In 2015 I visited five foreign countries. Somehow I managed to spend 33 days travelling, and was able to add six new World Heritage Sites to my own list. That was the statistics for 2015.
Readers of this blog may read stories from New York in May, a wonderful week in the Big Apple. I went to Bhutan and Nepal for a couple of weeks in September/October, with stops in Bangkok and Qatar on the ways in and out (introduction).
I would surely have liked to travel more than this last year, and will hopefully add more destinations in 2016. Still, some of the places I went in 2015 had been on my bucket list for decades (see more below). My travels home in Norway were on the other hand more extensive than for years, I believe. They resulted in a few stand-alone articles on this website, and many more on the Norwegian language sub-domain.
I have yet to describe my travels in Bhutan and Nepal, still I managed to publish 42 articles in 2015. I am not a full time traveller, and definitely not a full time writer – so 3-4 posts a month is not really bad. Obviously I have in the last 18 months spent more time building content on the Norwegian daughter site (189 new posts in 2015).
I find it satisfactory that my articles get read. In fact, the Sandalsand Global Travelling website had more than 11,000 users in 2015, clicking one post or another 43,000 times. (The Norwegian site has almost twice those numbers, making it far more popular despite a smaller universe of potential readers.) My Twitter account increased from 3,041 followers to more that 4,200 during 2015, and the Instagram account increased from 200 followers to 500. Sandalsand’s videos have been watched 317,000 times over the years, up from 190,000 a year ago.
What about 2016? When it comes to travelling I have no idea. My bucket list is long, my dreams are many, and some of them will be accomplished. Check my list further down this page.
This is almost a guarantee for 2016: This website will in the following year be completed with all recent trips, as mentioned, as well as finally signing off articles from old travels. Hopefully I will find the time to add a regular series of quiz competitions.
Happy New Year!
Preferred destinations, unprioritised sequence. It is very like my 2014 round-up, some bullet points have been ticked off and others have been added.
- Morocco. All those amazing towns on the coast and in the mountains. (1-2 weeks)
- West Africa from Senegal to Nigeria. It would have been nice with a road trip through half a dozen countries, but quite difficult. (3-4 weeks plus).
- East Africa south of Sahara, with safari as part of the trip (2-3 weeks).
- Namibia. I really want to see the sand dunes and the abandoned towns. Neighbouring Botswana and Zambia (and Victoria Falls) are also tempting destinations to avoid touristy safari places in South Africa and East Africa. (2-3 weeks)
- Caribbean island hopping, in particular the southern part and the Antilles. Perhaps even on a cruise, one of my taboos. Visiting multiple islands is not easy to accomplish apart from with airplanes, and prices are not favourable (2-4 weeks).
- USA from New York to San Francisco. Flights between several places and perhaps a train journey across the plains just to sense the distances (2-4 weeks).
- India is a long-time favourite (2-4 weeks). Sri Lanka in the south is a rapidly rising star, recommended by many.
- Iran is opening up to foreign visitors, but is still very much off the beaten track for a number of causes. Iran is one of the oldest civilisations on Earth, holding on to their history with pride. (1-2 weeks)
- Israel: Been here before, long time ago, but I spent too little time. Round trip in the country for a week, perhaps also a beach holiday with the family by the Mediterranean or Red Sea. (1-2 weeks)
- North Korea is a closed country and presently one of the most exciting countries to visit. It cannot last forever under this ruling dynasty and one should visit it before it collapses. (1 week)
- Vietnam. I have visited most of SE Asia, but not Vietnam yet. There is a lot to discover both in terms of nature and culturally significant places. (1-2 weeks)
- Georgia (country): Their food and wine is good, the Black Sea coast is fine for sun bathing and the interior has some nice cities and villages in the Caucasus. (1-2 weeks)
- Greece, to Athens and the Pelopponese on a road trip to eight World Heritage Sites. (1 week)
- Saint Petersburg: Extreme treasures and immense museums, as well as a fascinating history in every respect. Other European cities are also beckoning for weekend trips, particularly Berlin, Gdansk, Belgrade, and Ljubljana.
- North Norway: I have only begun to savour this exciting part of Norway.
- Old Norse settlements in the West: Shetland, Orkneys, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland (or only the two latter). (1-2 weeks)
- Pacific island hopping on a RTW-ticket to make the journey cheaper (3-4 weeks).
If you can dream it, you can achieve it. (Zig Ziglar)