2018 is almost over and I’m getting really excited about what 2019 has to offer. My plans right now are a bit unclear at the moment. The only thing I know is that I’m going to Israel on the 24th of January and flying to Vietnam on the 30th. Gal and I are planning on staying in Vietnam for one month and afterwards head over to Cambodia and Laos before I have to go home to Sweden. But from summer and forward, I don’t really have any plans, besides the fact that I would like to travel to a place I’ve been thinking of for a long time. Last year I fulfilled my Japan dream – which still feels surreal by the way. And I want next year to be just as magical.
There’s a thousand places left that I want to explore, but here are the 10 countries I really, reaallyyyy can’t wait to visit. Hopefully I can manage to visit one (or more) next year.
Africa is still such an unexplored continent and I really can’t wait to see more of it. However, there’s one country I’ve always felt more drawn to and that’s Botswana. Don’t ask me why, I honestly don’t know. Sometimes I get these fix ideas and then that’s that. Then I just know I have to go there. It just feels so… far away from everything I’ve ever experienced before. I’m sure that’s why I’m so drawn to it.
Even if it’s one of the more”easily” accessible destinations for me (I’m from Sweden), it feels so difficult. I’ve always loved the idea of going as far away as possible, so booking a trip to Faroe Islands was never a priority. Also, it’s really expensive and you need money to go there – at least so I’ve heard. But the nature seems stunning, it feels like paradise for the ones who loves nature and secluded places (me!) and I love how the Faroe Islands just seem like a world of its own. Hopefully I get the chance to go there next year.
Mexico as a travel destination has always felt a bit odd to me. On one hand you have the popular spots such as Cancun, then you basically have a civil war in other parts. Okey, maybe that was an exaggeration, but it’s just two very different sides of the country. Do I wanna go there still? Hell yes, I think Mexico is one of the most intriguing countries in the world, and probably one of the most beautiful as well. But I feel a bit uneasy to go there, not because I am scared to get kidnapped or so, but because it feels weird to be lounging by a beach while there’s a drug war going on. Still, this is a place I really want to visit. I think Mexico has so much to offer, but as with many countries in the world, there’s a ton of shady shit going on.
One of my absolute dreams has always been to backpack around the “Stan” countries. But if I had to choose just one right now, I’d go to Tajikistan. The very few people I’ve met that has been there told me it’s the highlight of all the Stans. The locals are friendly, the culture is fascinating and the nature is nothing but freaking amazing. Of course, I’ve done my fair share of googling and it just seems out of this world beautiful. I honestly have NO idea what’s going on in Tajikistan, and don’t think the rest of the world knows either, which makes it even more attractive for me. I need to go here in 2019!
The only thing I know in Russian is “da”, “nu” and “na zdorovie” (which I had to google to find out how you spell it). I also know that the women are really beautiful and I will probably feel like a 16 year old Asian boy there, but nevertheless. I feel like I haven’t even explored a big chunk of the world until I see Russia and Canada. But Russia attracts me a bit more because it’s so “exotic” in my eyes. Like, what the hell goes on in Russia even? Their politics is disappointing but I’m not planning on hanging out with politicians, but rather get another point of view. I’m excited to see if I will love it or hate it.
São Tomé and Príncipe
Yes, this little island has apparently made it to Lonely Planet’s list, but my interest started when I met a Portuguese guy who told me that he just flew there and said it was his favourite place. For over 450 years it was a Portuguese colony, but these days it’s just… Actually, I have no idea. Who am I kidding? I don’t know anything about it besides the fact that I know the island is in Africa and looks like a place you want to go to when you’ve had enough of people, a.k.a the stage I’m in right now. But really, who doesn’t want to go to places that hasn’t been destroyed by mass tourism?
I love hiking and I’ve gotten quite good at it (or maybe that’s wishful thinking), and I’ve heard that Nepal is the dream spot for hikers. I don’t think anyone can argue with the fact that it looks stunning as well, with the mountains and snow in the background. I’ve always felt like my Asia trips is incomplete without a visit to Nepal.
Unfortunately, I can’t visit Iran right now because of my Israeli stamp (….), but Iran has always been on my mind, for unknown reasons. And I’ve heard that lately it’s become more tourist friendly and easier to travel in. Although as a woman, I’m sure you need to be a bit extra careful still. However, I’ve met solo female travellers going to Iran, telling me they’ve never had an issue. I think if I’d be banned from traveling one day, Iran is the place I’d really regret not going to.
The country, NOT the state. Even if it’s in Europe, it feels so far away. I don’t know why I haven’t been there yet, but it’s like every time I’m planning a trip somewhere, I always forget to add Georgia to the list. Even though it’s a place I’m dying to visit! I love Eastern Europe and think it’s the most interesting part of Europe. Georgia seems so interesting and fascinating, which is why it’s one of the places I can’t wait to visit.
This is quite a new country on my list of places I need to visit, but I feel really motivated to go here next year. Not only has it gotten way more safe, I feel like now is the time to visit Pakistan. Yes, the reputation isn’t exactly the best regarding safety, and the country does have a lot of social issues (which country doesn’t?), but lately I’ve been feeling more and more drawn to it and I’ve even started to look up how to get a visa there, spoken to some locals and trying to figure out a route. Hopefully I can write a blogpost about my journey in Pakistan soon.