2019 Year of Travel in Photos

2019 Year of Travel in Photos

2019 was an incredible year of travel.  I spent the most days traveling of any year of my life.  Below is a photo journal of my year of seeing the world.

January

I rang in the New Year on the Big Island of Hawaii.  On January 1, I took in the sunset from the Royal Kona.  A great start to 2019.

Later that month I jumped a flight on JetBlue Mint across the country and the Caribbean to the small island country of Trinidad.

I got a fantastic deal on the Presidential Suite at the Hyatt Regency with a living room big enough to entertain more than a few guests.

February

February brought large amounts of snow to Seattle which shutdown my work and school and left grocery store shelves bare.

I was lucky enough to escape the cold with a trip to the Andaz Scottsdale in Arizona.

I am fascinated by the way hotels design restrooms.  The Andaz had a fantastic all gender restroom off their lobby.

From Scottsdale I hopped over to LAX for a flight to Australia and the world’s second most remote large city.

Perth was celebrating their fringe arts festival during my hot summer (February) visit.  I was able to catch a cabaret show.

I was traveling with a friend in Western Australia.  We decided to rent a car for a day to head down to the Busselton pier and Eagle Bay with some of the best beaches in the world.

April

In April I used my large bank of Avios from the Iberia promotion to take a trip to Portugal and Spain. Iberia Business Class was a huge letdown but the lounges in Madrid are nice.

After a couple of days in Lisbon I explored the the Algarve with it’s natural beaches that seem yet to be discovered by the rest of the world.

I managed to squeeze one night at the Conrad Algarve which is a beautiful property but lacking in any view.  The breakfast was top notch.

Seville, with the ornate Alcázar, is worth a visit (even if you aren’t a member of House Martell).

Driving across Spain, one of the best detours was having lunch in the small hill town of Trujillo.

May

In May I finally got the chance to fly out of the new Seattle area passenger terminal at Paine Field.  The entire place feels like an exclusive lounge.

I flew down to Las Vegas for a couple of nights at Luxor and Caesars Palace.  As a Caesars Diamond elite, I was about to take in a free show at the Linq.

June

In June I graduated with my Master’s degree and celebrated with family by being a tourist in my own backyard at the Space Needle.  They have recently completely renovated the facilities though the views are still as fantastic as always.

At the end of June I set off on my six week trip that brought me to 14+ countries throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  I traveled over 40,000 miles by airplane in addition to various buses, taxis, trains, ships, rental cars and a good amount of walking.  I loved the old street cars in Riga, Latvia.

I got to visit a number of airport lounges on my trip including the new SAS Lounge at OSL and The Deck in Hong Kong.

I got to fly on a ghost plane that was standing in for the grounded 737-Max.

I flew new airlines including airBaltic, Wizz, and Ukraine International.

While some of my flights were on budget airlines, I also got to experience luxury on China Airlines and Cathay Pacific.

The ferries of Scandinavia are upscale cruise ships.  I spent two nights but could have spent a lot more.

The natural beauty across the world never stopped amazing me.  The highlight was taking a train above the tree line in Norway before dropping into the fjords during my Norway in a Nutshell day trip.

But the islands of Sweden, fields of sunflowers in Hungary, and ports at the Île de Ré were all quite impressive.

I took in the architecture of cities including Oslo, Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Budapest, Krakow, Kiev, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, Antwerp and the Hague.

I experienced the stories of the Jewish people at Auschwitz and Yad Vashem in Israel.

I spent time exploring Palestine.

I got a taste of the former USSR in Budapest, Bratislava, and the Chernobyl museum in Kiev.

I ate and drank well in unique bars and restaurants including vodka tasting in Krakow, ruin bars in Budapest, a restaurant celebrating revolutionaries in Ukraine and a chocolate factory in Belgium.

I stayed in fantastic hotels like the newly renovated and recently opened Hyatt Parisi Udvar in Budapest and Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem.

I appreciated the decor of the Nofo Hotel in Stockholm.

I even managed to squeeze in some (hot) Disney.

I started a new job in August which limited my travels but I managed to get away for a few weekends.

September

In September I was finally able to visit the new Alaska Lounge in SeaTac.

I came in 6th place at a blackjack tournament in Vegas.

October

No trips in October for me, but I did get to go to a travel related event.  Delta set up a pop-up lounge in Seattle and gave away free flights.

November

I visited the newest M life property in Las Vegas: the NoMad and had a bathtub in my hotel room.  Another option for earning Hyatt points and stay credits.

At LAX I checked out the updated Alaska Lounge.

I also got to visit the impressively immersive Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland.

December

I finished off the year with a few days at The Cromwell in Las Vegas before Christmas before ringing in 2020 in Hawaii where I started the year.

Happy New Year and thank you for reading!

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