Just wanted to pop in here and say MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all this beautiful Christmas Eve! Maybe you're standing in the middle of the porridge, frying meatballs or trying to put on this year's Christmas sweater. Regardless, I hope the long weekend provides time for rest and time with loved ones. As usual, we will eat a lot of food, play even more board games and listen to Carol of the Bells at high volume. Just a normal Christmas at home :)
On a day like this, I take the opportunity to summarize the travel year that has been. What I can state this year too is that my travel years never turn out as I imagined. There were lots of plans and thoughts for 2019, but half of the trips I did this year were far from planned last year at this time. The main reason for that is that I often book late and never stare blindly at a destination. If flight prices, travel times, the situation in the country, politics and airlines don't feel right, then I don't book. No matter how hungry I am. I see it as simply not meant for me to travel there at that time. There are always more opportunities. But where did I go this year?
This year's trips in numbers
We start a bit easy with a summation in numbers. There were unexpectedly few new countries (but many new regions!) and unexpectedly few swims in the sea this year. Actually not a single swim in the sea at all this year when I think about it…
Hotel nights: 50
New countries: 1
Canceled trips: 1
Swimming in the sea in Bali: 0
Rental car days: 40
New mugs: 8
New suitcases: 1
Pink Lakes: 1
Travel year per month
February – Madeira
In February we went to Madeira for a week to hike and discover this lovely island. We rented a great house with a heated pool with friends and had many dinners on the terrace at sunset over a banana plantation. We got our first parking ticket abroad and we went whale watching without seeing any whales. But oh how I liked Madeira!
April – Italy
In April, we went on a 12-day road trip around Liguria, Lombardy, Veneto and Tuscany. We queued in Florence, ate truffle pasta on the rolling hills of Tuscany, rode the train between the villages of the Cinque Terre, felt like royalty in Venice and sat in car queues for hours at Lake Garda. An incredibly fun and educational trip. We got stopped by the carabinieri on a remote forest road in Liguria, tore our hair out over how to pay our free-flow motorway tolls, and overpaid for gelato in Florence. Quite simply a crazy fun road trip.
May – Eastern Scania
Together with a group of lovely Swedish travel bloggers, I went on a press trip to Kristianstad. Think how much there is to see in our lovely country! Even though I'm in Scania quite often, I discovered lots of new nuggets. I learned about eel fishing & spirits history, visited beautiful Åhus and ate at fantastic places run by real enthusiasts. Skåne is truly Sweden's Provence.
June - Western Australia
In June, we went on a road trip in one of Australia's wildest states – Western Australia. Many miles by car, but oh what a trip! National parks, animals, big city and vineyards. A state with so much more than we could wish for. But at the same time so much more desolate and sparsely populated than we thought. Western Australia is a state we will definitely need to explore more of soon!
July – Bali
What was supposed to be this year's beach holiday became rather a cultural holiday. Not bad at all, but not what I had in mind. Sure, I'm a bathtub. But when the temperature at night creeps down towards 20 degrees, it never gets particularly hot in the pool and sea. However, it was nice to see Bali again after so many years, although right now I don't feel like going back again for a few years.
July – Skåne
There were two weekends in July in Skåne, with castle visits, family visits and café visits. I visited Ystad for the first time and had some more coffee.
August – High Coast
It had been many years since I last experienced nature in my hometown and it was incredibly fun to see what I took for granted from a new angle. Skuleskogen, the Högakustenleden and a bit of the archipelago, we managed before it was time to go home to Stockholm again.
October – Slovenia
Slovenia has been on my wish list for a long time, but it hasn't been easy to find time or plans with holidays. One week in October, however, the plan came true and we drove around the whole of Slovenia. An incredible country with so much in a very compact small area. We ate vanilla fluff pastries, visited magical limestone caves and hiked canyons.
November – Graz, Austria
We managed a luxurious day in Graz, with a visit to a castle, a beer garden and a ride down Europe's longest indoor slide. A cozy little town that we would love to see more of!
How has your travel year been? What were your highlights?
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Travel blogger, gastronaut, photographer and family adventurer with over 55 countries in his luggage. Eva loves trips that include beautiful nature, hiking boots and well-cooked food. On the travel blog Rucksack she takes you to all corners of the world with the help of her inspiring pictures and texts.