Today is the last day of 2017, and that means that it’s time to reflect on the year that has gone by.
2017 has been a brilliant travel year for me, despite studying full-time and also working two part time jobs. I’ve done everything that I had planned to do and more – although I can never get enough of travel!
In 2017, I visited 14 countries, including 7 new ones. My count is now up to 61 countries and 49 capital on 5 continents.
The year started off with an 18-day trip through the diverse and off-the-beaten-path country of Iran. My friend Steve and I travelled through four large regions, visiting vibrant cities, quaint villages, abandoned mudbrick villages, vast deserts, winding canyons, salt caves, a mangrove forest, ancient UNESCO sites, caravanserais and colourful mosques. In hindsight, I loved it much more than I thought I did when I was there. I’ve started missing Iran a lot recently, and I’m very excited to go back there, hopefully soon.
In February, my second semester at uni began, but I still found time to go on a day trip to the medieval city of Lund in Sweden with two good friends. Lund was a pleasant surprise, and I’m excited to be going back there soon!
March was a great travel month for me. I got to visit 3 countries and two of them new. I went on a weekend trip to Romania with my mum, where we explored Bucharest and Brasov and saw Dracula’s castle in Bran. I then spent four hectic days travelling through magnificent Albania, exploring the capital, four ancient villages and three UNESCO sites. Talk about being exhausted after a trip! A few days after I came back home from that trip, I was off on a delightful two-day cruise to Oslo with my friends Amanda and Lula.
In April, I took 13 days off during the Easter holiday to go to my favourite place on Earth, the beautiful Faroe Islands. My friend Katrine came along with me and we stayed with our friend Paul Magni and his lovely family for most of the days, and in Vestmanna with my Faroese family for a few days. We travelled far and wide through the islands and went on many beautiful hikes. We also got to visit Hestur, an island that I hadn’t been to before, and it actually became my favourite of them all!
In May, I had to slow my travels down, as I had an exam to revise for. That meant no travel for me for an entire month, which was extremely hard!
June was a busy work month for me, but I did find time to go on a day trip with my friend Anna to Malmø, a Swedish city that lies just across the border from Copenhagen. We both loved the city and will return in the future!
In July, the summer was finally here in Denmark. I spent the first three weeks on an excavation on Bornholm and spent my free time and the weekends exploring the stunning island by bike. And I fell head over heals in love with the place! At the end of the month, I went on a short trip to Amsterdam, a city that I hadn’t yet seen!
August started in Luxembourg, which I went to by bus from Amsterdam. I explored the country’s small capital and went on a trip out to the old village of Echternach and the quaint castle village of Vianden, which was my favourite place in the country. Luxembourg was a beautiful surprise! On August 9th, Amanda and I were off on a journey to North America. We started with a short stopover in Toronto, and then spent two weeks roadtripping through nine US states, going from Los Angeles to Chicago via the Route 66 with many detours to national parks and to Makanda, where we watched the Great American Eclipse!
September was a quiet month. I was out of money after the trip to North America and also, my third semester at uni started that month and it was pretty hectic, as I was also tutoring the new archaeology students at the same time!
In October, I felt the need to go solo exploring again, something that I hadn’t done since going to Albania in March! I took advantage of the 5-day free visa rule in Belarus and explored so much of the enormous country that I spent over 24 hours just in public transport! I saw the capital, the city of Brest, the Braslav Lakes National Park, the Mir Castle and I went for a bike ride through Belovezhskaya National Park, which is the oldest forest in Europe. Belarus was another place which took me by surprise! I loved it way more than I thought I would, although I don’t think I’ll come back anytime soon, as I saw pretty much everything I wanted in those five days.
November came and it was time to go to the Faroe Islands again, this time for my seventh visit! My friend Solveig spent an entire month living with my Faroese family in Vestmanna, so I went to visit them for 11 days. Solveig and I explored many beautiful places and we experienced the first many snowstorms of the year! Faroe Islands in snow is even more beautiful, it’s a true winter wonderland. I’ve definitely found my favourite season to visit the country.
Despite having exams to revise for, I didn’t spend much of December at home. Thankfully, reading while on the road is something that I’m quite good at, so I didn’t let it hold me back. At the beginning of the month, I went on a weekend Christmas market trip to Kiel in North Germany with my family, and just before Christmas, Amanda and I went on a trip to Wales and England. In Wales, we attended a 3-day conference on archaeological theory and spent the remaining two days exploring Cardiff and climbing the tallest peaks in Brecon Beacons National Park in sneakers (such a stupid thing to do in December….). Our last two days were spent in Thetford in England, where most of my mum’s side of the family lives. It was wonderful to see my family again!
I arrived back in Denmark on the 23rd, just in time to spend Christmas with my family in Jutland. I’ve since been extremely busy revising for my upcoming exam, but I will get around to blog about Wales and England soon!
Over the next few weeks, I’ll also be posting some round-ups of the year that has gone by, including my best and worst travel moments of 2017, my favourite photographs of 2017 and my favourite new destinations of 2017!
2018 is just around the corner now and what an exciting year that will be! I’ve got so many great things planned for 2018, including a trip to Russia and Azerbaijan in January, a trip to Slovenia with my mum, one or more trips back to the Faroe Islands, an excavation in Peru (yes, Peru!!!) and in September, I’ll hopefully be setting foot on Greenland for the first time! Exciting times.
Happy New Year!
I hope you have a great travel-filled 2018!