40K Far Away: Who went farthest?

Frequent Miler's 2019 40K to Far Away Challenge is done! Greg, Nick, and Stephen competed to see who could go farthest with 40,000 points and $400! Click here for contest results and next steps.

Nick traveled the farthest and made a play for reader’s votes with this unforgettable photo of his son meeting him at the finish line.

While Stephen finishes up the last couple of days of his trip, we’re each working on wrapping up our 40K to Far Away posts.  In addition to detailed trip reports, each of us will present an accounting: exactly how much did we spend in points and cash for everything (this includes food, tipping, subways, etc.)?

In the meantime, we’re ready to present the total distance traveled by each of us (in Stephen’s case, it assumes that he’ll finish his plans).  These distances do not include “around town” travel.  For example, the numbers below do not include Nick’s 30 mile bike ride to nowhere.  They don’t include Stephen’s many 10 mile treks around town.  They don’t include my driving tours of Johannesburg and Cape Town.  And, in at least one case, we substituted a nearby airport for the actual city visited (we replaced Boom Belgium with Antwerp) in order to estimate distances using Great Circle Mapper.

And the distance-winner is… Nick!

We each traveled at least this far:

  • Nick: 19,619 miles
  • Greg: 18,037 miles
  • Stephen: 12,584 miles (expected)

Don’t forget: Distance isn’t everything!  We will be holding a reader poll later this week so that readers can decide who really won overall.  Considerations should include not just distance, but also quality of travel, activities & experiences, and how well we ate and slept.

Nick’s Travel: 19,619 miles

Nick flew from DC to Chicago to Honolulu, then to Tokyo Narita, then to Bangkok to Brisbane Australia, then to Christchurch to Nelson, to Auckland New Zealand, and finally to Alofi Niue.

I’m looking forward to Nick’s accounting post that will show how he used his points and cash to go so far!

Greg’s Travel: 18,037 miles

I flew to West Virginia, then back to DC, then took a bus to NYC, then flew to Madrid. From Madrid, I flew to Dakar Senegal, then to Bamako to Addis Ababa to Johannesburg. From Johannesburg I took a train (and, inadvertently a bus too) to Cape Town. Finally I flew to Johannesburg to Addis Ababa to Mahe’ Seychelles.

It’s worth noting that I still have two “throw-away” flights waiting for me in February.  If I fly Chicago to Houston, and then Houston to Chicago with those tickets, then that will add 1,889 miles to my total.  That would push my grand total up to 19,926 miles which would edge out Nick’s total by about 300 miles.  All that said, I haven’t flown those legs and probably won’t so it’s not fair to count them in my total.

Full accounting details can be found here: How Greg toured Madrid & Africa for 40K points and $400.

Stephen’s Travel: 12,584 miles

The reported mileage (12,584 miles) includes a couple of destinations not yet reached.  To-date, Stephen has traveled: DC to Newark by bus, then flew to Toronto to Madrid.  He then flew to Brussels then took a bus to Boom, Belgium (shown as Antwerp above), then returned to Brussels by bus.  He then rode another bus to Paris, then yet another bus to London (this one was transported partially by ferry).  He then took a bus to Guildford (near his home-town) and then was dropped off by car at London Gatwick airport.  From there he flew to Copenhagen, then flew to Madrid to Zurich to Newark, finally he took a bus to Atlantic City.  Of course, he’s still not done, so stay tuned for his final adventures…

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