2019 - And what a (record-breaking) year it has been! (I)

Surprise of the year: amazing Tajikistan 
There are good years and not-so-good years. There are years to remember and years you wish you could forget. There are long years, seemingly never-ending years and years that pass in the blink of an eye. An then there are great years... surprising, mind-blowing, record-breaking years like 2019. Please bear with my overuse of hyperbolic adjectives, how else do you think could one describe a year that has been richer in travel and experiences than (almost) all those before? 

But hey, you don't need to take my word for it, with all this social media craziness people really tend to exaggerate these days, don't they? So let's... um... see the figures. Which by the way I'm only listing here year after year lest I should forget them - and I have to admit even this would be quite a difficult task if I didn't have a number of notebooks to help me keep record of my past travels.

2019 in facts and figures 

So what is it that makes 2019 such a special year for us? Well, for one the fact that we managed to see no less than 28 countries last year, 9 of them being totally new. We have stayed at some of the most beautiful hotels of the world - 43 in total - and visited over 25 places for the very first time. We experienced a total of more than 70 flights on 5 continents and added 5 new airlines on our "checked-off" list (Ethiopian Airlines, Tchadia Airlines, Air New Zealand, HiFly and Royal Air Brunei). We went skiing twice in our favorite places - Kazakhstan and Germany - and actually made use of the tickets I had won the year before (amounting to almost 3000 USD for the leg we chose) so that we utterly, totally, completely unexpected got to set foot in French Polynesia for the second year in a rowAll in all, one of our best years so far which started out as our African year (with 3 new African countries visited and 2 revisited for the umpteenth time - the Seychelles and Mauritius) and ended up as the year of exotic islands (believe it or not, in 2019 we set foot on more than 10 exotic islands, including the Seychelles, Maldives, a series of French Polynesian islands and Mauritius, all in one year!), showing once more that no planning is sometimes the best plan. And, to top it all, we did manage to spend New Year's Eve together this year for a change and not just anywhere, but in our home of almost 6 years now, amazing Dubai, watching a fabulous display of fireworks from a newly discovered place literally just a few steps away from our house

So let's see what the first 6 months of 2019 had in store for us...

January - Romania, Ethiopia

Gelada baboon (Ethiopia)
Gondar (Ethiopia)
Bucharest (Romania)

February - Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Tunisia, Kazakhstan

Take-off to Zurich (Switzerland)
Vaduz (Liechtenstein)
Sidi Bou Said (Tunisia)
Carthage (Tunisia)
Tien Shan mountains (Kazakhstan)

March - Taiwan, Egypt

Taipei (Taiwan)

#roomwithaview in Cairo (Egypt)

April - UAE, Japan, China

Amazing Sir Bani Yas island (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

Cherry trees in full bloom in Japan
Narita (Japan)
Beijing (China)
Great Wall of China 

May - Portugal, Seychelles, Mauritius, Brazil

Lisbon (Portugal)

Amazing Constance Lemuria resort (Seychelles)
Anse Georgette beach, Constance Lemuria resort (Seychelles)

Sao Paulo (Brazil)
Cute capybara (Brazil)

June - Seychelles, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China


Dushanbe (Tajikistan)
Hisor Fortress (Tajikistan)
Almaty (Kazakhstan)

Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)
Burana Tower (Kyrgyzstan)
Guangzhou (China)

For Part Two of this year in review click here.

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