Hello! How are you on this fine day? It’s almost New Year’s eve here in The Netherlands, it should be a great night ahead. First and foremost, I want to say a huge hello, and a big thanks, to everyone who has checked out Yomadic during 2012. Thanks for being here, you are the reason why this site exists.
It’s been a quite amazing year for me, what about you? I’ve quit my job, sold my stuff, and left the most isolated city on Earth to start the journey of a lifetime. Although earlier in 2012 I had a few short trips, the journey only began in earnest on July 31st, and I have now been travelling continuously for five months – through 3 continents, and 14 countries. Quite a busy half-year for me, and 2013 will only be more intense. I’m just getting started.
A quick recap – since I left my home of Perth, Australia, this is where I’ve been whiling away the last five months of 2012.
- I spent some a week in the east coast Australian city of Melbourne, the first destination of this journey.
- For about a month, I explored both the North and South Island’s of New Zealand, spending almost every night in an RV/Motorhome.
- A friend in Sydney gave me an apartment to stay in, and a classic Volkswagen to use for a week.
- A Singapore stopover for a few days had me hanging in the red light district of Geylang, taking street photos.
- On to Malaysia, where I ended up staying for a few weeks, with most of my time spent in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
- I infamously flew to Iran with a one way ticket and no visa – and got to spend a month in what is now my number one destination recommendation for travellers. This story was even featured in the Washington Post, which I thought was pretty cool.
- Flying from Iran to Amsterdam, I quickly left The Netherlands to spend a few days in Belgium, and the Opal Coast of north-west France.
- Returning to The Netherlands, I met up with two friends from Australia, and we took off on a good old-fashioned road trip. We toured for almost a month, through The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and the Czech Republic.
- The guys left to go back to Australia, and Phillipa and I have remained here in The Netherlands, taking small trips to Germany, and getting to know the rest of this fascinating country.
2013 Travel Plans – The Wheels Are In Motion
That was 2012, what about 2013? I do have some plans for early in the year. First up, I’ll be leaving The Netherlands around the middle of January, and heading south, to northern Italy. I’ve never visited Italia before, so I’m really looking forward to it. Italy will be at least the 39th country I have visited. I say at least, because there is a chance I will be visiting 1, 2, or possibly 3 new countries between now and then. Yes, it’s a busy start to the travel year.
From Italy, I’ll need to get out of Europe. As with most non-European travellers, I only have a 90 day Visa for this part of the world. Many people may not know this – but the “Schengen Zone” covers most of Western Europe, and where as in the past you would get a visa for each country, you now just get a single 90 day maximum stay – in all the countries combined. Bummer!
I personally use these sites to book my accommodation (lowest prices and best deals):
Agoda - this link will guarantee you the lowest price on hotels and apartments.
Booking.com - my current favourite - a great range of apartments and budget hotels, worldwide.
Wherever in the world you are headed to - here or somewhere else - book using these links and you'll get the best price. Nate.
My escape route after leaving Italy, will take me to the Balkan area of South East Europe. Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Kosovo. A “grand-tour” of the Balkans.
After that? Well, I have a few “irons-in-the-fire”, so depending on what happens, I could end up anywhere. One thing I’m not known for, is extensive travel planning. Iran was totally unplanned – and it worked out to be one of the most memorable experiences of my last time.
Although I’m not a “country-collector” there is a very good chance I’ll get to explore my 50th country during 2013. A bit of a milestone, but at this point, I have no idea which will be the lucky nation. Any suggestions?
What’s Going to Happen With Yomadic in 2013? Huh?
On one side, there’s my travel. On the other, is writing about it here for you. There’s a few things that will happen with Yomadic, starting over the next week or so. Including larger photos, a really useful new map page, and a truly iPad, iPhone, and Android friendly format.
Commencing in 2013, I’m also going to update more frequently. My goal is a minimum of 100 posts for 2013 – averaging two posts a week. The schedule will start with a new post every Monday and Thursday. Set your watch!
I’m going to stick with the same Yomadic format – I travel, I take photos, and I pick something of interest to myself – and hopefully to you – then I write about it. Simple. The benefit of having no sponsorship, is I can say what I like, about whatever I like. This way, you get to know me, you get to know yourself, and maybe you’ll be inspired to visit some of the same destinations.
My photography will continue, with one lens, and one camera. I’m a big believer in a light-weight travel camera kit, and that won’t be changing any time soon. So, you can expect the very photo-heavy articles to continue.
Happy New Year! On, to 2013!
So my friend, again, thank you for being here. December has been the highest traffic on Yomadic so far, the most number of new Facebook friends, the most email list sign-ups. It’s really a great feeling to be ending 2012 on a high.
I’m totally looking forward to 2013.
A life of travel, with no end in sight.
Now, it’s time to light a few fireworks, and ring in 2013.
Happy New Year!
PS, one other thing, keep in mind that behind the scenes, I have a constant companion with me – Phillipa. The biggest thanks of all goes to her – without her constant support, tolerance, and adventurous spirit, none of this would be possible.
PPS, for the record: t’s around mid-day here in the Netherlands, and I’m supposed to be having a fireworks battle with the local kids.
* the photos are from Latvian National Day, in the capital city of Riga, taken last month.