Travel math

Monday morning this week I sat in a plane. Not that it hasn’t happened before… Actually, that is the point – it has. Many a time. And around 8:15 while I sat with closed eyes and tried to doze through the safety annoyncement (shame on me, I know – but I knew exactly where my nearest exit was: two seats to the left of me) and the take-off, my brain idled some and started on a few calculation on how many times I’d been doing this.

Something like this came out of it:

I’ve travelled for work about 20 years, 50 or so days per year. That means, that I have actually been away roughly three years out of the twenty. Dear Bob.

Assuming an average trip length, then. There have been many one or two day trips – but also several-weeks ones like whirlwinding all over South East Asia and Oceania over 18 days. So I guessed on four days. That means that the morning take-off had good reasons to feel routine-y as it makes for 250 trips, going out and coming back – something like 500 takeoffs it must have been. Err – what if a good deal of the trips have not been flying direct? Make it 6-700 takeoffs.

Now I feel a little better about claiming that if someone invented the “Beam me up, Scotty” method of travelling, I’d live happily ever after without seeing another airplane. For the record: I do not travel for the flying but to do and experience whatever is out at the other end of the trip. And that is still something I wholeheartedly enjoy and intend keeping on doing for quite some timee!

I did not try to work out distances. After all, it was a Monday morning – and those are not created for tough math. But I do know that in the first 12 months I used Tripit, I flew 88,000 km. Which is twice around the world. And change.

Of course it hasn’t all been flying – as mentioned above, the key thing is what happens when I’m on the ground at the other end. And so far “on the ground” has been in 97 cities altogether in 41 countries spread on five continents. At least from what I’ve been ticking off.

Is all of that worthy of a separate list of merits? Actually, I do not think that all these numbers are worth something on their own. But when I think of all the brilliant people I have met, the sights and sounds, the foods… Yeah, it’s been worth it. And all of it has just confirmed me in my “professional mantra”: Regardless of the size of the companies involved, business is done between people. And blimey, I have met many really nice people out there. And I am very thankful for that!

Image courtesy of Faiz on Flickr
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