With only days left in 2016 I am looking back on another year of backpacking to unusual places. In this post I will share with you what I have done and reveal my adventure plans for the upcoming year.
In 2016 I so far added five new countries/territories to the list. In chronological order: Luxembourg, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the Western Sahara. Next week I’ll be flying to Lithuania for New Year’s Eve, making up the sixth new country. With this I am closing in on one of my goals to visit all UN countries in the European continent (currently at 37/47).
During the year I wrote a couple of posts about my trips, in case you missed it:
- Three Weeks of Backpacking in Central Asia: Route, Accommodation and Expenses
- Dead Goat Carcass Throwing at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan
- The Road Trip of a Lifetime: Driving a Citroën 2CV to the Western Sahara
This year I also visited countries I had already been a couple of times before. They include Germany, Belgium, Morocco and France. Though not all of my trips end up as articles on my website, I suggest to follow my social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to stay up to date.
One of my posts on Facebook at the time was about the high security measures taken in Paris, with heavily armed soldiers patrolling the main tourist sites and what seemed to be random bits of the city. I cycled around the town and managed to snap a few shots to show you what it was like.
Paris I must say surprised me a lot. The tourist sites are spectacularly beautiful while the more undiscovered suburbs of Paris are vibrant, multicultural and cool to hang out. Hanging out between dozens of drunk backpackers on the hilltop of Montmartre was particularly fun.
This is what 2016 will boil down to in travel statistics:
- Visited 6 new countries + 4 additional ones already been before
- Spent 44 nights abroad: Couchsurfing (1 night), camping (7), airport (2), train (2), hostels/hotels/resorts/motels (32)
- All trips together costed me an all-in total of €1,800, I think that is very cheap
- I took 5 flights, 5 trains and drove some bits by car
- Covered 3,800 kms in Central Asia (article here) and 5,000 kms towards Africa (article here)
Some blogging statistics for 2016:
- Published 15 articles on Offbeat Travelling (see the list here)
- Reached 25,000 users and about 50,000 page views
- Wrote 2 travel guides for One Week Adventures (Albania, Jordan)
- Wrote an article for Vice Sports about the World Nomad Games
- Was interviewed about my adventures by Gamin Traveller
- Opened up an online photography gift shop
- Updated many technical things on the website, including a new home page
All in all pretty successful and so I am looking to continue the work in the new year, which I will discuss next.
Plans for 2017
Next year will be more about shorter trips. My strategy is to take maximum advantage of weekends and public holidays, combined with a few days off from work for each trip. This style of travelling, I just found out, has it’s own name: bite-sized backpacking or “snap-packing”.
With my available holiday days I am going to Costa Rica / Panama (April) and road trip Switzerland and Liechtenstein somewhere in summer. A major adventure will be to try gain access to one of the most closed countries in the world, Turkmenistan. I have some ideas how to obtain a visa so let’s see how that will go. High on my 2017 bucket list is also to spend a week in Oman and if I’m lucky I could be in Senegal/Gambia around NYE 17/18.
All should get me at 40/47 for my Europe goal and 87 (out of 325) countries and territories using the definition of the Travellers Century Club (TCC).
That’s it for now! Do you have any suggestions for new articles on my site in 2017? Let me know in the comment section down below!