I know what you’re thinking. Not another blogger who does a post reviewing what they did in the past year and what they hope to accomplish in the next year. If you’re truly sick of these posts, then stop reading now. You won’t hurt my feelings. I’ve never done one of these but I feel like it’s appropriate for me to do so this year. Looking at the big picture, I think that posts like these are good. It’s nice to reflect on good, and possibly bad, experiences that happened in 2016. My hope is that you feel the same way about retrospectives. I will also share what I have going on in the next 12 months, which forces myself to have accountability for the goals.
Flying Around 2016
While I didn’t take any inter-continental flights in 2016, I did fly as many miles as I did in previous years – close to 35,000 actual flight miles. I also flew to 6 new (for me) airports, 3 new states and 2 new Canadian provinces. Interestingly, I managed to fly over many Mid-West states and did not have any mid-transcon flights.
Retrospective of Travels in 2016
This year was definitely the year of weekend travels. It started with a weekend trip to Boston to visit a friend of mine. It was warmer than I expected. I got lucky and missed any rain and snow. We took the T to Wonderland so you don’t have to. Really, no one should have to go to Wonderland in Boston. A few weeks after Boston, I went to Anchorage and caught the Iditarod. I had a blast in Anchorage and would love to go back. I also visited another friend in Washington DC where I saw Giant Pandas at the National Zoo.
My favorite trip that I took, in 2016, is when I visited Montreal and Nova Scotia. I was able to scratch off two (almost three) new Canadian Provinces. Sightseeing in Montreal was fun, yet interesting and the food there was delectable. However, it did not compare to the beauty that I found in Nova Scotia. The South Shore is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.
In 2016, I also re-qualified for MVP status on Alaska Air. The couple of years before 2016, I came very close to qualifying for status but fell short. Luckily, Alaska Air would give you status if you’re within a certain threshold – due to the merger with Virgin America I’m not sure they still do this. Even though MVP status is low tier status, I was upgraded on most of my flights on Alaska in 2016 and get better customer service when I have to call them. With the merger, the upgrade methods have changed and is now based on fare class – not based on date you purchased your ticket. Since I typically buy the cheapest ticket possible, I’m not as hopeful I’ll have the same luck getting upgraded as I have been in the past.
My Goals for 2017
I’ve come up with several categories of goals for this year: travel, blog, and personal.
- Visit at least 3 new states. The number of states I’ve traveled to is woefully small and eventually I’d like to visit all of them.
- Visit at least 2 new countries. I know this isn’t exactly a lofty goal, but keep in mind most of my travel is on a weekend & taking maybe 1 or 2 days off of work at a time (yes, I do have a day job).
- Use more miles & points to travel. I have redeemed very few of my Alaska Air miles & was approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card (with a 100,000 point sign-up bonus) so I have a stash of miles & points that I should use. It isn’t smart to save them up – eventually they’ll lose the value they’re worth today.
- Retain MVP status on Alaska Air, if it makes sense. Last year, I told myself I’d get status for one more year and see how it is. There has been a lot of changes lately and I’m sure more are coming with the merger. If I still feel that it is worth it, then I’ll go for it.
- Grow Twitter followers to over 1,000. The number of follower I gained in 2016 was surprising and I met my goal of having 900 followers by year-end (I only made that goal in October when I had ~850 followers). I’ll probably do a giveaway of sorts when I achieve that milestone. If you don’t already follow me, what are you waiting for?
- Be more consistent with writing posts. I have many ideas for blog posts in my head; however, they don’t always go public. There are two reasons for that: 1) they aren’t always as good of an idea as I thought, or 2) I don’t have the time to write them in a timely manner so the subject is still relevant. The second reason is why I didn’t write about the Alaska Air merger and the partner earnings – though I am planning on mentioning it in my next one or two posts. Feel free to comment with what you’d like me to write more about.
I only have two goals for myself this year. I am going read more and take better care of my body this year. It is very cliché but I’m not getting any younger. We only have one body and we should treat them as well as possible.
Overall, these goals are somewhat small and simple. I made them in the hopes that I will be more productive overall. They say that a goal without a plan is just a wish. On the contrary, I’d like to think that a wish with a plan is a goal.
2016 wasn’t the year that many of us hoped for. Even George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones, joked on Twitter: “2016 was directed by me. Sorry”. Despite 2016’s shortfalls, I think that 2017 will be an interesting year. I’m looking forward to sharing more of my travels with you.
Comment below with what your goals for 2017!
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