As the world grinds to an almost-halt in the wake of rapidly developing COVID19 situations and everyone is reeling from the shockwaves all around the world, I figured I should do a mental stock take to be grateful for being able to plough through all that travelling last year.
Well, and also because Singapore is slowly but almost surely locking down bit by bit.
2019 was a travel jackpot for me in every way possible. Okay, maybe not so much for my wallet.
As far as statistics go, it was the best year of my life in terms of living the sporadic atas life on flights and in hotels. What a way to celebrate hitting 40.
- 8 Staycations
- 8 Daycations
- 11 Holidays
It was also a timely coincidence of having too much leave to clear, coupled with discovering the wonders of solo travel, chasing hotel status, and generally the world of miles and atas flying. I am also thankful that I have enough (sane) friends in my life to share the experiences with me, albeit sometimes I am just a little bit of a mafan (BUT very clean) travel companion.
Here we go!
- Staycaytion @ Parkroyal Pickering (the long awaited one but memorable for all the wrong reasons)
- Day stay @ Hilton Singapore (the first ever Hilton mattress run)
- Day stay @ Conrad Centennial (the second mattress run with 2 club lounges)
- Staycation @ Holiday Inn Express Katong (the super bland boring mistake stay)
- Day stay @ Hilton Garden Inn Serangoon Singapore (the even more bland boring but mattress run-motivated stay)
- Kuala Lumpur Trip @ Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur + Hilton Garden Inn Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman North and South mattress run (the first solo trip after a life changing decision)
- Bangkok Trip @ Renaissance Bangkok + DoubleTree Sukhumvit & Hilton Sukhumvit mattress run (the first Citi Prestige 4NF booking and Hilton Diamond milestone)
- Staycation @ Holiday Inn Express Orchard (the heng heng lucky draw win)
- Bintan Trip @ Natra Bintan, A Tribute Portfolio Resort (the MILKmaid trip)
- Night-cation @ YotelAir Changi Airport (the because I scared-I-cannot-wake-up-in-time nap)
- Macau Trip @ Sheraton Cotai (the thankfully uneventful first Scoot experience)
- Staycation @ Pan Pacific Singapore (the GHA Black-induced Pacific Club indulgence)
- Seoul Trip @ Conrad Seoul + JW Marriot Seoul + Fairfield by Marriott Seoul Mattress Run (the first J redemption trip + Marriott Plat Elite achievement)
- KL Trip @ Pavilion Hotel KL (the traumatising 2-hour KLCC customs wait)
- Staycation @ Swissotel Stamford (the less than ideal birthday staycay)
- Staycation @ Oasia Novena (the just-because-birthday-month chillax)
- Penang Trip @ Double Tree Penang + Hotel Jen Penang (the Poh United annual trip)
- Staycaytion @ Parkroyal Beach Road (the second GHA Black-induced chilling)
- Bangkok Trip @ Conrad Bangkok (the J trip with KFA voucher + bi-annual teeth whitening trip)
- San Francisco Trip @ Carmel Valley Ranch + Marriott Marquis (the super anticipated inaugural work trip + 4NF semi solo adventure + 20hours J trip)
- Seoul Trip @ Courtyard Seoul Nandaemun (the spontaneous J class MamaHen+2 chicks excursion)
- Guangzhou Trip @ Guangzhou Marriott Tianhe (the original MamaHen Dec trip + my first J upgrade bid success)
Thrown into the above package was the countless airport lounges that I swept through, the notable ones include SFO’s Polaris United Lounge (Polaris Burger!) and Incheon’s brand new SilverKris Lounge (expresso martini!).
I can now also officially mourn the demise of my 2 trips planned for May 2020 (just looking at my draft posts makes me sad):
- Ho Chi Minh on SQ economy + Le Meridien Saigon with the milkmaids
- Etihad First Apartments 14-hour to NYC, with stopover in Abu Dhabi
Guess which one I was more devastated about?
It was supposed to be my bucket list – taking First Class all the way, SIN-AUH-NYC-AUH-SIN. Experiencing the Apartment for 14-hour, trying out Intercontinental Barclays, redeeming my 2 free nights at Jumeirah Etihad Towers, alongside rotting in the Eithad First Lounges in AUH and JFK topped off with limo service in AUH. I even had a skeletal list of things to do in NYC on this Crazy Rich Asian-esque solo trip.
I was initially still holding out any cancellations in the hopes that things will take a better turn. Then I saw on Loyalty Lobby that Eithad has grounded all their A380s til June 2020 ie no Apartments even if the world recovers in time.
Then Singapore started advising against ALL travels.
Then Abu Dhabi closed their border, alongside Etihad stopping all flights.
The NYC started to look very very bleak in terms of numbers.
So I cancelled.
Actually, In the light of the current COVID19 developments around the world, this is probably not a priority right now.
BUT I AM STILL SAD.
I can only hope that OCBC reinstates the Etihad promo once this is all over. Best way to motivate the world to start flying again, no?
Til we fly again! 🙂