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My Crazy New Year's Resolution

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

Welcome to my travel blog


Challenge Made. Challenge Accepted. Goal: 7 Continents in the next 365 days


To me, life is about choices. We all have different obstacles and opportunities, and I recognize I am beyond fortunate to even dream about this challenge. You may think it was one that was well-thought-out with years of planning, but that's just simply not how I operate. To be frank, this entire adventure was hashed and planned in 5 days.


Background:

I grew up in a small mining town in rural Michigan, just miles from the beautiful shores of Lake Superior. I learned a lot about hard-work from my parents, grandparents, aunt/uncles and cousins. Some would say hard-work is in our blood. Yoopers, by nature, are a dedicated and talented group of people that live in some of the most beautiful and largely undiscovered part of the US.


Home to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame, not because of the towering mountains or epic skiing of the region, but because Ishpeming, MI was the birthplace of the first Ski Club in the US.


Michigan is where I grew up, but I am also proud to call Colorado home for the past 21 years. I love the blue skies, the seasons, the sense of adventure...and how dedicated Coloradoans are to pushing their vehicles to the limits while navigating our mountain passes!




The Adventure


Visit all 7 continents in 2023. Statistically, I am not sure how many people have visited all 7 continents in their lifetime. It looks like maybe 500,000 or so people have ever set foot on Antarctica in the history of the world. Then back that down to how many people have ever accomplished this in a year, and it can't be a big number. As fun and cool as that is, that's also not my "why". It's a fun asterisk.


My goal is not to do it the quickest--it looks like that has been accomplished in as little as 83 hours. My goal is not to see the most number of countries or cities. My goal is just to do something impactful and meaningful to me. Something that I never dreamed I would do. A little kid from rural Michigan has dreams, but I am not sure I could have ever dreamed up this plan.


So here we go. Follow along if you wish. Share your experiences, your favorite restaurants, photo op locations on the Forum page.


I am going to end up doing a lot of this on cruise ships. Love it or hate it, it what works for me. I haven't figured out how I could have ever accomplished doing this as economically as it will be without a heavy cruise based adventures.


With all of that said, I am travelling solo. While talking with friends about my plans, I realized cruises will give me a sense of family and friends, even for just a week at a time. Cruising is familiar to me having been on ~10 in my life. It includes meals, some entertainment, and changing scenery. It seems like a relatively easy way to travel solo AND know I'll be able to safely interact with people and make friends across the globe.


How + Why

I had already planned to travel a lot in 2023. I had the Australia trip booked and had my list of 14 destinations I wanted to visit in 2023. I was sitting in Blackhawk, CO in front of a slot machine on New Years Eve 2022 and was talking to a friend about travel. She asked if I had seen any of the TikTok videos of the Drake Passage. I replied I hadn't, but knew where it was. She then asked if I had ever been to Antarctica. I thought to myself, kind of random question but replied back, "I had not". Just like that it hit me. I was already going to visit Norway, Finland and Sweden in 2023, so why not visit all 7 continents in 1 year.


Just like that this trek across the world was launched. That brings us up to speed to today. The trips and airfare, the hotels are all booked and it's only January 5th, 2023.


Go ahead, call me crazy, because I already know I am. But as we say at Fairway Independent Mortgage where I am lucky enough to work, "why not".

Why Not Us?

Why Not Me?

Why Not in 1 Year?

Why Not all 7 Continents?


And thus a few quick searches and a lot of hard work by Sandy Heley at First Class Travel in Grand Junction, CO - we are booked and ready to go! THANK YOU SANDY!

Travel Plans

Caribbean Cruise - Carnival Celebration - Jan 2023 - 17 days

Denver+San Francisco, CA - Feb 2023 - 7 days

Australia - Carnival Luminosa - March 2023 - 17 days

Europe - Celebrity Apex - June/July 2023 - 23 days

Africa - Seychelles - land based vacation - 10 nights

Asia - Celebrity Millennium - 16 days

South America + Antarctica - 15 days


All said, it'll be ~105+ nights in airplanes or overseas - a whopping 29% of the year!


Its insane. I'll know I'll be exhausted. I know it'll be the adventure of a lifetime.


The Goal

I hope to learn about myself. Who I am. What I want out of life. I love food and cuisine. I love learning about different cultures. I appreciate the finer things in life and am really okay being uncomfortable and challenged physically and mentally.


As a result, I have never been more motivated at work either. I am fortunate to be able to work remotely and help clients buy, build and refinance residential real estate here in Colorado. I couldn't do this without my team back in GJ!


My time away is not just vacation. I don't have the luxury to take 100+ days a year off of work. So I'll be working from around the globe, just as I have with past travels.


Thanks for taking a few moments to read. Now lets get ready to roll!

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Are you stopping in France ?

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Pretty cool!

Then you'll have to go on a Mediterranean cruise in 2024 ;)

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This is incredible. I have always loved and admired the way you look at life. Thank you for sharing!

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Thank you Ashley! And you are the winner of the first comment on the site! Prize TBD!

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about me:

Hey!  I am Cole from Grand Junction, Colorado. In 2023 I stepped on all seven continents, in a single calendar year, solo!

The year continues to shape my life and my lust for travel.

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