Looking back across 2017 I'm surprised by how much travel I actually did.
January: Singapore and Japan
If I was to single out one word for my trips this year it would be snow. Though I've been to the snow before, this trip was the first time I'd really experienced snow. We started with a week in the tropical heat of Singapore before flying to Osaka and travelling through snow covered Honshu and Sapporo. My highlight was a night in the inland Tohoku samurai town of Kakunodate before taking the local Akita Nairiku Jukan train north through the white countryside.
March: Jurassic Park in Melbourne
From three weeks overseas to a weekend in Melbourne as we drove down to attend a live concert of Jurassic Park with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. School and work meant we had to be back by Monday!
April: Central Queensland
Unable to make my sister's wedding in Rockhampton, whose airport was closed by flooding, we flew up to Gladstone and drove the rest of the way. While there we caught a boat to Great Keppel Island, watched crab tying at the Keppel Sands Krabtastic and wandered through the Gladstone Harbour Festival.
April: Sydney Region
For the rest of the school holidays we stuck to the Greater Sydney region, visiting nuclear reactor, science centres, a train museum and even the end of our own suburb!
July: Japan again
Travelling to each of the Japan Railway network's compass points has long been on my bucket list and I finally achieved my goal. I rode trains from the north of Hokkaido to the south of Kyushu. Another highlight was the gorgeous scenery and hot waters of Unazuki Onsen and the Kurobe Gorge Railway.
September/October: Jindabyne and Perisher
We went looking for short escape in the September school holidays and somehow ended back in the snow at Perisher trying to ski for the first time in our lives. It might be the last time too!
A quick drive alone down to Canberra for work purposes marked my last trip of the year.
Summing up and the path ahead
School, sport and work commitments mean that we are no longer free to travel whenever we like, but we seemed to make the best of what we could do. Despite having some great flights, I still feel turbulence anxiety and it does make me much less inclined to hop on a plane and go somewhere. Instead, part of that passion has been redirected to other projects like karate, electronics and programming. I also spent months putting together a massive write up of my Compass Points of the Japanese Railway Network trip.
But family commitments don't just hold me back from adventures, they push me forwards. My wife and son are no less eager to travel. Barely a week into 2018 and we'll find ourselves driving around Tasmania before ending off the first month of the new year eating up Penang and Singapore, despite me vowing never to fly there again in our summer.
Nothing else is planned yet, but there are still two prefectures in Japan that I've never visited and plenty more that I want to explore again. And who knows where else?
All the best for 2018 and keep travelling allrite.