Monday, March 20, 2017

Around the World in 53 Days

I started my journey around the Northern Hemisphere this morning: I walked to a number 2 bus which took me to a light rail station where I caught a train to the airport.

Here's the rest of my route:
  1. MSP--LAX--OGG (Kahului, Maui, Hawaii)
  2. OGG--HNL (Honolulu) Just one night.
  3. HNL--NRT--PVG (Shanghai) 
  4. PVG--FUK (Fukuoka, Kyushu, Southern Japan)
  5. Jetfoil across Sea of Japan to Busan, South Korea, then rail to Seoul (ICN).
  6. ICN--CAN--DXB (Dubai)
  7. Bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi (AUH).
  8. AUH--AMS--NCL (Newcastle upon Tyne, England, where I grew up.) AUH--AMS is the only overnight flight.
  9. NCL--AMS--MSP
Total air distance:  22,859 miles
I pieced the journey together by finding cheap flights. For example,
  • Honolulu to Shanghai via Tokyo cost $568. Had I chosen the same flight from Honolulu to Tokyo, and not continued to Shanghai, the cost would have been $1,406. 
  • I used 55,000 Delta SkyMiles to fly from Abu Dhabi to Newcastle upon Tyne, then home to Minneapolis. (Total distance 8,045 miles.)
  • All flights are with SkyTeam partners (Delta, China Eastern, China Southern, and KLM), so I'm collecting Delta SkyMiles on all paid flights and have access to SkyTeam benefits such as priority boarding (I'm assured bin space for my backpack), better seat selection, and lounges.
Morning tradition at airports: a Bloody Mary
My flight from MSP was delayed by thirty minutes. The Delta app offered me an alternative flight, but there were no bulkhead or exit row seats.

I stuck with my original routing, and nursed my Bloody Mary. A banner on a video screen partially obscured FBI Director Comey as it summarized his testimony: the Russians helped Trump, hurt Clinton.

Thirty minutes out of a fifty-three-day trip is nothing.

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