2016: A Travel Year in Review

Posted by  Daniël Cronk   in  ,      4 years ago     2436 Views     Comments Off on 2016: A Travel Year in Review  

This year turned out to have quite a bit more travel than I had originally thought I would. I wasn't sure I was going to actually be able to do any personal travel due to some surgery I had done in the end of March.

In February I went off to Melbourne, Florida for some refresher training on a system that we use at work. I spent about 3 glorious days in the city of Melbourne. The weather was definitely nicer than in Minnesota in the winter, but it wasn't actually the greatest for Florida! Still.... it was on the beach and it was about 75-80°, so who am I to complain.

While recovering from my surgery in March/April, I had quite a bit of extra time to surf the internet. While sitting at home one of those days up popped one of the best deals I had seen in a long time. United and Delta were having a price war to Sydney, Australia. Both were offering airfare right around $585 roundtrip out of each others hubs (so if you lived in a Delta hub the fare was valid with United and if you lived in a United hub the fare was valid with Delta). I knew it wouldn't last long but I still wasn't sure that I could do it. The day after it posted I was having breakfast with a friend of mine who convinced me to go. So I ran home, transferred money from savings into checking and booked the ticket. . . . I decided to make it a little more special by scheduling it around my birthday in November.

Fast forward to early July when Icelandair put out a flash week sale to London, Paris or Copenhagen for $480 roundtrip. It was just too much for me to handle. Having been to London several times before I thought about Paris or Copenhagen. Looking at my vacation time I realized I would probably only be able to go for about a week. So I decided on Copenahgen to see a friend of mine.

Fast foward to the end of August. The University of Minnesota Outreach department was looking for a technician with radiology experience to go to the University of Prishtina in Kosovo to help them develop their radiology program. The time commitment would be for two weeks time. Of course, I applied to go because, well, I've worked in radiology for 16 years and I love to travel. It seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up.

Copenahgen was of course amazing. I got to spend time with my friend and her dog, Bella. Who is the sweetest chocolate labrador you'll ever meet! We spent a bit of time seeing up the sights around Zealand and Copenahgen city. I also managed to fly over to London for the weekend to see another friend of mine. I decided I would also hit up Wicked for the 15th time and Kinky Boots for the 2nd time... I do love me some musical theater.

Kosovo was an experience like no other. The people are so incredibly friendly and so grateful for the help I was able to provide them. I got to work with the 4th and 5th year veterinary students for only a few minutes but it left a lasting impression. I will definitely want to go back in the future, if the opportunity comes along.

Australia was amazing. A friend of mine from Minnesota had seen me post about the airfare and wanted to come along. I told him it would be OK as long as he knew that a) I wanted to see friends who lived there for a day and b) I have not traveled long term with anyone before, so I wasn't sure how that was going to be. He understood and booked the ticket. We spent the first couple of days in Sydney and the Blue Mountains. I met my friends for a birthday dinner, which was great. From Sydney we rented a car and drove along the coast towards Melbourne, having many great adventures. On our way back inland we stopped in the Yarra Valley and had some wine tasting adventures. It was great. One day while having a lazy, rainy morning I saw that Delta / KLM were having a fare sale to several cities in Europe (KLM will start flying to Minneapolis as the 4th daily flight this upcoming spring 2017, as such they were having a European sale). I was able to book tickets to Bulgaria for just under $450 roundtrip. So, now I know where I'm going next year!

Where else will 2017 take me: I do plan to visit Kosovo for a couple of days while I'm in the Balkans and probably I will drive through Macedonia. Now..... to plan.

View 2016 Flights here
Miles Flown: 45,975
Flight Segments: 26

Airlines Flown:
delta air lines
Norwegian Air International Logo
United Airlines
United Airlines

Aircraft Flown:
Airbus A319-100
Adria Airways A319 Graphic
Airbus A330-300
Boeing 737-800
Boeing 737-800
Boeing 757-200
Boeing 757-300 Icelandair graphic
Boeing 757-300
United Airlines Boeing 757-300
Boeing 767-300
Boeing 767-300ER
Boeing 767-400
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
United Airlines B 787 graphic
Embraer ERJ-170-100
Embraer 175-100
Fokker 70
McDonnell Douglas MD-88

Countries Visited / Entered / Exited:
Flag: Australia
Flag: Australia
Denmark Flag
england flag
Kosovo flag
Macedonia Flag
united states flag
United States

ATL   Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, GA, USA
AMS   Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands
CNS**   Cairns Airport, Cairns, Australia
CPH**   Kastrup Airport, Copenhagen, Denmark
DTW   Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Detroit, MI, USA
FRA   Frankfurt International Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
KEF   Keflavik International Airport, Keflavik, Iceland
LAX   Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, CA, USA
LGW   Gatwick International Airport, London, England
LTN***   Luton Airport, Luton, England
MLB   Melbourne International Airport, Melbourne, FL, U.S.A.
MSP   Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Minneapolis, MN, USA
PRN**   Pristina International Airport, Pristina, Kosovo
SYD   Kingsford Smith International Airport, Sydney, Australia
** new airports for 2016

Nyhaven panorama gone wrong! Copenhagen, Denmark

Nyhaven, Copenhagen, Denmark

Holger Dansk waiting to protect the people from the next invading army! Denmark

Christiania (a.k.a. Hippieville), Copenhagen, Denmark

Christiania, Copenhagen, Denmark

Look at those jewels! Copenhagen, Denmark

Enjoying some very tasty smørrebrød (wrong, of course! It should generally be drank with beer or schnapps, but for me it was coffee, mostly because I was cold); Copenhagen, Denmark

Lekker smørrebrød (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Hanging out with my friend Julie in Denmark

A very moody sky looms over Buckingham Palace (London, England)

Near Buckingham Palace, London, England

My 15th time seeing Wicked: London, England

Sketching at the British Museum, London, England

National Library, Prishtina, Kosovo

Newborn: The sign that represents the rebirth of the country of Kosovo

Working with the students in Radiology at the University of Prishtina.

Scenes from a daytrip to Prizren, Kosovo - such a beautiful city!

Scenes from a daytrip to Skopje, Macedonia

Hanging out with new friends, Prishtina, Kosovo

Traveling to Australia. It was almost fortuitous that the napkin I was given on the United flight from Minneapolis to LAX was of the Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia.

A beautiful view of the Sydney Harbour while preparing to land at Sydney Airport.

Spending a great birthday with friends in Sydney! (Daniël, Sarah, CJ, Tony & Luther)

I'm pretty sure this kangaroo's leg is bigger than my arm!

Hanging with the locals

Scenes from the Great Barrier Reef.

We have so much in common. We're both cute & cuddly and we would both rip your eyes out given the first chance of annoyance


I am very passionate about traveling. My goal is to visit as many places and experience as many things as I can during my short journey on this earth.