This year passed way too fast. I feel like it was yesterday when I celebrated NY in Hanoi and I was inside this weird club where people were inhaling helium from balloons a.k.a Laughing Gas (true story y’all).
As always, every year I try to visit at least 3 new places. Doesn’t necessarily have to be new countries, but if I’m lucky, it is. I’m not scratching off any countries I’ve been to on a map or doing a list, I just love discovering new places and traveling. I’ve always done it. There’s just something so fascinating with being part of a new culture, meeting people from all over the world and visiting places that are so different from yours.
So this year I was lucky enough to visit Kraków (for the 2nd time), Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, Paris (for 5th time?) and Morocco. Not sure where to place Açores, because it’s technically Portugal but it felt very different. It’s also a tiny island in the middle of nowhere.
Let’s take a look at the places I visited in 2018, starting from my least favorite:
I want to be honest with my opinions, but don’t want it to affect yours. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it though: I really couldn’t care less for Cyprus. I thought it had no character, everything was made for British(!) tourists and I didn’t see any culture there. Perhaps I did something wrong, but Cyprus to me was just… meh. I didn’t really like the streets full of trashy bars, all the American restaurants or the tacky strip clubs. I did however, like the Turkish part of Cyprus. All politics aside, it was very fascinating to see how it was “on the other side”. Very beautiful, but just didn’t have enough time to travel deeper. Perhaps one day I’ll give Cyprus a second chance, but it ain’t happening anytime soon.
I really like this city, but me and my mom were freezing our butts off and I think after 2 days of walking around, you’ve seen all the tourist sites. By the way, for all the vegans out there: go do yourself a favor and get “vegab” – is THE best vegan kebab I’ve ever had and I’d happily travel back here just for that.
My most recent trip was neither a hit or miss. I didn’t fall in love with it, but I really liked Morocco. More than I thought I would actually. But do I feel like I need to go back anytime soon? No. Perhaps I made the mistake of not going on a longer trip there, but I often found myself thinking about going home.
This was a super quick visit but I always enjoy returning to this gorgeous city. I feel like there is always something new to see in Paris and each time I go there, I come home with a different perspective of Paris. Also, let’s not talk about the pastries… UGH. SO. GOOD.
Finally made it to Spain!!! I can’t believe I got to visit this magical country where so many Swedes have emigrated to. In fact, the Spanish people even started protesting against it. Damn. Either way, I went to Sevilla and Madrid on separate occasions. Out of those two, I still have to say I prefer Sevilla, from a tourist perspective. Living, I would definitely go for Madrid. But Sevilla is so beautiful, the architecture is out of this world, and the food… woah. The tapas I had there made me fat but happy. A major factor is that I went to Sevilla when it was summer and Madrid during winter. Weather always affects me a lot. But still, this was just the beginning of me exploring Spain. Next time I want to go to Barcelona, Granada, Córdoba, Valencia and see more of the north.
This should come as no surprise as this was also the country I lived in for 7 months. Of course it’s my favorite! I got to see the most beautiful parts of this country and was lucky enough to live in the best city in Portugal (according to me). Lisbon’s perfect in so many ways, but it has its problems too (duh). I started to fall in love with Portugal when I did mini road trips with my friends on the weekends to the beaches. This was my life the whole summer – trying to find the prettiest beaches in Portugal. And we did find some incredible ones. I will forever love Portugal like it’s my home.
An incredible trip to a place I never thought I’d ever travel to. It was a very spontaneous idea, the tickets are cheap from Lisbon so we thought – yalla, let’s. And I loved it.
I wonder where 2019 will bring me. All I know for sure is that I’m going back to Israel and Vietnam, but after that, everything’s open. To that I say L’chayim – To life! (Israeli’s also say this when they cheer)