK to Tuvalu (miles / different airline).

I sent 52 Where the Hell is Cate letters, some of them from “home”, but almost all of them when I left one place to go to another. Each of them contained a favourite thing – which really helped me get out and explore places I went, and find something to appreciate – even on rushed work trips.

Countries Visited

  1. France. I started the year in Paris, taking a little trip to practise my French and fall in love with the Eiffel Tower.
  2. UK. I went back and forth to the UK in order to maintain my insurance, but spent very little quality time there. Highlights were a weekend in London catching up with friends, and The Lead Developer.
  3. Colombia. My home for most (well, ±5 months) of this year. I spent most of the time in Medellín, but ventured more deeply into the country as my Spanish improved.
  4. USA. Frequently for work. I spent a lot of time in New York, which was great because I have so many friends there. I also returned to San Francisco for the first time in ages, and it was great to hang out with so many friends there, too. I visited Detroit and Austin for the first time.
  5. Canada. I flew through Canada several times, but mainly didn’t leave the airport. I did have one night there where I got to see a friend, which was awesome.
  6. Japan. I spoke at Try!Swift, but I also managed to achieve a life goal – and meet some owls.
  7. South Korea. Vacation! Finally got to see the DMZ from the other side – something I’ve been wanted to do for ages. Another life goal.
  8. Portugal. Spent two weeks in Lisbon, exploring by night and catching up with a friend for some quality time. I didn’t see many of the tourist sites, but I had a really nice, productive time.
  9. Argentina. Went to Córdoba for work, and returned at the end of the year to Buenos Aires to spend a few months.
  10. Costa Rica. Vacation. Saw a giant sea turtle laying eggs – amazing! And engaged in adventure tourism – super fun! [postcard]
  11. Hungary. Between-jobs break. Roamed around Budapest, and spent a lot of time in the spa.
  12. Tuvalu. Life goal. Indescribably beautiful. Wonderfully remote. Extremely chill. [postcard]
  13. Fiji. Part of the Tuvalu trip, for the break between jobs. Really enjoyed Suva especially.
  14. Australia. Returned to Sydney for the first time since I lived there. Great to see some of my favourite people again.
  15. Brazil. Quick trip from BA to São Paulo for the Bienal. An amazing weekend!
  16. Uruguay. Took a boat from BA to Montevideo for a break over new year. It’s a wonderful city!


A lot of my travel in the first half of the year was dictated by work and commitments, but the second half of this year I travelled more for fun, which was awesome. I feel like I really took advantage of the time I took off between jobs! And I was happy that I got to experience 3 life goals this year – the owls, the DMZ, and Tuvalu.

I also visited 7 new countries, which is really cool! South Korea, Argentina, Costa Rica, Hungary, Tuvalu, Fiji, and Uruguay. Eventually I’ll make it to all of them.

The 12 coolest things I saw were pretty amazing. I collected them in a list.


My plan is to travel less but more deeply in 2017. I’m planning on spending February in a place that I adore.

As ever, I hope to go somewhere new. Kazakhstan and Bhutan are high on my list.

2 replies on “2016 in Travel”

Nice to hear of your adventures. You sound very free, what a great place to be in your life! Xx

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