Experiments in Living #3: One Trip a Month for a Year!

Posted on by Scott Ferguson
Venice gondola 2015

Venice, Italy


At the beginning of 2015 I decided to take an out of town trip every month for at least one weekend. After twelve months, I am happy to report I did it as planned—hurrah!

As always, I tried to adhere to The Art of Travelling. Below are my 2015 destinations and several observations:

January: San Francisco                  July: Iowa
February: Chicago, Iowa              August: Chicago, Atlanta, South Dakota
March: Utah skiing                       September: San Diego
April: Death Valley hiking            October: Italy—World Expo, Milan, Lake Como, Venice
May: Chicago                                November: Indiana, Iowa
June: San Francisco                       December: Iowa

What I Learned

1) Taking a monthly trip is a commitment.
Though I love to travel, completing this year-long objective was not always easy. Typically, I spent 55 to 60 hours each week at work and commuting to work, thus simply to plan the trips became a challenge at times. In fact, twice (in June and September) I had no definitive plans until Thursday night prior to the final weekend of the month. While skipping the travel would have been easy both of those months, I honored my commitment and created a trip. Naturally, those hastily planned travels were as rewarding and enjoyable as the well-planned journeys!

Golden Gate Park Feb 2015

Patio at de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, USA

2) Life/Work/Travel balance requires prioritization.
My travels used up at least one weekend each month and those weekends are when many persons focus on personal activities such as exercise, yard work, family time, car maintenance, and DIY projects. With 50 less days and nights available to handle daily life activities, knowing my priorities in life came in handy. Basically, if an activity doesn’t fit into my top five priorities, I don’t do it. This makes life a lot easier. Too, I tried to utilize a portion of my commuting time to communicate with family and friends as well as to listen to foreign language CD’s.

along Lake como a

Lake Como, Italy

3) Short-term travelling is a nice break from work.
There’s no doubt, I love long term travelling–in 2012 I took a career break to travel for a year and I look forward to do it again one day. In the meantime, I have a regular day job which means short term travels fit my schedule much easier. Guess what? Short term travel is insightful, fun, relaxing, and still gets me out of my daily environment. Though I visited fewer states and countries than in typical years, I still managed to rack up 50 nights away from home–not too bad! (Note: To sidestep undue stress, I avoided travel on holiday weekends.)

Overall, my 2015 excursions kept me plugged into the excitement of being on the road and exploring. I saw more of my USA, including one National Park, and also managed to visit one country that was new for me—Italy. The travels had a well-rounded mix of urban (San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego, Venice) and natural environments (Utah, Death Valley, South Dakota, Lake Como), educational (museums, visitor centers, World Expo) and entertaining experiences (baseball, football, music), plus well-spent time among friends and with family members on five occasions which was a priority of mine.

May you find rewarding travel experiences in your future!

Milan coffee

Croissant, espresso, and Good Morning! cappuccino, Milan, Italy.

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