Wanting Again on 2017: A Rollercoaster 12 months

These round-up posts are a good way for us to lastly mirror on the yr that has simply handed by. When travelling round, transferring from nation to nation, occasions and reminiscences begin to mix collectively. By bodily sitting right here and writing in regards to the yr that’s about to finish, it’s an excellent alternative for me to consider all that Nick and I’ve skilled, and completed in 2017.

Since 2012, I’ve created these wrap-up posts:

2012 was “A Very Memorable 12 months”

2013 was “A 12 months of Firsts”

2014 “Began and Ended With Mexico”

2015 was “A 12 months of Spontaneity”

2016 was ” A 12 months of Huge Selections”

For this yr, there are quite a few methods I might describe it: thrilling, adventurous, emotional, rocky…, however I feel the principle time period that’s applicable for the yr is “curler coaster”. It was undoubtedly a yr of ups and downs. Truly, I might additionally name this text the “yr of miles” as a result of we took so many flights, trains, buses and automobile rides!

hanging out on bean bags at Berawa Beach canggu bali
Sipping on some coconuts and watching sundown in Canggu Bali

This was our journey route this yr:

Argentina -> Uruguay -> Argentina -> Chile -> Argentina -> Turkey -> Scotland -> England -> Greece -> Kyrgyzstan -> Thailand -> Indonesia -> Canada -> Indonesia -> Japan -> Mexico

2017 began out in South America…

Argentina

Argentina is an extremely various nation crammed with deserts, glaciers, jungles, cities, and the ocean. This was the place we spent Christmas and New 12 months’s Eve, and we had excessive hopes for the bustling capital metropolis of Buenos Aires – a spot we thought would delight us with its tango dancing, delectable steaks, and total metropolis vibe.

However, sadly, we have been underwhelmed throughout our month lengthy keep and had a love / hate (dislike) relationship with Buenos Aires. You’ll be able to learn extra about our emotions on the town right here.

Fortunately, we weren’t upset with the remainder of the nation of Argentina in any way! We went on a 10 day highway journey by the desert and wine area of Salta, together with Cafayate, Cachi, Purmamarca, Tilcara and the salt flats. The surroundings throughout that journey was unbelievable, and the wine was very good.

living in buenos aires new years eve
Pleased New 12 months!! We have been the one ones to countdown to midnight in Buenos Aires…however oh properly

READ MORE:

  • Travelling Salta: A Tradition-Wealthy Area of Argentina
  • Highway Journey in Northwestern Argentina: Salta to Cafayate
  • Highway Journey in Northwestern Argentina: Cafayate to Tilcara and the Salt Flats
  • Cafayate – It’s All About The Wine!

We additionally checked out the college metropolis of Mendoza, which is most well-known for its wineries (ever heard of Norton and Trapiche?) and the close by Aconcagua Mountain, which is the very best mountain outdoors of Asia. Argentina is dwelling to Patagonia, which gives lovely mountain landscapes, dazzling glaciers and superior climbing alternatives. We visited this southern a part of Argentina and explored El Calafate and El Chalten, each providing gorgeous pure wonders.

trekking in el chalten argentina
The climbing in El Chalten was superior!

By this level, we had skilled the capital metropolis, the deserts, the wine area and Patagonia. However, we weren’t completed but. Final up was the Lake District, a well-liked vacation spot for tenting, climbing, boating and fishing. Beginning in Bariloche, we highway tripped by Villa La Angostura, San Martin de los Andes, the Limay River and Lake Lolog.

We spent round 2.5 months in Argentina, and though that is an costly nation to go to, it’s value each penny. From the steaks, wine, glaciers & mountains, to the desert landscapes and welcoming locals, Argentina actually has all of it.

Click on right here to see our movies from Argengina, and click on right here to see all of our articles.

road trip salta to cafayate argentina
Highway tripping round Cafayate space was wonderful!

Uruguay

Not understanding a factor about Uruguay, as soon as we realized that we might journey there by boat in about 2 hours from Buenos Aires, we added it to our South American itinerary.

Uruguay shocked us with its quiet cities, liberal methods and fairly structure. Though we solely spent per week within the nation, we actually loved sauntering by Colonia and sipping on Uruguayan wine. The capital metropolis of Montevideo additionally shocked us with its lengthy seaside promenade, funky road artwork, mate tradition and delightful previous city.

Click on right here to see our movies from Uruguay, and click on right here to see our articles.

Montevideo Tango show in uruguay
We went to a tango present in Montevideo and it was wonderful

Chile

I’ve been on this nation ever since a childhood pal visited together with her household after we have been youngsters. Though Chile neighbours with Argentina, the imposing Andes mountain vary separates the 2 nations, permitting Chile to have a tradition and magnificence all its personal.

We began out within the Capital Metropolis of Santiago the place we met up with fellow journey bloggers AJ & Thalita who we had been on-line associates with, however hadn’t met in particular person. As anticipated, we had an superior time. Within the metropolis we additionally watched road performers, went on a strolling tour and checked out the fish market. We really actually favored Santiago and wished that we had chosen to spend a month there, quite than Buenos Aires (sorry BA).

dancing on the streets of santiago chile
Dancing on the streets of Santiago. This metropolis had an excellent vibe.

By this level, we had been transferring round for nearly three months straight with out stopping for longer than 7 days. Nick was worrying about work deadlines, and the decrease again issues I used to be having in Argentina have been persevering with. Sitting on busses wasn’t serving to issues, plus with an upcoming eight day trek in Patagonia deliberate, I wanted to do one thing…and quick.

We determined to cease for two weeks and hire a bit of Airbnb within the metropolis of Valparaiso. With vibrant properties, superior road artwork, unbelievable views of the Pacific Ocean and an total “cool” (if a bit of bit sketchy) vibe, we ended up actually liking this place. I went to physiotherapy through the mornings, we labored within the afternoons, and spent the evenings sipping on wine and having fun with the view from our condominium.

living in valparaiso chile renting an apartment
With a view like this one, it’s arduous to get any work accomplished!

Though we had fun within the cities, the principle motive we got here to Chile was to deal with the “O” Circuit Trek in Torres del Paine Nationwide Park. Along with our associates Jarryd & Alesha, we loaded up our backpacks and hit the path to embark on an epic eight day tenting and trekking journey by the mountains of Patagonia!

The four of us have been continuously in awe of the pure magnificence surrounding us. I’d think about this trek to be tough, however if you happen to can handle it, it’s extremely rewarding. Learn extra about our journey right here:

  • Our Expertise on the Well-known “O” Circuit Trek in Patagonia
  • The Final Information to Trekking and Tenting on The “O” Circuit in Torres del Paine
  • What To Pack For a Trekking and Tenting Journey in Torres del Paine
hiking the frances valley O circuit trek torres del paine
The Frances Valley on the Torres del Paine trek is gorgeous!

We spent 5 weeks travelling in Chile and had some great experiences. However, as with most locations, there’s nonetheless way more of this nation that we want to see.

Click on right here to see our movies from Chile, and click on right here for our articles.

Leaving South America

We have been in South America from November 10, 2016 to April 13, 2017. These 5 months have been crammed with out of doors adventures, thrilling cities, cool tradition, and naturally, lots of improbable wine! Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile have been wonderful nations, however it was time for our South American journey to finish, and transfer on…to Europe.

Turkey

Istanbul is one in every of our favorite cities on the earth. And if you happen to’ve been following our journey for the previous couple of years, you’ll know that we spoke on the World Tourism Discussion board about bloggers working along with journey manufacturers. This yr, we weren’t talking, however we have been invited to Istanbul once more to attend the INFLOW Journey Summit.

Not solely was the occasion lots of enjoyable, however we have been in a position to meet a few of our favorite bloggers in particular person for the primary time – Dave & Deb of The Planet D! Plus, we have been in a position to reconnect with previous associates, meet new individuals, keep in swanky lodging and attend lots of enjoyable events.

travel blogging lifestyle inflow travel summit
Assembly up with previous associates and making new ones in Istanbul

To not point out the truth that we have been flown Enterprise Class with Turkish Airways. This was our first time sitting on the entrance of the airplane, and it undoubtedly made being in economic system much more tough to deal with after we inevitably needed to return to the again of the airplane on our personal dime. The enterprise journey to Istanbul was a fast 6 days and from there we headed off to the UK.

Scotland & England

This time, we weren’t going to the UK to journey round on our personal, we have been there to fulfill up with my Dad and his spouse and go on a enjoyable highway journey from Edinburgh to London. This was the primary time we met any of our members of the family overseas. Often they may come and be a part of us someplace, however since Dad and Kathy are retired, they’d their very own journey deliberate and we got here to crash their travels!

We had been to England a few occasions previously, however it was our first time in Scotland. Edinburgh was a superb introduction to the nation, however probably the most memorable a part of Scotland was assembly my Dad’s cousins (and their youngsters) for the primary time.

travel to scotland
Me with my second cousins, or cousins eliminated, or no matter! Good occasions 😀

We solely spent a brief time period in Scotland, however we’re sure that we’ll return to see extra. The highway journey continued with stops in Jedburgh, Melrose, Newcastle, Durham, York, Nottingham, Coventry, Baginton, The Cotswolds, and at last, London.

After we parted methods with my household, Nick and I spent a while in London catching up with our good pal Jason who we travelled with in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and fellow bloggers James & Sarah (The Complete World Or Nothing).

travel to scotland visit melrose abby
The Melrose Abby in Scotland was beautiful!

After sightseeing and visiting in London, we made our option to the seaside metropolis of Brighton the place we chilled out in a pleasant, centrally positioned Airbnb. We wandered across the “Lanes”, I labored extra on my again points (this time seeing a chiropractor), and we caught up with previous associates! We all the time have lots of enjoyable after we’re within the UK, and all the time appear to have lots of pints 😉

Then… We Didn’t Know The place To Go

Up till this level, we had our yr considerably deliberate. It wasn’t deliberate when it comes to cities we’d go to, however we had a tough define of the nations we wished to journey to. And, we knew precisely after we wanted to be in Istanbul, Kyrgyzstan and Scotland.

Whereas we have been sitting in Brighton, we have been making an attempt to determine the place to go subsequent. This shouldn’t be a tough choice, however for some motive it was.

Our 10 yr anniversary was developing and we wished to spend it someplace a bit of extra romantic (and hotter) than the UK – to not point out, England is a bit on the expensive aspect, and the ales are too tempting!

brighton england
After being within the UK for three weeks, it was time to maneuver on

We hummed and hawed for a few week whereas hanging out in Brighton and simply couldn’t consider anyplace. Feeling a bit pissed off with ourselves for having not deliberate something particular for our 10 yr anniversary, it lastly got here to us.

Greece!

Greece

Greece needs to be one of the crucial romantic locations on Earth. Certain, we had been there previously, however this time round we visited completely different islands than those again in 2012. We flew from London to Zakynthos and began our great 1 month anniversary journey 😀

First up have been the Ionian Islands of Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Corfu.

We stayed in lovely lodging, explored the islands by automobile, ate our weight in Greek meals, realized in regards to the tradition and lazed on a number of the greatest seashores in Greece. Every of the islands had one thing particular to supply, and though they’re neighbours, every one was distinctive.

travel to zakynthos greece
Shipwreck seaside as seen from above – Zakynthos Island, Greece

READ MORE:

  • Zakynthos, Greece: Our Final Minute Journey Determination
  • 15 Cool Issues To Do in Zakynthos, Greece
  • Discovering The Magic of Kefalonia: Our 5 Day Journey Information
  • Corfu, Greece: Celebrating Our 10 12 months Anniversary in Model
  • Finest Issues To Do in Corfu, Greece’s Ionian Star

From the Ionian Islands, we flew to the japanese and lesser-known islands of Greece: Chios and Lesvos. These two culturally wealthy islands have lots to supply, with hardly any vacationers round. We joined a biking tour, a cooking class, a scuba dive journey and a crusing journey. We explored every island with a rental automobile and beloved assembly the native individuals.

travel to pyrgi chios in greece
We beloved the distinctive structure and designs in Pyrgi Chios

As with the entire locations in Greece, the meals and surroundings have been improbable.

I consider all of the spots in Greece that we’ve been, Chios is our favorite island so far. Its tradition, seashores, historical past, individuals and actions are wonderful.

Though we had an exquisite time in Greece, we each knew that we have been travelling too quick and quite than feeling relaxed and refreshed on the finish of the journey, we have been a bit careworn and overwhelmed. Plus, Nick had a brutal chilly (his 4th of the yr) and we each had horrible allergic reactions. We love Greece, however apparently we’re allergic to it!

travel to greece visit myrtos beach in kefalonia
Myrtos Seashore in Kefalonia is unreal!

Kyrgyzstan

It appears random to go from Greece to Kyrgyzstan, however we had a press journey deliberate with USAID – BGI, Uncover Kyrgyzstan and our associates from NOMADasaurus. Since our first journey to Kyrgyzstan in 2013, we’ve been in love with the tradition and nature within the nation. Naturally, being invited to advertise a brand new trekking route in Kyrgyzstan was a dream journey for us.

Not solely have been we visiting a rustic that we love, travelling with our associates, and plotting out a brand new trekking route in Jyrgalan, however we have been getting paid for it. It was the best advertising and marketing marketing campaign for us personally, and it labored completely for the adventurous travellers who learn our weblog! After 2 weeks in Kyrgyzstan, we have been transferring on once more.

travel to jyrgalan kyrgyzstan trekking
The surroundings on “our” trek in Jyrgalan was unbelievable

READ MORE:

  • Trekking in Kyrgyzstan: A How-To Information For The Keskenkija Path
  • Trekking in Jyrgalan: Our Expertise Marking The New Keskenkija Path
  • Prime 10 Issues To Do in Karakol (That Don’t Contain Trekking)

Thailand

We hadn’t touched down in Southeast Asia since 2012 and have been excited to be again within the area. Thailand has all the time held a particular place in our hearts because it was the primary cease on our very first backpacking journey. We landed in Bangkok and reminisced about our earlier travels to the buzzing capital.

It was my birthday 2 days later and I spent it having fun with breakfast in mattress, purchasing at markets and consuming road meals. We topped the day without work with sundown drinks on the superior Moon Bar with expansive views of the town. We additionally met up with our good associates Johnny Ward and Jen & Stevo – enjoyable occasions throughout in Bangkok!

travel to bangkok thailand drinks at moon bar
Pleased Birthday to me at Moon Bar in Bangkok

After the joy from my birthday and being in Bangkok wore off, we once more knew that we wanted to cease someplace to unpack for a bit, take pleasure in some downtime, and get caught up on work. And as soon as once more, we have been pissed off. This time, not for lack of planning, sore decrease again, brutal colds, quick paced journey, or uncontrollable allergic reactions, however at how lengthy it took us to discover a place that we favored.

We spent days and days looking out on-line for one thing in our value vary, and within the model that we wished. In truth, we began in search of locations on Koh Samui means again in South America! Ultimately, after sporadically trying within the months that adopted, we gave up and hoped that if we appeared nearer to the date, we’d discover one thing appropriate.

Lastly, whereas we have been in Bangkok, we solidified a cope with a property supervisor on Koh Samui island. We rented “Ginger Villa” for six weeks and couldn’t have been happier with the place.

Up to now, we had rented a house in San Pancho, a lakeside casita in Guatemala, and flats in Malta, Croatia, Argentina and Chile (plus, we’ve housesat at some fairly luxurious lodging within the Caribbean).

However, this was the primary personal pool villa that we had ever rented for ourselves, and it was excellent. We employed a bike at some stage in our keep and explored the luxurious island. We lazed on the gorgeous seashores, and ate meals at a few of our favorite road stalls and seaside aspect eating places. However, for probably the most half, we frolicked at our pool and loved the jungle view.

digital nomad guide to koh samui
Our villa in Koh Samui. Regardless that we did get lots of work accomplished, it was arduous to pay attention generally!

An Invitation to Indonesia

Throughout our keep in Thailand, we obtained an invite from the Tourism Board of Indonesia to participate in a two week scuba diving journey. Now, if something about Indonesia, you’ll know that the dive websites listed here are world class, however are tough to succeed in.

Solely one in every of us was invited on the journey and it was as much as us to resolve who would go. In some instances, if we had to decide on between us, neither of us would attend. However, Nick is a scuba diver and this paid journey was too good of a chance to go up! Being paid to do one thing you’re keen on is what it’s all about.

Diving in Komodo indonesia turtle
The scuba diving in Komodo is superior!

So, we flew from Thailand to Indonesia and rented a bit of guesthouse for me in Canggu Bali. Whereas Nick was away diving, I’d keep in Canggu and attempt to discover a villa for us to hire for the subsequent 2 months. This seaside city is called being a digital nomad hotspot with an entrepreneurial vibe and it’s someplace that we felt can be a great place to spend a while.

What really ended up taking place was I received very sick whereas Nick was away and barely even left the guesthouse. It was the primary time we had correctly been aside for greater than 48 hours in 10 years, and everybody was joking that we are able to’t deal with being separated! Which might be true 😉

Evidently, the scuba dive journey was epic. The group of divers and the crew have been nice, the dive websites have been unbelievable and the expertise of diving from a liveaboard boat is one Nick will always remember.

scuba diving raja ampat indonesia piyaynemo
Are you able to even consider this view? Raja Ampat is unreal

READ MORE:

  • Getting Paid To Scuba Dive: My Expertise Working With The Indonesia Tourism Board
  • Scuba Diving in Alor: The Final Diver’s Information
  • Diving in Komodo: Dragons, Dolphins & Mantas
  • Diving in Raja Ampat: The Richest Marine Biodiversity on Earth

Canggu, Bali

As soon as Nick returned, the 2 of us set off to attempt to discover a villa. The search was lengthy and drawn out and crammed with some rundown villas at exorbitant costs – one proprietor was asking $1500 USD for a spot that had mould everywhere in the partitions. He tried to inform us that this was regular in Bali…

Once more, we have been feeling a bit defeated when it got here to discovering a spot, and once more, we have been proven to chill out and belief that one thing will work out for us. It all the time does.

Ultimately about 2 weeks later, we discovered a contemporary 2 bed room, personal pool villa in a superb location! We have been so pleased with the lodging. The place was large and it included cleansing three occasions per week, pool upkeep three occasions per week, quick WiFi and linen adjustments weekly.

renting a pool villa in canggu bali
The skin of our villa in Canggu Bali – we beloved this place!

That is the place we lived and labored for the subsequent 2 months. The vibe in Canggu was precisely what we have been in search of. We have been surrounded by likeminded individuals and met many inspiring distant employees. Our associates Nikki & Michelle from Cheeky Passports stayed with us for per week, plus we turned good associates with Tom and Anna (Journey In You) and had plenty of enjoyable collectively – possibly a bit of too a lot enjoyable at occasions 😉

In Canggu there have been superior eating places serving up every kind of delicacies, and a few funky cafes too. The seaside was lovely and watching sundown and surfers was our favorite pastime.

milu by nook lunch views in canggu bali
View from one in every of our favorite eating places in Canggu (Milu By Nook)

Canada

Unexpectedly, I needed to return to Canada to console my brother throughout a disaster. It was the primary time I had flown alone since being with Nick, not to mention flying from Bali to Edmonton which takes 38 hours together with layovers. However, I used to be prepared for the problem and my journey days (there and again to Bali) ran easily.

The circumstances for my go to have been terrible, however being with my brother and fogeys was good nonetheless.

Because it was when Nick left me for his scuba diving journey, after I went to Canada Nick received extremely sick with abdomen points and a brutal chilly that lingered for a few month. In consequence, he had a substantial quantity of blood work accomplished and so far as medical doctors can inform, there’s nothing mistaken.

Japan

Nick is a sushi fanatic. He doesn’t similar to sushi, he loves it and may eat round 35 items of nigiri in a single sitting – plus miso soup, and possibly a roll or two!

It simply so occurred that our villa rental was up on November 19th, which can be Nick’s birthday. So, I deliberate a 2 week journey to Japan for Nick’s massive day. We flew out on a pink eye flight and arrived in Japan on the morning of the 19th.

In fact, we had sushi for lunch and Nick was in his completely satisfied place 😀

eating sushi in tokyo japan
Sushi!! Pleased Birthday Nick

Since we solely had 2 weeks, we stored the quantity of locations to a minimal and visited Tokyo, Kyoto and Takayama (with day journeys to Shirakawago and Fukuyama). It was an excellent mixture of a cosmopolitan metropolis, the mountains, historic websites and small villages.

We ate limitless quantities of Japanese meals, went on some nice strolling excursions, joined a sushi making class, cycled round Kyoto, stayed in a standard Ryokan with onsen…and way more.

It was Nick’s favorite birthday so far.

travelling by train in japan
Travelling by practice was nice in Japan, it’s our favorite mode of transport by far

Mexico

As I’m penning this, we’re at the moment in Mexico. I’m staring out on the sensible blue sky and swaying palm bushes. Iguanas and squirrels are chasing one another, woodpeckers are pecking on the palm bushes and mariachi music is blaring from the close by bar.

I’m not even certain what number of occasions we’ve been to Mexico, however I do know we’ve spent over 6 months right here. This time round, we’re within the nation to go to with family and friends. We’ve got 15 completely different members of the family coming to fulfill us in Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta (principally at completely different occasions), and a pair of units of associates that we’re assembly in Sayulita and Puerto Escondido 😀

Manzanillo is the place we’ll shut out 2017 and ring within the new yr…with tacos, beers and margaritas.

travel to manzanillo mexico
Manzanillo is on the west coast, which implies there are some superior sunsets!

Going Ahead

Wanting again, it was an excellent yr crammed with wonderful locations. However, it was additionally a little bit of a curler coaster experience when it comes to feelings and well being.

We’ve had just a few realizations this yr, with the principle one being that we wish to be surrounded by a neighborhood of associates. Assembly up with all of our running a blog / travelling associates this yr actually solidified that concept. It’s so nice to be surrounded by likeminded individuals and we’re hoping to spend extra time in the identical locations as our family and friends within the coming yr.

The second factor we realized is that we have to pay extra consideration to our well being, and put it on the forefront of what’s necessary to us. We’re not 20 years previous anymore! Nick had quite a few colds and a few abdomen points this yr, my again issues have been (are) fairly dangerous and we each don’t train almost sufficient.

Going ahead into 2018, we now have just a few issues that we’ll be engaged on healthwise, businesswise and in our private lives. Whereas we’re right here in Mexico we’ll be determining the place we must be in 2018 and the actions we have to take to finish our objectives! One factor’s for certain, we’ll be overseas and exploring someplace new on this great world.

As all the time, thanks a lot for studying our web site, commenting on our posts, emailing us, and interesting with us on social media. We love listening to from our readers and serving to out in any means that we are able to. We actually admire all your help and we’re completely satisfied to have you ever alongside for the experience 😀

Pleased New 12 months! Right here’s to a travel-filled, completely satisfied 2018 🍷🍸

– The Goats (Dariece & Nick)

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