With the travel year 2015 still fully open, I can only hope it will become as great as my travels in 2014. So before I start reporting on my trips in the new year, here is a summary of my trips in 2014, with links to the blog posts to some of these trips. Sometimes it feels as if I travel too much to blog about each and every trip, so I hope I will have time to catch up on my work. Until then, please follow me around the world in 365 days:
My year started at the “Vakantiebeurs 2014” Dutch Travel Convention in nearby Utrecht, looking for travel inspiration.
Early in February I took my son on a day trip to nearby Arnhem, to see whether a river cruise would be a nice family trip. We wrote about our test and our conclusions here.
I am a frequent business traveller to Vienna, Austria, to attend UN meetings. February was the first.
The month ended in Bari, in Puglia in Italy for a conference. Also a surprising city. Blog post will follow.
Recognize my profile picture? I took it on the North Cape in Norway in March 2014. We did a 3-day hike to a point even further north to the cape before going to the touristy, but beautiful North Cape itself. These are some of my best blog posts of 2014!
Also in March we started practising for the International 4 Days Marches in July. Here we are walking through the beautiful hills at Groesbeek, not too far from where we live.
At the end of the month my parents took our kids on a grandparents yachting trip in the waterworld of Friesland, in the north of the Netherlands, and we joined them for a few days for a nice three-generations boat trip.
That plane took us to Baikonur, Kazakhstan, where I attended the launch of ESA Astronaut Alexander Gerst to the International Space Station. Wow, what an adventure!
In June I spent another week in beautiful Vienna, Austria, where I visited the famous Hundertwasserhaus (and attended UN meetings).
In July I took my daughter to London for a weekend, where I attended SpaceUp UK and in the meantime did some touristy sightseeing in this wonderful city.
Later that month I visited Montreal, Canada, for a 3-day convention. Luckily a sightseeing program was part of the conference!
The Nijmegen Four Days Marches are the biggest walking event in the world, with 40,000 people participating. We finished our 4 x 30 kilometer challenge as a family! BTW: This great event has been organized in my home town for over 100 years now!
Only days after finsihing the Nijmegen Marches we make a beautiful hike in the Italian Alps, as part of a family road trip holiday in Italy and France.
A city trip to Monaco is big fun, and tweens and teens love it. Beautiful little streets, good food and wonderful rich-people-watching.
Our last week of the summer vacation is spent in quiet Burgundy, France.
The family vacation fun finishes with a great city trip to Paris, which can be a perfect day trip from many parts of France.
My trip to Toronto, Canada, in September proves a week of hard work and long days at the IAC conference and only one picture of the area outside the conference centre. Sometimes you just have to turn off the travel blogger mode.
In October I spend a week in Bordeaux, France, as part of a research team doing microgravity parabolic flight experiments on the famous ESA/CNES Airbus A300 “Zero-G”.
In November my company organized a winter expedition to the island of Ameland, where we camp under the stars by the Wadden Sea.
The Reinventing Space conference and Lunar Mission One project bring me to London for a week of hard work and a lot of fun with my UK space friends.
From London I make a quick daytrip on the Eurostar to Paris, where work brings me close to this location for a quick snap between meetings.
On 5 December 2014 I find myself at Kennedy Space Center in warm Florida, seeing the new Orion spacecraft launch for its first test flight, atop a massive Delta-IV Heavy rocket. My second rocket launch this year!
My third trip to London in 2014 is all about work, although the office is right in the middle of Soho, just off Carnaby Street, so I do get some of the Christmas atmosphere.
December is the month of the traditional German Christmas markets and Cologne is only just over an hour from home. Cheers!
My travel year ends with another epic last-minute space event. Together with a few friends we welcome Libby Norcross to the European space world, with a VIP visit to ESOC, including the Rosetta Control Room and the Technik Museum in Speyer.
It doesn’t often get as crazy as it was in 2014. I spent a lot of nights away from home. I took 47 flights on 14 different airlines, covering 84,000 kilometers (or over 2 times around the world) to 27 airports in 14 countries. In addition I visited 7 US States and 2 Canadian provinces, plus several countries on road trips. I also covered at least 400 kilometers on foot!
I am writing this in January 2015, with many trips in the pipeline. I am looking forward to writing a similar blog post about 2015 in exactly one year from now! Thank you for travelling along!