Let’s take a look back at 2017.
In January, I described the upcoming year as the ‘year of adventures‘ and in a way I guess it was – but in another way, it wasn’t. What do I mean by that?
Well, I did go on some adventures – I walked for a thousand miles, sleeping on mountains, beaches and sand dunes as I walked across Spain’s Canary Islands. I also spent a month travelling solo around Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo. Throw in another couple of trips and that sums up my travel year.
I didn’t go on as many adventures as I thought I would and I slipped back into full time employment a lot faster than I had planned and not because of any financial necessity either (I had saved up a lot). Instead, it was because I… wanted to.
That’s right. I enjoyed getting back to work after 6 months off. I didn’t mind pulling 60-70 hour weeks or only having two days off in a month. I was just content to be back. And 6 months and a new job later and I still am. I’m happy.
Saying that – my desire to travel is still there and as strong as ever. I’m still spending hours upon hours planning trips. I’m still trying to work out exactly when I can go away and how long for, squeezing out every possible hour. And I’ve still got adventures planned. I’m just happy to work these around the time I can get off. This is all made a bit easier by the fact that I’m required to travel quite a bit for work.
Where does this leave the blog?
Well, rather than continue in my current manner of not writing anything for months – I think I’ll actually start writing a bit more. I hope now, more than ever, everything I write will be relatable. I’ll be travelling, but I’ll be doing it within all the usual time constraints everyone faces.
I’m still not completely domesticated, I’m just happy. And after all – what else matters other than that?
With all that being said, let’s take a brief look back at 2017.
In 2017 I was lucky enough to go to 7 different countries, spending about 4 months abroad. I discovered a new favourite country (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and a new favourite region of the world (Pretty much all of the ex-Yugoslavian countries). Let’s check out some highlights…
Small Islands, Big Walk – Crossing Spain’s Canary Islands
The two months I spent walking across La Graciosa, Lanzarote, Lobos, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Gomera and La Palma was an experience that I’m unlikely to forgot. Whether it was the nights spent bivvying on mountains (and waking up a fair distance from where I fell asleep), the days I (accidentally) doubled my distance or the copious amounts of papas arrugadas that I ate, it was definitely an interesting way to spend the first couple of months of 2017.
This was my first visit to one of the most fascinating countries in Europe. Birthplace to Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love, it is home to the only divided capital city in Europe. Most importantly, there is far more to Cyprus than Ayia Napa. I’m sure it wont be too long before I’m back in this wonderful country.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
There is so much that I can say about Bosnia & Herzegovina that it’s surprisingly hard to summarise. It has one of the most fascinating and tragic recent history’s, yet is home to one of the most welcoming and resilient peoples I’ve ever met. Excellent food, decent beer and outstanding natural beauty make it a place that I need to go back to again, again and again.
Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania & Kosovo
The month I spent travelling solo around these four countries was truly brilliant. Each of them have huge pluses and I want to go back to all of them. Whether that be taking an unconventional, but excellent pub tour in Sofia, relaxing around the beautiful Lake Ohrid in Macedonia, or meeting some of the most hospitable people ever in spectacular Albania – I’ll be sure to head back to these countries soon. Don’t worry, I’ll be writing a lot more about these places soon.
That’s pretty much it for 2017. I’ve had an excellent year. I went on some adventures and realised I can be truly happy at home. I couldn’t have asked for much more.
Stay tuned – in early January I’ll be releasing a blog about my (very, very loose) goals for 2018.
Until next year!