Around The World In 21 Days: Conclusion


  1. Introduction
  2. Delta Comfort+ ECP-ATL-JNB
  3. Hilton Sandton
  4. British Airways Economy JNB-PLZ
  5. Conrad Pezula
  6. Knysna and the Garden Route
  7. Westin Cape Town
  8. Exploring Cape Town + Penguins!
  9. British Airways Economy CPT-JNB
  10. Protea Hotel OR Tambo Airport
  11. Kenya Airways Economy JNB-NBO-DXB
  12. DoubleTree Hotel Jumeirah Beach
  13. Exploring Dubai
  14. Kenya Airways Economy DXB-NBO-SEZ
  15. Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort
  16. Exploring Mahe Island
  17. Kenya Airways Economy SEZ-NBO-BKK
  18. W Bangkok Hotel
  19. Exploring Bangkok
  20. Vietnam Airlines Economy BKK-HAN-NRT
  21. Back In Tokyo!
  22. Delta Air Lines Main Cabin NRT-DTW-ATL
  23. DoubleTree Atlanta Airport
  24. Delta Air Lines First Class ATL-ECP
  25. Conclusion

Where do I even begin to sum up this trip? Is it even possible?

I suppose that I could use words like “amazing” or “unbelievable” or “once-in-a-lifetime” to try to boil my experience of crossing the globe in three short weeks with all those stops at exceptionally varied destinations. None of those words or phases by themselves can accurately capture the experiences, feelings, and personal growth that came from this trip.

I know, I know, that sounds exceptionally cliche. However, the reality is that travel should always be about those things. Travel forces ourselves outside of our comfort zones, which is where I think you learn the most about yourself through the experiences that you have. Granted this trip wasn’t like some expedition to the top of Mount Everest or hiking the Appalachian Trail, so I am not going to try to say that I had the insights or personal reflection that one might have from a trip of that magnitude.

One of the things that I recognize is that between my travels to the often distant corners of the globe over the past few years is how much I have grown as a traveler. If you look at many of my previous trips, even going back to my spring breaks in college when I would jet off to Europe, often the story was for me to try to cram as much in a short week as possible. Whether that meant Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands in one week back in 2007 or flying to Alaska for an actual long weekend (from Florida, mind you), it’s been all about little time, many things.

This trip, I think was the beginning of the end of that mindset or approach to travel. Granted, I found myself visiting five different countries again, but I spread it out over three weeks. Of course unlike trip in 2007, where all those countries bordered one another, in this version, I had to keep shuttling between continents. But let’s look at the first aspect of this trip: I took three weeks off to have this journey. I had never done anything close to that before! Even when I could, like when I went to “bury my head in the sand” in Australia for a week after graduating from the University of Central Florida. I had been convinced that taking a trip for more than a week or so would just not be feasible, whether for the cost or for the sake of my career.


The more that I reflect on this trip, the more I am convinced that despite my extreme dislike of the phrase “once-in-a-lifetime”, this trip really was. You only have one chance to be in your 20s and fly to the diverse and unique destinations that I went to. What is the likelihood that I’ll stand at the Southernmost Point of Africa, look out to the desert from the world’s tallest building, relax on a tropical island in the Indian Ocean, hang out with a friend in Bangkok and enjoy the neon city of Tokyo again? Those are all things, that I wouldn’t be surprised that I find myself doing again later in my life, but in conjunction with one another while I’m at this point in my life? Perhaps it really is once-in-a-lifetime.

I also think back to many of the various routes I tried to get to work through the course of my hours upon hours of planning that never quite worked out and the destinations that they took me to. Sometimes I do wonder if I should have tried to get to more out of the way destinations to go along with the Seychelles, but there will be a time for that in the future! I’m sure the Maldives, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, India, Palau or any of the others that I tried to make work will be on future trips of mine.


I had high hopes that I was going to have completed writing all about this some time ago. Unfortunately, I’m still a slacker in that arena, but I think this extended period between then and now has helped me reflect more on my trip and how it has impacted me. This also continues to remind me though that I do need to work on being more quick to my writing; with this wrapping up I still have to write about my trip to New Zealand and a two-day train journey across the United States both from 2016! I’m certainly going to be busy if I am going to get those cranked out!

In the end, I find it extremely disappointing that all the major airlines have managed to kill off Around The World awards. These were exceptional values and I am just glad that I was able to get one of these awards before they disappeared. Despite the fact that the awards are not there any more, I do encourage others to look into either a paid RTW ticket (which the major airline alliances still offer) or stitching together an RTW-lite itinerary now that almost all the major US airlines price everything as one-ways. Do yourself a favor and take the trip of a life time!

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