Once again, 2018 has been filled with great travels and amazing memories. It has truly been a great travel year for me. I think it has even been wilder than my travels in 2017!
I am so thankful for having the opportunity to travel as much as I do. In 2017, the goal was to visit lots of new countries, where 2018 was a mix of visiting new places but also going back to places I have been before. In 2017, I visited 8 new countries, and in 2018 the number was 7 new ones. My favorite destination in 2018 was Uganda, where I got the chance to see the mountain gorillas up close. But every trip this year has been special in its own way and I wish I could experience it all over again.
Here are my travels from 2018:
This was the craziest experience. I went 10 days to Uganda to see the country, the culture and the mountain gorillas. There are approximately 800 mountain gorillas left in the world. In Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest in the Southwestern part of Uganda it is possible to see some of them. It is a completely unique experience to see them play, eat, climb and sleep. This is an experience that I’ll never forget!
Besides the mountain gorillas, Uganda has a lot to offer. They have the most magnificent nature and you can see the Murchison Falls, which is a huge water fall in the beginning of the river Nile.
Riga, Latvia (March)
Often it seems like it is all about traveling as far away as possible. But after a really cool trip to Uganda, I felt like trying something new but wasn’t too far away. I had never been to Latvia before, so the capital Riga was the obvious choice. I traveled together with one of my good friends, which made the trip even better. Here we spent a lot of time in the old town, which is beautiful and super chill.
Riga is one of the smaller capitals, so after just one weekend you have probably seen the most of it. But for us, this was completely perfect as we felt much more home this way and could go back to our favorite places that we visited the first day and enjoy it even more. There are lots of small shops in the old town, which all deserve a visit.
Skopje, Macedonia FYROM (March)
I found return flight tickets for as little as 40 EUR, so I felt like I just had to go. Macedonia (FYROM) is another country that I hadn’t visited before. It is really interesting experiencing the culture here. If you didn’t know where in the world you were, in Skopje you would feel that you’re in a mix of something Soviet, Turkish and Greek. The capital Skopje isn’t really big, so it is possible to see the city and its sights within one day by just walking around.
The best option is actually to go out and the the country’s nature, which I find much more interesting than the capital.
The main attraction in Ukraine is definitely visiting the nuclear power station Chernobyl. Ukraine has so much to offer such as delicious food, nice stores and a lot of interesting history. It is possible to go on a day trip to Chernobyl and visit the town Pripyat, which today is a complete ghost town. When I was visiting this place, it was foggy with snow laying around, which made the experience much more intense than I had expected.
It is not dangerous at all to visit Chernobyl and I would recommend all people to go there at least once in their life. You really get a feeling of how just a small change can have high impact on so many people’s lives.
Sälen, Sweden (April)
On a work weekend trip to Sälen in Sweden I went on a snow scooter, skiing, grill evening, nice people and a lot of great food. It’s been such a long time since last time I went skiing, so this trip was needed. Even though it wasn’t my first visit to Sweden, it was my first time driving a snow scooter. It is so much fun and gives a lot of adrenaline!
London, UK (June)
I didn’t get to see that much on my 2 day trip to London except seeing the Madame Tussaud’s museum and some nice stores. But since it was 7 years since my last visit to London, it felt great being back and sense the atmosphere. I went shopping in all the stores that we do not have in Denmark, which was perfect for me!
Azerbaijan was definitely one of my favorite destinations in 2018. Here, we primarily went to the area around Baku where we saw so many things. In Baku, which is also called the Dubai of Caucasia, there are lots of buildings that you would have thought belong to other countries.
Here you find the Sydney Opera House, which has been transformed into a shopping mall. There is also Little Venice, Baku Eye (copy of London Eye), Baku Allianz Arena (copy of Allianz Arena Munich), Baku Louvre and a lot of architecture, which has been inspired by Italy and Monte Carlo.
These days they are also building a copy of Burj Khalifa from Dubai – the tallest building in the world.
If you choose to go out of the city and see some of the country side, you get so see something completely different such as mud volcanoes and the Burning Mountain.
In the beginning, I didn’t have the highest expectations to Georgia. This was because I had just been to Azerbaijan and thought that nothing could top this trip. But the same day that I arrived in Georgia, I could already feel that this was something completely different. It is such a beautiful country with amazing people. I had booked a guide and a driver who knew everything about everything and were able to answer every question that I had. To have a private guide and driver gives you so much flexibility. On the road, you might find out that you want to see something else or spend more time than expected in one city or at a sight, and then it is always possible to change the plans and see everything.
The capital Tbilisi is very interesting and nice to walk around in. My favorite place in Georgia, however, is the area of Borjomi where you can drink the famous Borjomi water. The water in this area should be healthy and good for your body. Even though the taste isn’t the best in the world, you have a great feeling afterwards.
In Armenia, they are very proud of being the first country in the world to become Christians. This should have happened in the year 301 and now there are tons of churches to see in the country. Besides older churches, who are all special in their own way, Armenia has great nature and food.
Tomorrowland, Belgium (July)
It has been my dream for approximately 5 years to go to Tomorrowland. Finally I got the chance and it has simply been one of the best experiences I have ever had. Tomorrowland is an electronic dance music festival in Boom in Belgium. In 2018, there were 400,000 guests, which means that its incredibly large. The highlights were artists such as Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren, Sebastian Ingrosso, Alesso and Hardwell. It was 3 days filled with great music and happy vibes. Even though I got my phone stolen at the festival, there was always positive energy and for months after the festival, I felt much happier and couldn’t even feel real unhappiness for a very long time.
Brussels, Belgium (August)
At Tomorrowland I met so many nice people. One of the people I met was from Belgium. So I went on a day trip to Brussels to meet with my friend and to visit the zoo Pairi Daiza.
Toulouse, France (September)
Again, I had met a great friend at Tomorrowland who this time was from France. I went to Toulouse for 3 days to enjoy the summer and to tan by the pool until winter really kicked in in Denmark.
Sibiu and Brasov, Romania (September)
Once more I found cheap tickets. This time return tickets for 25 EUR, which I couldn’t say no to. It had been my dream for a long time to visit Dracula’s castle in Bran close to the city Brasov, so now I finally had the chance to go there. Besides Bran Castle, I visited the places Brasov and Sibiu, where I met some cool people and never had a moment by myself. The weather was fantastic and I could really imagine going back there at some point.
Mallorca, Spain (September)
I hadn’t been to Mallorca in Spain since I was a child. And this trip was probably my most spontaneous trip this year. I bought a flight ticket and went there for just 24 hours. During this time, I managed to go out partying, tan by the beach, try jetski, and bike around at the island and visit some of the other towns. I also ate lots of ice cream and drank some cocktails. I did everything I had on my to-do list and had the time of my life.
Moscow was the classical big city trip. In the center of Moscow, you can visit the Kremlin and even be so lucky to see Putin. Next to the Kremlin, you find the Red Square and the St. Basil’s Cathedral. In the city, I went on the traditional sightseeing and shopping tour. I also met two really nice girls, which I am looking forward to meeting again at some point.
Cologne, Germany (October)
Cologne was my final stop for this year before I decided to go on a break until the end of the year. It is a fun city where you can always find good food and beer. On my trip to Cologne, I went to the amusement park Phantasialand, which is just the most fun place ever. It is better than anything else I have tried in Denmark. If I get to go to Cologne again, I am definitely going to visit Phantasialand one more time!
These trips have resulted in 102 days of traveling in 2018. I don’t know exactly how this has been possible with two jobs and my studies at Copenhagen Business School. But I am sure that if you have a passion for something, you will get it to work out just somehow.
I am already looking forward to all trips in 2019. And I truly hope that I can travel even more as there is simply nothing better than exploring the world seeing new cultures, countries, traditions, people and get to dive, tan, eat good food and feel great.
Please do share your best experiences from 2018 with me. I would love to hear from you!