Since 2005, when TripAdvisor first offered a My Travel Map feature, I’ve been tracking my personal and work travel. I think everyone who does this comes up with certain rules they use for when to add that little virtual pushpin to the map. My rules are:
- Traveling through an area doesn’t merit a pushpin. Seeing a destination from a vehicle (train, bus, car) is a type of virtual experience and doesn’t count. Feet have to be on the ground.
- Likewise, train stations, airports, rest stops, etc. don’t count. Maybe I’ve experienced French bureaucracy and had a chance to practice my French by changing planes in Charles de Gaulle, but I can hardly say I’ve seen Paris (or even Roissy-en-France).
Trips made prior to 2005 were recollected as best as possible. For some early significant trips (grade school through college), I’ve had to rely on rather fallible memories but the locations listed are at least representative if not entirely accurate. It is unfortunate that the web wasn’t around 40 years ago and that my obsession with travel didn’t really take hold until my early 30s. But there you have it.
As of 2015, the list has grown to 801 cities in 34 countries. As a travel agent, I think it is important to have experienced places first-hand in order to provide optimal service. If you’re curious about the specifics of where I’ve been, my TripAdvisor Profile map is interactive so you can see which specific places I’ve been to in Germany (lots) or Spain (one).
Note that viewing this page on a phone will only display my TripAdvisor contributions and not the actual map. I would prefer to do something like insert a map widget onto this page, but TripAdvisor discontinued support for a map widget a couple years ago. If any of you have any ideas for better location tracking, please feel free to leave a comment.