2017: Another year of travel in review…

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.

But…

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.

GR131, La Gomera

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.

2017 Highlights:

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.

GR131, Tenerife

Cyprus

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!

10 Comments on “2017: Another year of travel in review…

  1. Really enjoyed the review of your year! We will be taking a driving tour of the Balkans during an extended trip in 2018, and I look forward to hearing more about your adventures.

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  2. In the end, you happiness is all that matters. Both halves of your 2017 sound like epic adventures. Wandering the wilds of the world for 1000 miles is almost the textbook definition of epic, but so too can be recommitting to work. The problem isn’t always in performing a function. It’s just when you do work for work’s sake. When you can’t think of anything else or can’t see any other way to live. If you choose it and love it, all the world is yours.

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  3. Wow, you have been to some amazing places and it always scared me a little bit that time flies so fast and it’s already “another year” every time I read a yearly review post. But at the same time, it’s time to starting planning and look forward to the trips planning for next year and I am getting busy 🙂 @ knycx.journeying

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  4. Sounds like you’ve had some great experiences this year and many of those places are on my list. I also totally get wanting and enjoying work as well, as I am the same way. We are complex creatures and to fit into one mold or lifestyle isn’t right for us all.

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  5. It sounds like you had quite a year. Will have to check out more on your site about Tenerife as we’re thinking about heading there, but not until 2019. With it seeming like everyone is a global nomad, it’s nice to hear about fellow travelers like myself who still work a full time job and plan travel in whenever possible. #WeekendWanderlust

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  6. You are making a big shift. I am, too! here’s hoping 2018 will be much better overall!!!

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