2018 is almost over and before I go for my last trip of the year (to a completely new country for me – Egypt!) it’s time to wrap up past 12 months. I can’t say this was a good or bad year, it had its ups and downs but all in all it was rather fine.
On a personal level I had few challenges that I had to deal with but everything turned out to be fine. I moved to a different part of Warsaw, the one I used to live before but didn’t enjoy all that much. Fortunately it’s much better right now, sometimes 2 tram stops make a big difference. My father had a heart attack so that was a pretty stressful time for us but he’s fortunately doing fine now. Work was busy as always and friends around me are amazing as always.
Travel-wise it was a good year too. Even if I had to cancel few trips I still managed to visit 3 new countries, all of them beeing on my bucket list for years. It was also good to return to some of my favorite places, such as Lviv, Kiev, Sarajevo, Tbilisi or Yerevan.
I spent 107 days travelling and all of these while working full time! The biggest change in my travels was that most of my trips were with friends. I still do enjoy solo travels a lot but sometimes it’s good to have a company too.
Table of contents
I started the new year in Kiev, Ukraine where I went for the long weekend with my mother (it was the gift for her name’s day that we do celebrate in Poland).
Few days later I went with my friend Łukasz to Slovakia but we were really unlucky with the weather and we spent most of the time eating, drinking beer and watching movies.
Days spent on travelling: 8
Visited places: Kiev (Ukraine), Kosice, Poprad, Strbske Pleso, Stary Smokovec, Tatranska Lomnica, Zilina (Slovakia), Tel Aviv, Jerusalem (Israel), Bethlehem (Palestine).
For the first time in forever I didn’t go anywhere. I had tickets to Central America (Guatemala) but that was the month when I was moving places and simply didn’t have the energy to plan and go to such a faraway place. Instead I just stayed in Warsaw, enjoyed my new flat and watched Olympics. And I had such a good time!
After the calm month it was time to get back on track with travelling. I started March with a weekend trip with friends to Lviv, Ukraine and it was so much fun. It was freezing outside so we had a good excuse to go from one cafe to another and from one pub to another – Lviv is perfect for such a fun weekend away!
Shortly after I went with my friend Darek to the Balkans – we flew to Podgorica where we rented a car. We based ourselves in Kotor (one of my favorite places ever) and travelled around a bit, not only in Montenegro but we also went to Croatia (Kupari), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Trebinje) and almost made it to Albania too.
Days spent on travelling: 16 (some of these were spent half at work, half travelling)
Visited places: Przemyśl (Poland), Lviv (Ukraine), Bratislava (Slovakia, twice), Budapest (Hungary, twice), Podgorica, Skadar Lake, Stari Bar, Lovcen NP, Bar, Budva, Kotor, Perast, Herceg Novi (Montenegro), Kupari (Croatia), Trebinje, Sarajevo, Ilidza (Bosnia and Herzegovina).
Another busy month for travelling. I started it with few days in Ukraine with my friend Paulina. Besides Kiev we also visited Dnipro and Kharkiv and our main focus was to find as many weird concrete buildings as posible. I think we did pretty good really.
After Ukraine it was time for the annual bloggers summit in Cieszyn I’m co-organizer of – it was yet another great weekend with inspiring people around.
After Cieszyn I took my mother for few days to Armenia. I go there every year but it was my mum’s first visit in Armenia and we happened to be there in the peak of the peaceful revolution that was happening in the country.
Two days after coming back I went to the first of the new countries for me – Russia.
Days spent on travelling: 16
Visited places: Kiev, Dnipro, Kharkiv (Ukraine), Cieszyn (Poland), Cesky Tesin, Bohumin (Czech Republic), Yerevan, Lake Sevan (Armenia), Moscow (Russia)
This month I also had plans to go for a weekend to Lithuania but my father had a heart attack and I had to cancel this trip as well as the one to the Caucasus in June.
Days spent on travelling: 6
Visited places: Mocow, Kazan, St. Petersburg (Russia)
I was supposed to start a month with a weekend to another new country – Azerbaijan as well as to Georgia but that obviously didn’t happen.
I only went to Italy for work. It was a short but intense trip, 3 days only, but Italy is always a good idea. And don’t get me started with the food, it’s a culinary paradise for me! I was in Bologna and Modena – been to both before but it was good to return there anyway.
Days spent on travelling: 3
Visited places: Bologna, Modena (Italy)
Things at home were more or less back to normal so I’ve decided to go to Azerbaijan anyway. After all I still had a valid visa.
But before arriving to Baku I spent 2 days in Georgia and finally visited one of my bucket list destinations that not many have hears about – Tskaltubo. A former spa town is now full of abandoned grand hotels and is a real playground for all the urbex lovers.
Azerbaijan turned out to be really great, just like Russia – so much better than I expected. I didn’t spend much time there but still enjoyed it a lot.
On the way back I stayed few days in Georgia again, this time visiting the cave complex of David Gareja.
At the end of the month I went to the bloggers’ conference in Ostrava, Czech Republic which was a great chance to meet some of the old friends.
Days spent on travelling: 14
Visited places: Kutaisi, Tskaltubo, Tbilisi, David Gareja (Georgia), Baku, Khinalug, Sheki (Azerbaijan), Cieszyn (Poland), Ostrava (Czech Republic)
Another calm month but I like spending summer in Warsaw so I didn’t mind that at all. I only went to my annual mid-August trip to Ukraine.
I flew to Kiev and after spending a day there I took the night train to Lviv. After few early morning hours I took a long journey by local trains to Uzhgorod – I could have taken a faster connection but I wanted to go the scenic way. Well, everything was against me and it was a good lesson that not always things go as planned. But Uzhgorod turned out to be worth all the effort and I enjoyed the city a lot. From there I went home via Koscie (Slovakia) and Cieszyn.
Days spent travelling: 5
Visited places: Kiev, Lviv, Uzhgorod (Ukraine), Kosice (Slovakia), Cieszyn (Poland)
I started the month with a weekend trip to Belgium. It’s been ages since I visited this country but it was good to be there again. This time I went to Hasselt to find its awesome street art but I also had few hours in Brussels which was beautiful as always.
This month I also went for the craziest trip of the year: 4 countries in 3 days. I started in Podgorica (Montenegro) from where I took the scenic train to Uzice (Serbia). Then I took the bus to Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and finally I flew to Budapest (Hungary). It was busy but so worth it!
Days spent on travelling: 6
Visited places: Brussels, Hasselt (Belgium), Podgorica (Montenegro), Uzice (Serbia), Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Budapest (Hungary)
This was the craziest travel month like ever and I still don’t know how I managed to do it all without any hiccups.
I started with a weekend in Bucharest, Romania which is one of the most underrated capitals in Europe really.
After that it was time for few days in Bulgaria with my friend Agata. We managed to visit Varna, Shumen, Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv, Burgas and Sozopol – it was rather busy but pleasant trip!
A day after returning from Bulgaria I went from work to Czech Republic. While my colleagues came back to Poland I had to fly back from Prague as 9 hours after landing at Warsaw airport I had a flight to Kiev, Ukraine. It was rather stressful as at that time LOT Polish Airlines were on strike and until last moment I wasn’t sure I will manage to fly out of Prague. But I did and all ended well.
After a day in Kiev together with my friend Ewa we flew to Almaty, Kazakhstan. It was my second visit there and I still enjoyed the city a lot. Besides Almaty we also managed to go to Charyn Canyon and Kolsay Lakes. It was quite the adventure but so worth it!
From Kazakhstan we flew for a week to Uzbekistan, another destination that was high on my bucket list. And it lived up to the expectations!
Days spent on travelling: 23
Visited places: Bucharest (Romania), Burgas, Varna, Shumen, Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv, Sozopol (Bulgaria), Brno, Ceske Budejovice, Prague (Czech Republic), Kiev (Ukraine), Almaty, Charyn Canyon, Kolsay Lakes (Kazakhstan), Tashkent, Urgench, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand (Uzbekistan)
It was the end of my Central Asia trip so after visiting Samarkand it was time to go back to Tashkent and fly to Kiev via Almaty. Two days in Kiev were spent basically doing nothing, we either slept or spent time in the cafes. And it was perfect.
This month I also went to Vienna for the weekend with my friend Evi. It was full of Christmas markets which are always nice in Vienna. But as a downside all the great cafes I wanted to visit were so busy you had to wait in line to get in (which obviously we didn’t do).
Days spent on travelling: 6
Visited places: Samarkand, Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Kiev (Ukraine), Vienna (Austria)
I was supposed to go for few days to Georgia but 4 hours before the flight I’ve decided to stay at home – I felt pretty terrible and couldn’t imagine the red-eye flight and then 4 hours bus to Tbilisi, not with a terrible headache I had. I regretted I didn’t go, of course, but I’m going to Georgia in February anyway.
Right now I’m spending lazy Christmas at home with my parents and on Friday, 28th, I’m flying to my country no 68 – Egypt. Even though Egypt has never been really high on my bucket list I’m getting more and more excited and curious about the place!
Days spent on travelling: 0 but will be 4
Visited places: I will be Cairo (Egypt)
It wasn’t such a crazy busy year of travelling like in 2017 or 2016 but still 107 days when working full time is a pretty good result and I definitely can’t complain. I’m especially happy about visiting new places that have been on my mind for years – not only new countries but also destinations like Tel Aviv, Kharkiv, Charyn Canyon or Tskaltubo.
Plans for 2019
Even if 2019 hasn’t started yet I already have some good plans for next year! In January, besides Egypt, I’m also going to Jordan with my mum (our annual winter trip to catch some sun, this time we are flying to Amman). February is for a long weekend in Georgia, in March I have two trips planned: to Belarus and Croatia and in April I’m going for few days to Bosnia and Herzegovina (flying to Banja Luka).
And then for the May holidays I have a pretty epic trip booked, to one of the places that are my dream destinations I’ve never even hoped I will be able to visit. I’m going to Chile! To say I’m excited is an understatement! Since I’m flying via Barcelona I’m hoping to go for a day to Andorra too – it’s the last country in Europe I have to visit and that will be a good opportunity to do so.
Other than that I have some ideas where I would like to go in 2019 but we will see what the new year brings.
I know this post is interesting mostly for me but if you’ve managed to read it all till here I would like to say big thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can’t express how happy and grateful I am for having such a great community of like-minded travelers around me. I wish you a great new year, full of happiness, joy, good health and amazing travels. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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