A Seven Week Round-the-World Adventure

Our member JohnM recently embarked on another exciting annual round-the-world trip. This year’s trip looks to be just as exciting as previous escapades, involving 25 flights, 5 continents and almost 50,000 miles!

Well, the time has come to go on the annual xONEx RTW again. Globe out, darts out: fire away! (err – that was about 11 months ago).

25 flights. Mileage Monkey says 49424 miles; should yield 1705 SC and around 95K points.

The first surprise of the trip revealed itself before our member had even left the country. A successful points upgrade saw our member enjoying First Class all the way to Dallas, making for a great start to what so far seems to be a most enjoyable trip.

The first stop was the United States, where our member traversed the country, from San Francisco to Springerville. But after taking in the natural beauty found in Minnesota and Arizona, it was time to head south to South America.

Columbia was the next stop, and it was in the city of Medellin that JohnM met a fellow AFF member living in South America for an AFF meetup on the other side of the world.

Our member was highly impressed by Medellin and, it seems, thoroughly enjoyed the company of Juddles as well. Medellin was once considered a very dangerous place to visit, but it seems that things have turned around dramatically. Today, the city is safe, culturally rich and is home – at least in our member’s opinion – to some of the friendliest people in South America. The same can be said for much of the rest of Columbia.

Well, as I contemplate Colombia over a truly excellent Chilean SB (see wine thread for details) in the BOG LA lounge tonight, what do I conclude? First, ignore all your friends and acquaintances who, if like mine, expressed terror at the thought of coming here – but have never been here. Colombia is the cleanest country in S America IME. Minimal rubbish in the streets and next to no graffiti. Street art is common but it is often ‘true’ art (ie. birds, people – not abstract stuff.)

As previously mentioned, I have found Colombians the most cheerful people IME in S America.

After heading south to Chile, the trip continued with a comfortable trip across the Atlantic en-route to Helsinki. The midday departure of the Iberia flight to Madrid allowed for some great views of the South American continent, and the great service only added to the experience.

This trip report makes for compelling reading, and is sure to leave you full of inspiration to visit places you may have never even heard of. Find out what other surprises and adventures our member has in store as the journey continues around Europe and onwards to southern Africa HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]