After a while, it gets easy to think you’ve seen it all and, worse, to begin taking things for granted.
It wasn’t until I began reflecting on the first time I ever flew first class for this article—a common enough occurrence that I no longer think anything of it—that I began fondly remembering the times I crossed each milestone. I know that I saved that boarding pass lying around as a souvenir. But then again, you're talking to a person who might have saved a napkin from the first international flight they ever flew as a souvenir. I can't verify that one.
Though some people are absolutely intent on making it a numbers game, I always thought anyone who traveled to simply boast about the sheer number of places they had been were some of the silliest people on Earth. The nice thing about travel is that there are always going to be a ridiculous number of firsts, but there are always a few milestones that are going to be more significant than others.
Out of the 30 milestones compiled below, I probably only have five milestones left on the list. I think I’ll savor the remaining ones a bit longer because otherwise there’d be nothing else to look forward to, but it's always fun thinking about the first time…
- You ever traveled alone.
- You missed a flight.
- You left the country.
- Filled out a customs form.
- The first time you crossed a place off your bucket list.
- When you realized you’ve visited ten countries.
- When you realized you’ve been to six out of the seven continents, sans that really cold place.
- When you realized you’ve been to all seven continents.
- And shit, now you’ve filled up your passport.
- When you’ve flown 24,900 miles, roughly the equatorial circumference of the Earth.
- When you’ve flown over 100,000 miles collectively.
- When you’ve flown over 1,000,000 miles collectively.
- You literally flew in a consecutive line around the world.
- You arrived at your destination before you technically left.
- You flew in the middle seat for 12 hours.
- You flew first class.
- You flew business on an international trip.
- You flew first on an international trip; can I come stowaway in your carry on?
- Went on a cruise.
- You got on a train.
- Used a ferry to get wherever you're going to.
- You drove on the opposite side of the road.
- You paid for a flight in person.
- Reached the first tier of a frequent flyer program.
- You used a lounge.
- You did a mileage run.
- You saw a UNESCO Heritage site.
- You saw one of the wonders of the modern world — there’s only one ancient wonder left.
- You went out of the country with a significant other.
- You got on a plane with your first child.
How many travel milestones have you personally reached? What would you include?