Best of travel 2019

Best of Travel 2019 – a Year with the Most Trips Ever

In Travel inspiration, What we have been up to by JurgaThis post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More info: Disclosure.

As 2019 is coming to an end, it’s time for our traditional roundup of the most fun and memorable travel experiences of the year.

2019 has been a year with the most travel ever. It might look like nothing to the most avid travelers among us, but for us, 12 trips (from 4 to 17 days) in one year is a lot… Here’s how our travel year looked like:

According to Google (that seems to know more about me than I do), I have traveled around the world 1.8 times this year. Taking into account that most trips were in Europe, it says a lot.

To tell you the truth, there were moments when it felt like it was a bit too much (as much as I love to travel, it’s nice to be home too). At the same time, I wouldn’t have wanted to skip any of those trips. Each destination was very different, each amazing, and we have made so many great memories again.

From the beaches of Mauritius in the south to the icebergs of Greenland in the north, and from cities like London or Barcelona to the most remote locations in the Icelandic highlands, these are some of the best moments from 2019.

I hope that you’ll enjoy reading this, and who knows, maybe you’ll find some travel inspiration for your trips next year!

The family behind Full Suitcase travel blog
Family road trip in northern Iceland – August 2019
 

These are some of the most unforgettable travel moments of 2019:

Best Sunrise

There is no better way to start a new year than with an incredible sunrise and a morning swim… That’s how our first days of 2019 looked like…

Being a real owl, I hardly ever make an effort to wake up for sunrise. However, the sounds of the jungle of Khao Sok National Park in Thailand woke me up anyway, so I decided to take a look outside…

When I peeked outside our glamping tent and saw this incredible sunrise above the Cheow Lan Lake, there was no power that would keep me in bed.

Sitting on the terrace of our floating tent, listening to the sounds of the jungle, and admiring this view… life really doesn’t get much better than that. We even jumped into the lake for a refreshing morning swim. Who needs a shower when there is a lake like this… Unforgettable!

LEARN MORE: Elephant Hills in Khao Sok NP, Thailand

Cheow Larn Lake reflections at sunrise - Khao Sok National Park Thailand
Sunrise view from our floating tents at the Rainforest Camp
 

‘Pinch Me’ Moment

Greenland has been on my bucket list for a long time. This summer, the dream finally came true and I can only say that it exceeded all my expectations.

From the first moment when we saw an enormous ice cap and floating icebergs from the window of our airplane, we were hooked. But a real ‘pinch me’ moment was when we went for a short walk on the first day of our trip and saw these enormous icebergs and a group of whales swimming around them.

We just sat there watching this incredible spectacle and couldn’t believe how extremely fortunate we were to be able to experience this…

Later on, we would see whales everywhere: through our hotel window, on a hike where we ended up having a picnic and watching whales at the same time, from a little beach close to our hotel on Disko Island…

And the icebergs… the icebergs are just incredible too. Constantly moving, they can change the landscape entirely in a matter of minutes. You can go back to the same place again and again, and it will always look different…

LEARN MORE: Ilulissat Icefjord

Whale watching boats on Ilulissat Icefjord
Whale watching boats on Ilulissat Icefjord – can you spot the whale too?
 

Best Family Trip

When I asked my kids which were the best travel moments of 2019, they started mentioning so many things from Thailand that in the end, we all came to the conclusion that Thailand island hopping was the best family trip of the year.

They loved our beachfront villa with a private pool and the huge pools with water slides at the Village Coconut Island Beach Resort in Thailand. They couldn’t stop talking about the Elephant Hills Resort where we got to feed and wash elephants, kayak in the jungle, swim between enormous fish in the lake, and sleep inside luxurious tents that were floating on the lake…

There was also snorkeling, even more pool time, even more kayaking, lots of fresh fruit and smoothies every day, and delicious Thai food (although, for our twins that meant fries and pizza most of the time…:)).

To my big surprise, our twins said that they want to go back to Thailand. Because we are so used to always traveling to new destinations, it’s very rare that kids would ask to go back somewhere we already visited. (Skiing in Switzerland is an exception and they can’t imagine a winter without that…)

Washing elephants was one of the highlights of our family stay at the Elephant Hills in Thailand
Washing elephants – just one of the great memories from our Thailand trip
 

Best Road Trip

I just love a good road trip. Our trip through northwest Iceland was the best road trip in a long time. Incredible scenery and almost no people around.

One day, as we were driving the beautiful coastal road #76 near Siglufjörður, my husband said ‘this is even more beautiful than Switzerland’. And this really says it all.

LEARN MORE: Iceland Travel Guide

Hvitsekur beach in Iceland
North Iceland
 

Best Work Trip

When you get invited to speak at a conference in paradise, you just can’t say no, can you? Big thanks to the iambassador team for this amazing opportunity and trust. Just look at the picture of our conference venue!

Mauritius is a beautiful island, but I never knew that it has so much more to offer than just its world-famous beach resorts. If you also think that Mauritius is only a beach destination, make sure to read our article that highlights some of the most amazing places to see and things to do in Mauritius. You’ll be surprised!

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Mauritius

Luxury 5 star hotel in Mauritius
Our conference venue in Mauritius
 

Best City Trip

If you follow our blog, you know that we hardly ever visit cities. But when we do, we go for the very best ones. This year, it was London and Barcelona, and I think that they both deserve a mention in this roundup.

In April, I re-visited London and discovered a whole different side of it in search of the hidden gems of London. It was A M A Z I N G ! If you want to re-discover London without the crowds, this is the way to do it!

Our second city trip was a family trip to Barcelona. We all fell in love. Mind you, we might have felt differently if we came here in summer, but at the end of October, Barcelona was simply magical. If you are looking for a short city break in Europe, in this guide you can find plenty of inspiration for a long weekend in Barcelona.

Weekend in Barcelona - things to do in Barcelona in 2 days and itinerary
Gothic Quarter in Barcelona
Tulip Stairs and Visiting Queens House in Greenwich, London
Tulip Stairs in London
 

Coolest Place

The coolest (literally and figuratively) place we visited this year, must be Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe. It’s one of the must-see destinations in Switzerland!

Summer or winter, there is always snow here and you can walk inside an ice tunnel under the glacier. There is so much more to see and do here and you can read all about it in our guide to visiting Jungfraujoch. And, admit it, how cool is it to be able to say that you visited the Top of Europe!

LEARN MORE: Jungfraujoch

Jungfraujoch, Top Europe - must see in Jungfrau Region in Switzerland
Ice Palace at Jungfraujoch, Top Europe
 

Most Nostalgic Place

This summer, I finally took my kids to Nida in Lithuania. It’s a resort town where I spent so many summer holidays as a kid. We visited Nida when I first took my husband to Lithuania years ago, but somehow we had never been back there with kids. So it was time to set it right.

Exploring all the familiar places with my family was one of the best travel experiences for me this year. No rush, no set itinerary, just lots of quality time in one of the most beautiful little corners of Lithuania.

If you didn’t know, the Curonian Spit where Nida is located is famous for its high sand dunes. The featured image of this article is taken in Nida as well.

LEARN MORE: Nida

Exploring Nida by bike with kids
Exploring Nida by bike
 

Most Beautiful Place

You’d think that seeing so many beautiful places it would be tough to pick just one that tops all the rest… This year it was easier than ever.

La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is, without a doubt, the most beautiful place we visited in 2019. No matter how many pictures you saw, the reality is a thousand times better. It’s incredible, astonishing, breathtaking… It’s like nothing else in the world. Just WOW.

If you are still looking for an excuse to visit Barcelona, well, this is it!

Good to know: If and when you go, make sure to visit La Sagrada Familia with a guide. Going on your own, you’ll miss all the incredible details and symbolism that just proves that Gaudi was a real genius.

Sagrada Familia is the most beautiful of Gaudi buildings in Barcelona
La Sagrada Familia
Gaudi Sagrada Familia is must see in Barcelona
La Sagrada Familia
 

Never Thought I’d Dare…

The things one wouldn’t do for their children…

When our kids saw a brochure of the First Glider in Switzerland, there was no way of stopping them. We just had to do it!

You have no idea how anxious I was about this, but it was pure bliss and I enjoyed every single second of this short ride. Not to mention that the boys were absolutely ecstatic!

Flying over the most amazing scenery of the Swiss mountains is an incredible feeling. With the speed of 70-80km/h, it was a thrilling ride, yet one that I would do again and again.

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Grindelwald-First

First Glider in Switzerland
First glider near Grindelwald in Switzerland
 

Most Surreal Experience

It’s not every day that you can go dog sledding. But dog sledding in the middle of summer is even more surreal.

Lyngmark Glacier is the only place where this is possible in Greenland. Unfortunately, due to climate change and the melting glacier, this unique activity might not be available very long anymore…

Sitting on an old-fashioned wooden Inuit sled covered with real fur and being pulled by a bunch of huskies was one of the most authentic things we did in Greenland. That’s how people there used to travel to places in the past and that’s also how many Greenlanders still get around in winter.

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island

Dog sledding on Lyngmark Glacier on Disko Island in Greenland
Dog sledding on Lyngmark Glacier in summer
 

Best Swimming Pools

No country in the world does swimming pools better than Iceland. The reason is quite simple – they get hot water straight from the ground.

Swimming pools and natural hot tubs can be found all over the country and there is no better way to end a long day of sightseeing and hiking than taking a long soak in the warm geothermal waters… Our kids are not that keen on long drives these days, but Icelandic swimming pools turned this trip into one of their favorite road trips ever.

Below, you can see pictures of two of our favorite swimming pools in Iceland. Can you believe that these are public pools that hardly cost a few euros, have the most amazing views and no crowds at all?! Oh, take me back there…

LEARN MORE: Westfjords, Iceland & Trollaskagi Peninsula

The most beautiful natural hot tub in the Westfjords in Iceland
Hot tub with a view – Westfjords, Iceland
Hofsos swimming pool in Iceland
Hofsos swimming pool in Iceland
 

Winter Fun

Our travels always involve so much road-tripping and sightseeing that I sometimes feel guilty our kids don’t enjoy it just as much as we do. So once in a while, we take a trip filled with fun activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Our winter trip to the Jungfrau Region in Switzerland was just like that – with skiing, sledding, ice skating, winter walks, and even curling on the agenda.

If you’ve never tried sledding in the mountains, give it a go. It’s so much fun and is incomparable to any of the short sled rides we used to do as kids. With kilometers-long sledding tracks, Wengen in Switzerland is a great place to do it!

LEARN MORE: Skiing in Wengen

Sledding in Jungfrau in winter - Fox Run between Kleine Scheidegg and Wengen, Switzerland
Sledding on the family-friendly sled piste Fox Run near Wengen
 

Best Unexpected Discovery

There were quite some amazing places we visited this year, and so this is also a tough choice. I loved the Palau de la Música Catalana and the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona, the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius, the Painted Hall and the Tulip Stairs in London, and the incredible mosaics of Ravenna…

But the place that surprised me the most was Rimini in Italy. I had no idea this popular beach resort had so much more than its beaches!

From Roman architecture to the most beautiful theater and cinema halls I have ever seen to a quirky fishermen’s district that looks like an outdoor art gallery… Rimini is a real hidden gem of Italy just waiting to be discovered!

LEARN MORE: Emilia Romagna Itinerary

Tiberius Bridge in Rimini
Tiberius Bridge in Rimini – dating back from the year 20! Yes, 20 AD.
 

Best Museum

We visited quite a few museums this year and Perlan in Reykjavik Iceland tops all of them. Where else can you find a museum where you can walk inside a real ice tunnel, see the incredible Northern Lights display, and learn about volcanos and glaciers?

If you ever find yourself in Reykjavik, don’t miss!

LEARN MORE: Perlan Museum

Arora show at Perlan Museum Reykjavik
Arora show
 

Toughest Hike

The Lyngmark Glacier in Greenland lies on the high mountain on Disko Island. With an elevation gain of approx. 800 m (2,600 ft) and lots of loose stones along the way, this is one of the toughest hikes we did in a long time. 3,5 hours to get to the glacier and just as much time to get back…

Luckily, it was an amazing hike with very diverse scenery along the way and a warm lunch and summer husky sledding was waiting for us at the glacier. A very tiring but unforgettable day!

Hiking to Lyngmark Glacier on Disko Island in Greenland
Views on a Lyngmark Glacier hike
 

Most Beautiful Hike

This is another really tough choice, but if I have to pick just one, I want to highlight the beautiful Schynige Platte area in Switzerland. The newly opened Panorama Route here is simply breathtaking.

With the most beautiful mountains such as Jungfrau and Eiger on one side to the incredible scenery of the azure-blue lakes of Interlaken on the other side, this is a family-friendly medium-difficulty hike that offers some of the most phenomenal views in Switzerland.

LEARN MORE: Hiking at Schynige Platte

Schynige Platte Switzerland
The scenery at Schynige Platte
 

Toughest Travel Day

Last year, I visited the Icelandic highlands and I was hooked. So when we went back to Iceland with kids this summer, I absolutely wanted to show my family one of my favorite places in Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll.

Kerlingarfjöll is located far from the paved roads and so it requires quite some effort to get there. The last 6km stretch of the road is a steep 4×4 track with huge holes and lots of big stones. We had a 4WD, so not the best car to drive a road like this. Furthermore, it was raining, temperatures were just above freezing, and the wind was so strong that it was literally blowing us off our feet…

When we finally made it to Kerlingarfjöll, it was so cold and windy that we couldn’t get out of the car. Inside, we gathered all our warm sweaters and rain gear, tucked ourselves in, and then finally dared to leave the car. One of our younger kids refused to go and so he stayed warmly inside the car reading his book while we braved the horizontal rain…

If I wouldn’t have known how incredibly beautiful this area is, I don’t think we would have done all the trouble in order to see it. But it was amazing and it was worth it even in these incredibly tough conditions.

Kerlingarfjoll in Iceland
Kerlingarfjöll
 

Best Travel Day

If there is one travel day that I’ll always remember from this year, it’s the day of my birthday. I was on a working trip in the Emilia Romagna region in Italy and I thought that working is pretty much the worst thing to do on your birthday… However, it turned out into the most incredible day…

We started the day with a sunrise walk through the empty streets of Rimini. We then had a tour of this incredible little town that exceeded all my expectations. Then someone told everyone that it was my birthday and so they sang ‘Happy Birthday’ for me the Cinema Fulgor… All this was followed by a bike ride and a fantastic champagne lunch at one of the most luxurious hotels in town…

We then took an e-bike ride through the countryside and visited a beautiful little village… And finally, in the evening, we had dinner on a catamaran.

It’s a birthday that is going to be tough to match…

Cinema Fulgor in Rimini Italy
Cinema Fulgor in Rimini – Not a bad place to have ‘Happy Birthday’ sung for you 🙂
 

Bad Luck

Once in a while, things don’t go as planned. One of the activities we were so looking forward to in Greenland was kayaking between icebergs. However, we had only one day when we could do it and it was also the only rainy day in at least six weeks period. In fact, it didn’t rain the whole day and only started when we set to kayak.

And so we kayaked between the icebergs in the pouring rain. You have to do it, right? Nevertheless, it was an incredible experience. I just keep on thinking how even more special it would have been if we could kayak under the midnight sun, as expected…

Oh well, here is a good reason to go back, right? 😉

Kayaking between icebergs in Greenland
Kayaking between icebergs in the rain
 

More Bad Luck…

Can you believe that in almost 20 years of road-tripping we never had to change a tire?! And yes, this includes a 4-week trip in Namibia and a trip through the Australian outback…

Well, 2019 brought a change to this and we got our first flat tire ever. Of course, these things always happen in the most impossible and rural places. In this case, we were touring Iceland’s Westfjords where most roads are gravel and there are just a couple of tiny villages and no garages in sight…

Luckily, there was a very detailed manual in the car and a good spare tire. And we also got some help from a French family, because two men were needed to loosen those bolts…

In the end, it all ended well. Thankfully, we had full travel insurance and so as soon as we could find a garage, we also bought a new tire. With another week of touring through rural Iceland, we just couldn’t risk not having a spare…

Flat tire in the Westfjords in Iceland
Changing the flat tire in the Westfjords in Iceland
 

Even More Bad Luck…

When you travel so much, it’s inevitable that things go wrong once in a while. Also this year, we had our share of bad luck. But all is well that ends well.

We started the year running away from one of the strongest tropical storms that hit Thailand in a long time, Storm Pabuk.

In Switzerland, all the ski lifts were closed on the day of arrival because of heavy snow and we could hardly get to our hotel…

In Croatia, a big part of Plitvice Lakes NP was closed for maintenance just on the day when we visited…

In Greenland, we had to change all our travel plans when our boat turned around and brought us back to the starting point due to the extremely high waves at our destination. We finally got there a day later and we were extremely lucky to get the very last available hotel room in town for the night.

We got stuck for an extra day in Iceland because our flight was canceled due to problems at Amsterdam airport. We ended up taking a flight to Brussels the next day. From there, I took a train to Amsterdam airport to pick up our car and bring it back home to Belgium.

It was 40°C in Europe that day and we were wearing our warm clothes and heavy hiking boots because we were coming back from Greenland where it was just 6°C… To make things worse, the train stopped in the middle of nowhere due to the heat and for a while, it looked like we would be stuck there…. Luckily, I was on the very last train of the day that eventually made it to Amsterdam… All the others after that got stranded…

Disko Bay in Greenland
Not the worst place to be stuck for an extra day – view from our hotel room in Ilulissat
 

Some Good Luck (& A Place I Never Thought I’d Visit)

Being stuck in Iceland for an extra day meant that I could catch up with a friend who lived there. As we were driving to his home for a BBQ, he turned off at the house of the President of Iceland and said ‘let’s go visit’.

Well, here is a place I never thought I’d visit… the house of a president… I guess these things are only possible in Iceland…

Anyway, the President was on his annual family vacation and we could indeed visit his house (and no, it’s normally not open to the public). It was incredible to see all the State Rooms and the souvenirs that have been brought by the foreign guests, including Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev…

Interior of Iceland President's House
Inside the house of the President of Iceland
 

More Good Luck

Croatia was high on our travel list for a while now, but we were reluctant to travel because of all the horror stories of how crazy busy it can get. But because we traveled in April, we actually had some of the most incredible places all to ourselves.

One such place that is otherwise overrun by tourists was Dubrovnik. Can you believe that we had the famous Dubrovnik city walls just for us!

Traveling off-season has its limitations (and we encountered plenty of them in Croatia in April), but it sure has its benefits as well…

LEARN MORE: Croatia Itinerary

Dubrovnik City Walls
We were all alone on the Dubrovnik City Walls
 

Even More Good Luck

That feeling when you have one of the most-visited places in one of the most-visited cities in the world all to yourself…

We took a great Gaudi tour in Barcelona and it allowed us to visit one of Gaudi’s most famous buildings Casa Battlo before it opened to the public. It was just a couple of minutes, but wow, what a feeling and a privilege to be able to experience this.

LEARN MORE: Gaudi Tour in Barcelona

Casa Battlo - one of the best Gaudi buildings in Barcelona
It’s incredible to see the Casa Battlo without anyone else inside
 

Best Food

I have to say that the competition in this category was really tough this year. From the best curry and coconut donuts in Thailand to fresh fish in Croatia, reindeer meat in Greenland or lam in Iceland… to my favorite traditional dishes in Lithuania and tapas in Barcelona… The winner is – the incredible food of the Emilia Romagna region in Italy.

Nobody does food better than Italians. And if you want to taste some really good authentic Italian food, then there really is no better place than the Emilia Romagna region that is known as the place for the best food in Italy.

Every single meal at every restaurant is delicious. Even the most simple-looking pasta is absolutely divine. Add to that some of the best Italian wines and you’ll never want to leave your table…

Some of the best Italian food we had was at Casa Artusi – home of the father of the Italian kitchen, Pellegrino Artusi. We attended the best cooking class ever here and afterwards ate all the delicious pasta we made (and that was turned into a masterpiece by these wonderful ladies in the picture below).

Italian cooking class at Casa Artusi in Italy
Italian cooking class at Casa Artusi in Forlimpopli
 

Strangest Café

It pays to do some research before your trips. We read about this special cafe close to Akureyri in Iceland in the Lonely Planet travel guide and decided to check it out.

Kaffi Kú is located above a cowshed, with tables set right above the cows. You can get a free shot of fresh milk and if you want to, you can pay a visit to the cows as well. (Which, of course, we did).

This has to be the most unique café ever! If your travels bring you to the Akureyri area in north Iceland, don’t miss this.

Kaffi Ku in Iceland
Kaffi Ku in Iceland
 

Best Christmas Market

There are so many amazing Christmas markets in Europe! This year, we visited two really nice Christmas markets – one in Brussels, Belgium and one in Vilnius, Lithuania. I want to highlight both of them because they are both well worth it.

Brussels Christmas Market is huge and it has everything you may wish for, including the most incredible music and light show on the beautiful buildings of the main town square.

Vilnius Christmas Market is much smaller and cozier and thus somehow feels more authentic. Vilnius also has the most incredible Christmas trees every year and this year was no exception. Just look at this ‘Chess Queen’ below.

LEARN MORE: Best Christmas Markets in Belgium

Vilnius Christmas tree and Xmas market at the Cathedral Square
It was 2-8°C with an occasional shower when I visited Vilnius mid-December
Brussels Grand Place light show in winter
Brussels Grand Place during the light and sound show in winter
 

Best Sunset

I started this overview with a sunrise, so let’s end it with a sunset…

Who doesn’t love sunsets, right? But when you can experience the most beautiful sunset at the most magical, fairytale-like location that you have all to yourself, it just doesn’t get much better than that.

Exploring the beautiful medieval San Marino castles at sunset was one of the most magical moments of the year for me. Simply WOW.

If you want to learn more about this tiny European country surrounded by Italy, make sure to read our guide to visiting San Marino.

LEARN MORE: San Marino

San Marino
 

So, this is our travel year review – the best of travel 2019.

In the past, we have published similar round-ups filled with travel inspiration. Here you can read about our travel experiences of 2018, here – most memorable travel experiences of 2017, and here – the round-up post that started it all and was featured on the Lonely Planet travel blog – the best of travel 2016.

Hope that you enjoyed reading this and found some inspiration for your own trips. In that case, don’t forget to bookmark this post. Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image!

Best of travel 2019 - year review and travel inspiration
 

Comments

  1. Well I feel quite honoured that our little London trip made this list 😉 To be fair though, if I ever got around to writing a highlights post, it’d be on mine too! I love that last photo of San Marino – now thats the inspiration I need to visit that area! Can’t wait to follow along in 2020 on your upcoming trips! x

    1. Author

      It was a great city trip, Alex, and I loved exploring all the lesser known places of London with you!
      As for San Marino, if you go, make sure to stay at least one night so that you can explore it without the crowds. It’s simply magical. And they have great food and excellent wine and quite affordable too.
      Happy travels. Wonder where 2020 will take you.

  2. Aloha Jurga
    I am completely sold on your colourful and flavourful way of writing about your Travel adventures. I just love to read about all of your adventures.

    Hawaii is a long way from anywhere but I am fortunate to have traveled the world and had many adventures. Even though I approach the Septuagenarian Club…you inspire me to continue.
    This coming year I head to Singapore and then a two week trek around Borneo, followed by 10 days in Thailand. (I will research some of your recommendations). This will be my 4th trip back to Thailand so I am with your children’s vote!

    I could NOT resist your stories about Greenland so off I go for 2 weeks in June, with a brief revisit to Iceland. I literally designed my trip around your Greenland tips.
    From there I join family in Slovenia and then to Austria before heading to my homeland…Scotland.

    You create the only Travel Blog I have genuinely loved and admired and I sincerely Thank You.
    I am just trying to work out if I can fit in Barcelona, before Christmas 2020 in Belgium and UK!!

    In total admiration….Mahalo as we say in the islands….Jill

    1. Author

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Jill. I highly appreciate it! It’s a wonderful feeling to inspire people to travel more, discover new places, and help them make those dream trips of their own!
      You have so many incredible trips planned for this year. I’m jealous – really :). We ‘only’ have three trips planned at the moment – a short ski vacation in Switzerland, a road trip in Spain, and we just booked our summer trip – we’re going to Lofoten and Vesterålen in Norway. I’m sure more trips will be planned later on, but I’m struggling to find the balance between everything we want to do, the work on the blog, and also the kids’ school holidays that limit our flexibility and destination choices…
      So enjoy the freedom and the flexibility that you have and be grateful for the good health that allows you to do everything you want to! Believe me, it’s not a given and so many people wait too long to then realize they can’t do all these things anymore… So enjoy it to the fullest and have an amazing travel year!
      xx Jurga

  3. Thank you again for the preview of your extended blog. We’ve been traveling, house & pet sitting for nearly four years now. Including 5 months in Sri Lanka
    ( currently we are dog sitting in Castelldefels, 25 min from Barcelona)
    We subscribe to your blog as you’ve such useful and insightful information. This year we have spent 12 weeks in different parts of Spain, had Budapest city seemingly to ourselves in June, spent a month in Bulgaria where we loved Plovdiv, and were amazed by
    Belogradchik Rocks. We then moved onto Cypress with a view to return to the Turkish side next year. Our returning point is Devon and Cornwall so we feel like the luckiest people.
    Good luck for 2020. Keep travelling and writhing
    Happy New Year

    1. Author

      Thank you for following along, Ruth! It sounds like you had an amazing travel year as well.
      All the best for 2020!

  4. That is incredible. The most trips I have gone on in the same year were 2. Most years only one trip. I would love to be able to go to 4 different places each year. Maybe some year I can start doing that.

    1. Author

      It’s really not about the number of places or trips, Michael, rather about the experiences! Travel is now my job, so, obviously, I travel more than ever before… But the trips we enjoy the most are the ones where we travel slower and take our time to explore the places deeper, rather than rush from one thing to another… Less is often more, believe me!
      Happy travels and all the best for 2020!

  5. We toured Iceland in September (the reason I subscribed to your blog) and had wonderful luck with the Northern Lights. It was quite an experience standing outside our accommodation with all of the other travelers in their pajamas “ooh”ing and “aah”ing at the lights, the sound punctuated occasionally by the whinny of the nearby Icelandic horses. Magic!
    We were in Barcelona in October also! And, yes, La Sagrida Familia was a highlight. We’d seen it 30 years earlier. It had been transformed in that time!
    After that we decided to visit a place no-one talks about, and did a tour of Cyprus. It was fascinating – the history, the architecture and the landscapes.
    And everywhere we met wonderful, helpful people.

    1. Author

      Sounds like you also had a great year with some amazing travel experiences, Esther! We have been to Cyprus more than 15 years ago and loved it. It’s quite a popular vacation destination here in Europe, so I wouldn’t say nobody talks about it, but indeed – it’s not as overhyped and over-Instagrammed as many other destinations (which is, in my view, a good thing ;)).
      What were your favorite places in Cyprus? I still remember a very off-the-beaten-path monastery that we visited in the mountains and it was truly amazing. Can’t remember the name though, would have to look it up…
      Happy travels and all the best for 2020!

      1. Yes, we did see many British tourists in Cyprus. We are from Australia, and have not met any other Aussies who’ve been there or had it on a bucket list. We did hire a car and drive to the Troodos mountains, but I didn’t visit a monastery. We found a few of the painted churches, though. I loved Omodos. We spent most of our time in the north where we had a tour guide who loved sharing the legends. Girne was quite enchanting in an historic way.

        1. Author

          Thanks for sharing this, Esther. I’ll keep this in mind if we decide to go back to Cyprus one day.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.