I’m a little embarrassed to say I only made it to 10 countries in 2017, the same as in 2016, and only six were new. I’m wondering if I’ll be able to get back up to 35 countries as I did in 2015. To get started, here are the first countries I have on my 2018 itinerary. For this list, I’m just putting down the countries I’ve yet to visit. Countries I plan to return to or live in, such as Scotland and Thailand, are a given.
Living in Edinburgh, I’m starting to appreciate my trips to sunny climates more and more. As I write this, the snow outside is billowing down. While I love snow, I wouldn’t mind a walk along a beach right now. I don’t think there are many countries in Europe at the moment which are warm enough for that. Instead I have Morocco on my itinerary to kick things off. I don’t know if it will be the first country I visit, but I’ve heard some amazing things about the country I want to see for myself, like the extensive forests where I thought there was only desert. I also ran across a website for luxury Marrakech villas which I’m interested to check out.
Moroccan food has also always been some of my favorite. I’m looking forward to trying it in the country of its origin, sitting on the ground around a low table and eating delicious lamb and couscous with my fingers.
The next countries on my 2018 itinerary are the remaining ten I have yet to visit in Europe. I’ll start the list with Norway. To be honest, I’m dreading my visit to the country with the northernmost point in Europe. I nearly went broke in Iceland, and I hear Norway is even more expensive (the most expensive in the world). I’ll either have to read some really savvy blog posts on how to save money in the country, or keep my visit quite short.
I’ve dreamed of visiting Pulpit Rock near Lysefjord. I’m not afraid of heights, but I still think this might challenge my comfort zone. Besides, I have to make it before the rock falls down or something else prevents me from enjoying the experience. Besides that, I wouldn’t mind a cruise through the fjords or a visit to that northernmost point.
For years, I mistakenly thought my grandmother was from Switzerland. Not sure where I got that from – she’s from the Netherlands. But I still want to see the land of the Alps, even if it is the other most expensive country in the world.
One of the challenges I want to accomplish in Switzerland is skiing in the alps. I’ve been hitting the slopes since I was 8 years old, but sadly I haven’t made it down a piste since I broke my knee before leaving the US. I’ve participated in plenty of strenuous and adventurous activities around the world, including a 110 km bike ride in Lithuania and jumping off a 50-foot cliff into the water in Thailand, but nothing would please me more than to ski again. What better way to prove the medical community in the US wrong?
I keep hearing Lake Bled is the most beautiful lake in Europe (Plitvice Lakes are in their own category), and Ljubljiana seems to be one of the most beautiful cities on the continent too. Beyond that, I can’t say I know many attractions in the country I should visit; only that general region is quite nice, considering I’ve been to the four countries surrounding it. I’m curious if their food is more Italian or Austrian based.
I almost made it to a housesit in Luxembourg last year, but the trip fell through at the last minute due to scheduling conflicts. I’ve been told I can explore Luxembourg City in a couple days, but I wouldn’t mind some trips out into the countryside too. I’ll have to do some more research to see what else is worth visiting in the country.
Lichtenstein, San Marino, Andorra, Monaco, Malta
These five are some of the smallest countries in the world. They each have their own attractions, including the beautiful fortified towns in San Marino and Lichtenstein, the casino in Monaco and mountain monasteries in Andorra. I’m slightly devastated that the rock bridge in Malta that was featured in Game of Thrones came down in early 2017 during a bad storm. All the more reason to get to some of these hidden gems before they’re gone.
This is the only country completely in Europe that I need a visa for with both my passports (Russia and Turkey are mostly in Asia). I do have the option of a visa-less three-day visit if I fly in, but there seems to be more than three days worth of adventures in the country. I have a friend in Brest who invited me to see the country back in 2015. I’ve also been told it’s cheaper and possibly more beautiful than Ukraine, which I fell in love with last year. Maybe I will just stick to the three days, but I’m open to suggestions for what else to see in the country.
After getting to my last countries in Europe (not that I don’t plan to revisit many of them over and over), it will be time to return to SE Asia. I hope to rent my condo in Chiang Mai again, and from there take some trips to new countries. The first is Vietnam, which has some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve seen. My friend Juliano Cottito did a two-month road trip through the country last year, and every day his posts on my Facebook newsfeed make me want to drop everything and join him.
Ban Gioc Waterfalls just might be the most beautiful falls in the world. Their coffee is world-famous. The cities look more cultural than Thailand and spelunking through Paradise Cave is definitely on my bucket list. Ooh, and Halong Bay is one of the world’s phosphorescent beaches! That’s a must!
Unfortunately I no longer get a visa-less entry with my UK passport, but I really can’t complain about how many countries I do get to enter without a visa with my two passports.
I’ve had plenty of Filipino friends invite me to see their beautiful country, and I can’t wait to do so. While I’ve read a few blogs about it over the years, I don’t actually know any specific attractions I need to see, beyond endless beautiful beaches. I’ve also been particularly interested in visiting the country after reading Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. Maybe I’ll find some buried gold!
And lastly, there’s Indonesia. Where to start? I think I’ve read more blogs about Bali than any other place in the world, and Ubud seems to be the new Influencer haven. I’m guessing I’ll be wanting to create another home base there once I visit, following in the steps of so many of my fellow bloggers.
2018 Itinerary Summary
I’ve now established Edinburgh as my official home base, having rented a flat with a minimum six-month lease. It’s so nice to have my own place with all the possessions I’ve picked up through my travels in one place. It’s not a big room, but I’d be happy to host any of my friends passing through Edinburgh and show them my favorite city.
For my travels, I’m looking forward to some shorter trips, rather than living out of my backpack all year. Having my home base will help with that, but I’m also looking at some different ways of travel, such as working with tours and cruises, finding some boutique hotels to visit and joining some more food tours to learn new cuisines.
What do you think? Have you been to any of these countries/ Do you have any recommendations for me for any of these destinations? Anyone interested in traveling with me or meeting me in any of the countries on my 2018 itinerary? If you can’t make it, I’ll be writing lots of articles so you can live vicariously through me. Let’s have an adventure together! Feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.
PS: I’m sorry for the purely text article, but I use my own photos, and it’s hard to include them for countries I’ve yet to visit!
This post may contain affiliate links. These links help give me the wherewithal to continue traveling at no additional cost to you. For more information, click here.
You better travel also the country of Australia; you definitely enjoy the place and activities there for sure.
I can’t wait. My friend is actually going there while I go to Malaysia next month. I’m a little jealous.
Quality not quantity! I have a preference for slow travel. I only made it to 7 countries in 2017?
Very true. While I still want to see many countries, I’m coming to appreciate slow travel much more!
I maybe can join you for one or more of the smaller countries. Let me know if you have already a plan. I was thinking summer for all.
I’m thinking of the summer too. Need to make some more money before I get back on the road. It would be wonderful to meet up with you!
Firstly, don’t say you’re embarrassed to have only gotten to 10 countries in 2017 – I loved following your adventures, and it’s all about quality experiences over quantity 🙂 But wow, you’ve got some incredible countries lined up for this year, Morocco in particular is a dream of mine!
We’ve also recently set ourselves up with a base, and started focusing on taking shorter trips, and returning home inbetween. Honestly it’s incredible. Nice to have a place to call home, and come back to each time. Can’t wait to follow your adventures this year!
Thanks! That actually means a lot to me, coming from you. I must say it’s hard having a base, as I’m actually getting comfortable here, but at the same time want to be traveling. Yet that’s all part of the adventure. I love following your travels too!
Your 2018 list is ambitious and so diverse too…covering so many different parts of the world, from Thailand to Morocco. Maybe you’ll be add more names to the list as you go along. Cheers and happy travels.
Thanks. I do hope to add a couple, like Borneo, but I still have to arrange my finances just to cover these.
I am ashamed to say that I haven’t explored much of Europe either – Slovenia is very high on my must-visit list, and I would love to go to Morocco too. Hell, I want to go everywhere but it is hard to decide where is first! I hope you make it to all of these this year!
Deciding which is first is definitely hardest. I want to go somewhere at the end of February, but have no idea which to pick.
I have been to 3 of these countries… Switzerland, Luxembourg and Bali in Indonesia. Luxembourg can be done in a couple of day. The old part of the country is really interesting. We did a walking tour there. Have a great trip through these countries. Waiting to read your experiences.
Thanks! It’s always interesting to see which of the small countries in Europe others have been to.
That is a fantastic itinerary. You will love Vietnam. The food there is phenomenal. Make sure to do the camel ride in the Sahara desert in Morocco. Watching the sunset is beautiful. Enjoy 2018. I can’t wait to read all about it.
Thank you so much. I just might be looking forward to Vietnam the most. I wonder if the camel ride in Morocco to the one I did in Dubai, which was rather short and more of a tourist attraction at the desert safari.
Seems like we may be hitting some of the same destinations this year! I am heading to Thailand and Vietnam (again) in April, followed by Morocco later in the year. I look forward to reading your future posts for some great ideas
Thanks. And if you get to the countries before me, I’d be happy to read your posts!
You got a great list going there. Yes, you will need more than three days to Belarus. Three days in Minsk is enough but there is plenty to do outside as well. I love doing the train journey from Minsk to Warsaw (taking a few beers of course). Done this trip a few times. The smallest countries in the world…have you already visited Vatican City? 😀
Great to know about Belarus! I’m definitely more keen on spending some time there exploring the country, especially if it’s as cheap as I’ve heard it is. I did visit the Vatican City back when I was in Rome in 2015, so the world’s smallest country is checked on my list. I think Monaco is second.
Wow that’s an ambitious list for 2018! Of all the places you’ve mentioned, The Philippines and Vietnam also feature on my travel bucket list for this year. I hope to explore some of the continents I haven’t as yet such as Africa and South America. I wish you all the best to accomplish your travel goals for the year.
Thank you so much! I haven’t been to Africa or South Africa either. Those will come after I get to all the countries in Europe.
I have been to just one country on your wishlist for 2018. Have you been to India? If not, please do come over. I wish I could put out a yearly plan like this and go around the world, but I end up getting lost in India itself which I never get tired of exploring.
I do understand. These countries were on my list for 2017 too. I haven’t been to India yet, but I really want to. I’m guessing I’ll make it there in 2019.