At the end of the year, it’s time to pause for a moment and to review the experiences of 2017. Based on my Instagram pictures and linked blog articles, I will guide you through my travel year.
The spirit of 2017
Gratitude is particularly important to me this year. Gratitude for all the great destinations I could travel to instead of thinking: What did I miss? What else could I have experienced? I traveled a lot in 2017, but there have been fewer weekend trips around Europe than in 2016. This year, we focused on two “big trips”. They took us to destinations that are not among our most traveled continents Europe and Asia. Find out more in a review of the seasons.
The beginning of the year: optimism in Bangkok
As the year before, this one began in a sky bar, the beautiful Nest Rooftop Bar in Bangkok. After our Laos trip we traveled to the vibrant Thai capital a few days before our return to Germany, so that we could welcome the new year with a view of skyscrapers. I like celebrating New Year’s Eve in real big cities, because I’m always in a positive mood for change at the turn of the year. A lively big city suits this mood the best. I captured the New Year’s Eve sunset on a roof in the modern district Sukhumvit. The picture reminds me of myself anticipating this special moment of the year, feeling a new beginning:
After our trip to Southeast Asia, we did some day trips. We traveled e.g. to the Bohemian Forest in the Czech Republic for romantic winter hiking. We also explored old Bavarian cities such as Passau, Augsburg, Füssen, Regensburg or Landsberg. In winter, we often got up very early to take photos at sunrise:
Spring: first time in Mexico
The 2017 spring highlight was our first trip to Mexico. Our Cuba trip the year before made us curious to see more of Latin America. I was originally worried that Mexico might be too unsafe. In Yucatán, however, I felt very comfortable and found a new favorite destination in this tropical peninsula, where I would always like to travel to again. The relaxed boho atmosphere in Tulúm, the many colors of the Caribbean Sea and of the lively colonial town Mérida have conquered my heart.
The summer: Eastern Mediterranean and many short trips
Many people are raving about the beauty of Croatia and Dalmatia in particular. On our trip to Southeastern Europe I wanted to see it by myself – even if I have been to Croatia before – and experience even more countries. That’s why we traveled also to Montenegro and Albania in June. We drove from Dubrovnik to the bay of Kotor by bus and then further on to Tirana. From there we made day trips to the Albanian coast, to its heartland and even to neighboring Macedonia. That one was a beautiful trip, because I am in love with the sea, which offered me fascinating turquoise colors in Albania and absolute clarity in Croatia. In Kotor, Montenegro, it was the old labyrinth-like city and the views from the mountains over the bay that took my breath away. It turned out to be an eventful week with visits of four countries and yet it felt more like slow travel than stress, as we limited ourselves to very few destinations within the countries and enjoyed these few intensely.
Apart from the Balkan trip we did two wonderful mountain tours together with a couple of friends in summer. Here we again found turquoise water at a mountain lake, the Drachensee in Tyrol. Later we spent a few days in North Germany and enjoyed the summer in Hamburg and at the coast. I was very excited about the Hamburg Treppenviertel. I could feel very comfortable for a while in a fishermans cottage next to the river Elbe. Otherwise we did another hiking day trip to the Bohemian Forest in the Czech Republic, a day trip to castle Cadolzburg in Franconia, two day trips to Lake Constance and Stein am Rhein in Switzerland and a crazy day trip by train to South Tyrol, where we hiked over vineyards and surprisingly met friends from Munich. The summer felt so good and was so filled with beautiful experiences that it passed far too fast for me.
Autumn: Twice by the sea – Mauritius and Cornwall
At the beginning of September, when Germany got ready for autumn, we flew to the beautiful island of Mauritius. We did not do a resort vacation there, but travelled individually. The beaches were as nice as we had expected, especially on the surrounding small islands. The variety of flora and fauna and the numerous possibilities of ecotourism surprised me: caressing giant tortoises was a unique experience that especially filled me with gratitude – the feeling that has shaped my retrospective of this year.
Only about one and a half months later we left Germany again. After the fulfilling Mauritius trip I thought that a next trip could only be mediocre in comparison to the experiences we made before. But I was completely wrong because the time in Devon and Cornwall in the southwest of England was so great that I still think about it with longing. Devon thrilled me with its remote Dartmoor National Park and the small village of Topsham at the river near Exeter… Beautiful images are flooding my mind, when I think of it. We lived in a former fishing cottage in the artists’ village St Ives. Our natural stone house was placed in the immediate vicinity of green cliffy. Every day we did coastal walks on different sections of the famous South West Coast Path and enjoyed picnics with fantastic views despite the late autumn. We enjoyed – as it’s said now “hyggelig” evenings under blankets in our cottage and drank hot vegan chocolate, while the wind was howling outside. Simple pleasures are sometimes the best …
What are our next plans?
As for the blog, I plan to send out my first newsletter soon. If you have not registered yet, then you are welcome to do it now (top right on the desktop, under the article on the smartphone).
We will spend Christmas and New Years on La Gomera and Tenerife. This will be my first visit to the Canary Islands. I’m so much looking forward to being back at the sea and walk a lot. We will spend Christmas in a mountain village. I plan to do something, which you might find unusual for a travel blogger: I will stay away from social media and do Digital Detox during our stay. Pictures, etc., will be shown afterwards. I think for a travel blogger, who must always be present on social networks, some time off the Internet is a good idea. I am convinced it helps new creative thoughts and fresh energy, which I will need, because I have many plans for 2018.