Wow, another year packed to the brim with travel! I like to look back at 2018 to see what trips I took and where I’ve been. If I don’t do that, I’ll forget! As I work full-time and manage my blog in the evenings and weekends, I’m pretty proud of the amount of travel I squeezed into my busy schedule. This year might be my “most-travelled-year” to date. It beats 2016 and travel in 2017 for sure.
Let’s recap 2018 in travel.
No travel for me in January. And I didn’t mind. The winter months are not that inviting to travel, unless you go outside of Europe and I took some time to plan the rest of the year.
No travel in February either. But I was very busy, as I wanted to watch as much of the 2018 Winter Olympics on television as possible.
In March it was finally time to travel again! Together with my boyfriend, I flew to Portugal where we rented a car. It was an epic 11-day road trip from Lisbon to Porto. In case you’ve missed it, you can find my stories here:
- 10-day Portugal road trip
- 7 Fun Things To Do in Porto When It Rains
- 2 Day Sintra Itinerary – How to visit Sintra Portugal?
- 12 Things I Wish I Knew Before My Stay at Quinta de la Rosa Pinhao Portugal
- The Fairy Tale Monserrate Palace Sintra Portugal
- 7 Mythical Reasons to Visit Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra Portugal
- Alcobaca, Batalha and Tomar: 3 Monasteries of Portugal in 1 Day
- Portugal’s Bussaco Forest – More Than The Buçaco Palace Hotel
After such a big trip around Portugal, it was time to work and write for the blog again. In April I took things easy and for our national holiday, we decided to go abroad for 3 days and visit the magical Hallerbos in Belgium. The forest is covered in millions of tiny bluebells which is quite a spectacle. Read how I got into a fight at the Bluebell Forest.
We also visited lovely Leuven. I didn’t write about that visit on the blog because all we did was drink wine and beers and smell the flowers, but I do have some lovely pictures, I want to share with you.
For the past couple of years, I try to string public holidays together when possible. An 11-day trip in May is starting to become a tradition that I intent to uphold. 11 or 12 days are perfect to discover an area in Europe. I picked Rome and the surrounding provinces for this year’s May trip.
After 4 days of exploring Rome and doing all kinds of things I had not done on my previous Rome trips, I picked up a rental car and drove up to the countryside. I visited Cerveteri, Viterbo, Orvieto, Perugia, Assisi and Tivoli before returning home. But I saw so many amazing things, that I was still not able to write about that road trip, yet. I do plan to come back and share my stories on the blog but I was struggling a bit with my inspiration so I left it untouched.
In May I took some other trips too. The blogger event Traverse came to Rotterdam and I signed up for a blogger day at my favorite themepark, the Efteling. I also spent 2 days in Rotterdam, attending seminars and meetups and learning more about blogging. It was really interesting and very motivating to come together with so many like-minded people and talk about travel and blogging.
- How to Visit the Etruscan Tombs at Necropolis Cerveteri from Rome Italy?
- 5 Reasons to Take a Day Trip to Ostia Antica from Rome Italy
- Hidden History that Will Blow Your Mind Domus Aurea in Rome
- Amazing Appian Way Bike Tour Rome – Cycle on the Via Appia Antica
- Finding Caravaggio in Rome –Art Lover’s Caravaggio Tour in Rome
- 3 Do’s and Don’ts for the Best Food Tour in Rome
Initially, I didn’t plan any travels in June but I bought a car and decided to take it for a spin. Only 3 to 4 hours away, is Germany’s Mosel River, so we took a 3-day road trip. We drank wine, visited wood clad villages and visited a couple of castles!
If you like, you can find all details in my post about our Mosel River Road Trip.
July was a busy month. I think I was away almost every weekend. We started with a family day at my favorite themepark, the Efteling which was super fun and exciting. Read all about the rollercoasters of the Efteling here.
We also booked a cabin in the woods in a different area of the Netherlands and took small trips from there. It was supposed to be relaxing but we managed to cram so much into that 3-day weekend, I was exhausted after it. We visited Giethoorn and drove part of the new Hunnebed Highway. If you’re wondering where you can find my stories on the blog, I have to admit I haven’t found the time yet to share it.
The next weekend, we were on the road again. Because of an emergency hospital visit in Germany, we drove to Freiburg. We managed to find some time to explore the town and had a good German meal but this 2-day flash visit was mostly spent in the car and hospital. (all is well)
Normally, I try to space trips apart a bit, but because of the sudden trip to Germany, the next weekend it was time to explore again. My boyfriend gave me a 3-day weekend trip to one of Netherland’s Wadden Islands. We took the ferry to Schiermonnikoog where we rented a bike and enjoyed the island. As the weather was amazing, we really enjoyed our time at this car-free heaven of tranquility. But, as you might have guessed, I didn’t write about it, yet.
So what did I write about in 2018? Well, a whole lot less than I wanted but I did manage to write about our 3-day train trip to Paris. We took the Thalys train to Paris and had fun browsing the city and finally visiting the Louvre museum. I was surprised by a couple of things about the Thalys train and wrote up my things nobody tells you about the train from Amsterdam to Paris.
And then, it finally was September! Time for your epic 2 week train journey across Switzerland! I teamed up with Interrail and we got a Global Rail Pass that enabled us to travel by train for 10 days in 1 month. We picked Switzerland and enjoyed all the scenic train journeys of Switzerland. It was a big puzzle to make everything fit and squeeze in sightseeing, walking and foodie events into two weeks but we had a lovely time. Switzerland surprised us with the most amazing weather and we took full advantage of that. I’m still wrapping up my stories but the Switzerland section of the blog has quite a few (train) travel blogs, take a look here:
- 2 week Train Trip to Switzerland (coming soon)
- Trip to the Jungfraujoch (coming soon)
- Golden Pass Train Route through Switzerland
- 10 Reasons You Must Visit Montreux at Lake Geneva Switzerland
- 5-Lake Classic Scenic Hike (5-Seenweg) in Zermatt Switzerland
- Pros and Cons for Travel on the Glacier Express vs Local Swiss Trains
- Mythical Round Trip to Mt. Pilatus from Lucerne Switzerland
- 24 hours in Basel: One Day in Switzerland’s 3rd Largest City
- Is the Bernina Express a Tourist Trap or Living Up to the Hype?
- 21 Surprising Things about Travel in Switzerland
- Gotthard Panorama Express: Lucerne to Lugano by Scenic Boat and Train
- Switzerland’s Pre-Alpine Express: Scenic Train from Lucerne to St. Gallen
In October I needed time to recover from our trip to Switzerland. The trip was intense so a few weekends at home were excellent to recharge the batteries. Work was crazy busy and my bank account was empty. Perfect excuses to stay in, write for the blog and plan my next adventure. On the last day of the month I was up in the air again!
Because in November, I took a 12-day trip to Jordan! A long cherished dream of mine, I decided to finally make it happen. I booked a return flight to Amman and explored the country on my own. And loved it! Jordan is perfect for a solo trip and I had fun exploring the Roman Ruins, discovering Petra and Wadi Rum and stuffing my belly with falafel and hummus. It was exhausting though, so I ended my trip with 3 days of lazing by the pool and doing nothing. I started writing about Jordan but haven’t published that much yet, so make sure to keep an eye on the blog for more updates!
The last month of the year was all about work, blog and coming up with 2019 travel plans! In between, the boyfriend and I also flew to London for a whirlwind Christmas market trip and a visit to the National Ballet to see the Nutcracker. Pure winter magic and something I’ll never forget.
And, while you’re reading this, I’ll probably be gallivanting around Vienna for my Birthday Weekend trip. Ending the year on a high note with a winter trip to one of the most wintery cities in Europe.
2018 – a year in travel
Wow, that has been a lot! When I look back, I’m surprised I was able to make so many trips. My bucket list that I wrote at the beginning of 2018 has helped me a lot to stay focused on my travel dreams. Let’s add things up and see what the numbers are like:
Total: 78 days of travel
Countries: 10 Countries visited
2 new countries and 6 capital cities (Lisbon, Rome, Paris, Amman, London, Vienna).
2018: Probe around the Globe Travel Blog
And what about the blog? Well, 2018 marked some major changes for Probe around the Globe.
In March I implemented an ads system on my blog that allowed me to monetize the blog and this enabled me to travel so much independently. I still feel I can offer more value with my own personal experiences and my travel stories that I offer for free. The ads help me maintain this way of travel and blogging and I’m not relying on sponsored posts or press trips to travel around.
A direct consequence of the ads was, that I registered my blog as a business in the local chamber of commerce. I got an accountant and I pay taxes now on all income. You probably didn’t notice a single thing of this change but for me it makes a huge difference.
I also managed to double my traffic compared to 2017. When I look at month over month, each month in 2018 had double the traffic as it did in 2017. Although this was a huge leap into the right direction, I am a bit sad I didn’t make it to 75.000 visits per month. But I’m confident I’ll laugh at this statement in April or May 2019.
2019: Travel Plans ahead
As you know by now, I like to plan and nothing gets me more excited than new travel plans. I have already booked a few trips and scribbled in some dates in pencil for 2019.
January and February 2019
My plan is to keep these empty. So the plan is NOT to travel at all during these months. It is hard not to plan a small trip somewhere in Europe but I hope I can stay home for a bit.
We’re going to the Carnival celebrations in Venice! This will be my 4th trip to Venice but never have I been during the Carnival so I am very exciting about it.
When I was planning my solo trip to Jordan, I came across some blogs and documentations about Lebanon. And low and behold, I booked a return flight to Beirut. At the moment, I don’t know yet how to spend my 12 days in Lebanon, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out in the first months of 2019.
May- June 2019
In May, my boyfriend and I will have our big trip. We plan to hike the 299 kilometer (186 miles) of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in Wales. We have 2 weeks for this hike and I have already secured all our overnights stays. Now the most challenging part will be to get into shape. As my back problems have worsened and my overall fitness declined, I try to walk 10,000 steps each day and I have made a plan to be able to walk 40km (25 miles) a day for several days in a row. That will make it easier to walk the 22-28 km we plan to walk each day on the Pembrokeshire coastal path.
Rest of 2019
We’re already looking at other destinations like Sicily or Greece for the 2nd half of 2019 but we haven’t made any definitely plans yet. I hope to repeat our train trip to Paris and add another new country to the list. Lebanon will be a new country and technically, Wales is too, but I’m thinking to add another destination to my 2019 travel plans too. We’ll see.
Of course, you can be the first to know of my new plans if you sign up for my mailing list. You’ll get a monthly update with stuff going on that you will not find if you stalk me on social media.
2018 Travel review
Well, this was my year of travel. I hope you’re looking back on a great year of travel too! Did you visit any of the destination I wrote about on my blog? Have you made any travel plans yet for 2019? I’d love to read them in the comment section below. Make sure to leave a reply!