Many children have a favorite toy while growing up. A moth eaten teddy bear, or perhaps a set legos or Lincoln logs. For me, it was a map. I could sit for hours and hours on end just staring at the dark black lines carving through bright colored sploches of land. My mother would tuck me into bed at night be quizzing me on world capitals. I'd often tell her before she switched off the light that one day I'd make a trip around the world..... and it looks like that day has finally come! MY STORY Despite a childhood spent dreaming of far away lands, the early years of my adult life didn't really start me down the path of a world traveler. I spent most of my days plucking away at my keyboard and answering phone calls like any other American officer worker. I'd spend a lunch hour searching for itineraries on Expedia every few days, but not once did I ever take the leap and actually buy a ticket. That all changed the spring of 2008. I stumbled across a direct flight from my home base of ORD to NRT for approximately $450 R/T. I blinked a few times, refreshed the page, and started to sweat. After much debate, I ended up booking two tickets for me and my SO for May. That sealed the deal, and started me on the path toward being a FFer and enjoying MP so much. I enjoyed the trip immensely, and even had the foresight to register with AA's AAdvantage program. To the naive version of myself in 2008, the 12,500 miles I received after the trip seemed like a treasure trove of possibilities. I quickly discovered there wasn't much I could do with so few miles, and that led me online into the world of credit card bonuses, mile runs, and elite status. Skip forward 3 years and I'm going to be able to fulfill a childhood dream: circle the world. THE TRIP The original plan was to make stops in Africa and Australia via Europe and Asia respectively. That itinerary ended up being scrapped for two big reasons: the civil unrest in Egypt (planned stop #1) and the fuel surcharges slapped onto award tickets by BA (the only OW carrier with seats open to CPT/JNB when for my time period). So it was back to the drawing board.... I ended up booking the following itinerary: This award ended up costing me 280,000 AA miles and a total of $440 USD in taxes and fees. Not bad if you ask me! I attempted to write another trip report for a smaller trip I took in February, but I ended up stalling out in the middle of that one. I'm hoping that I can stick with this trip report more solidly and perhaps even get the motivation to go back and finish my maligned first attempt. WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE So without wasting anymore of your precious time, here are the planned installments of the trip report: ORD-LHR in F on AA Touring in London, UK Hilton London Heathrow Marriott Heathrow Windsor LHR-HKG in F on CX, HKG-FUK in J on KA Touring in Fukuoka, Japan Chisun Hotel Hakata FUK-TPE-HKG-SIN-CMB on CX in J Touring in Colombo, Bentota, and Galle, Sri Lanka Taj Samudra Hotel Waterside Bentota Guesthouse CMB-SIN on CX in J Crowne Plaza Changi Airport SIN-SYD in F on QF on the A380 Touring in Sydney VIBE Hotel Sydney SYD-LAX in F on QF on the A380, LAX-ORD in F on AA I hope that I keep up with this, but more importantly, I hope you enjoy reading!