This has been an incredible year! After 6 months of travel, we are ready to begin the new year by switching continents. That’s right; we are finally leaving Europe in February! It is exciting and a bit nerve-wracking as we have a lot of planning to do. How did we get to this point? Let us review our year of 2019 in photos and a video.
We Quit our Jobs
After 3 years of planning, we quit our jobs in the spring of 2019. This was difficult for us as we both were at our companies for 7-10 years and made many friends. However, the trip of our lifetime was worth taking the time off.
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When we landed in South Africa, we knew it would be a wild ride. We did not know we would be robbed on our third day. A lesson well learned early in our trip. Visiting Cape Point, Table Mountain, and Boulders Beach was unforgettable. Even though there were unfortunate events, we have no regrets about visiting this beautiful place.
Namibia is one of our favorite countries, and we will never forget our nightly elephants, tall sand dunes, and native tribes. Each night we put up our tent and camped under the southern sky. We had so much freedom to explore with our rental truck and we look forward to visiting again.
In Germany, we enjoyed many pretzels, schnitzels, and beer. Beyond that, the Cologne Cathedral and Heidelberg Castle will always have a special place in our hearts. It was a fantastic introduction to Europe.
We were amazed by the architecture in the Netherlands. The cube houses and hostel were fun to stay in for a couple nights. We liked walking along the canals in Amsterdam and also visiting the Icebar where you can have a beer at below zero temperatures. Let’s just say it was nice to walk outside when we were done.
In Belgium, we really loved the town of Ghent. It had an old town charm and was a perfect introduction to the country. The Gravensteen Castle was definitely a highlight, but we also had to make sure to have a Belgian waffle.
London was our first stop in the U.K., and we arrived at platform 9 and 3/4. Actually, we arrived by bus from France. Our bus was loaded on to a train that went into an underwater tunnel taking us across the English Channel. We visited Bristol and Bath as well, making our way to Northern Ireland and then Ireland.
Dublin was our main destination in Ireland, but we took day trips to Greystones, Bray, and Howth. We enjoyed several nights of authentic Irish music with local beer. It was a bit rainy there, but that didn’t stop us as every bit of sunshine was well spent outdoors.
Sintra, located outside of Lisbon, was one of our favorite places to visit in Portugal. The Pena Palace was the highlight in Sintra and a very colorful building. Lisbon and Porto were also fantastic for different reasons, and we would love to visit this country again to explore the south coast that we missed.
In Italy, we had a host that offered to take us to some nearby cities and walk around with us. It was fairly rainy but we managed to still enjoy some of Italy’s charm. We visited Rome, Bologna, Milan, Modena, Parma, and Reggio Emilia. While in Rome, we visited the Vatican which is a city and a separate country.
Croatia is our favorite country so far on the trip. We liked it so much we visited it twice as we missed Plitvice Lakes. The area was so stunningly beautiful and we felt calm there. It was great to visit the country in the off-season without thousands of tourists and see some of the Game of Thrones filming locations.
We visited Montenegro because we were already going to Croatia and happened to get a house sitting opportunity near Herceg-Novi. We looked after three lovely cats, and one got sick, unfortunately. We spent a lot of time taking him in for daily vet visits, but that didn’t dampen our trip. We still managed to take a day trip to beautiful Kotor and visited the Castle of San Giovanni.
Just like Montenegro, we were able to get another house sit, and Christmas in Switzerland sounded very appealing. They had a wonderful Christmas Market, and an enjoyable fireworks display for New Year’s. We were able to connect with some locals and have some traditional food. It has been a nice place to take a break while caring for two lovely tuxedo cats.
Check out this cool video highlighting the last 6 months of our journey.
In 2020, we begin the year in Switzerland but have big plans for the remaining 8 months of our trip. We finish off Europe with Romania and Turkey. Beyond that, we will go to South America, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Let’s see if it really works out that way as we go where the wind takes us. Follow along as we explore this big tiny world!
If you had 6 months to travel the world, where would you go?
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My name is Aaron, I am an adventurer who knows no bounds and is thankfully no longer tied to a desk job. My passion is finding the human connection with others who differ from me, understanding their culture, and learning various viewpoints on the world. I want to break down the boundaries of fear and inspire people to travel more. My passions are travel, video, anime, and culture.
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