Best of 2019

A new year kicks in and beckons me to review the previous travel year. A weird one, I feel – perhaps because I traveled more in Spain than abroad, and because my long Summer trip was shorter than usual. But still, there was so much that was so good and I’m grateful to the travel gods for it. 

In no particular order: 

  1. Skiing in the Graubunden canton, Switzerland

Ski with a classic, historical flavour. Cruising endless runs in Davos, St Moritz or Laax. Skiing in this country doesn’t offer the value of, say, Austria, but the landscapes are impressive, the ski rewarding and, what the hell, you gotta go there at least once in your life-time. And so we did.  

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Quaint Celerina in the St. Moritz valley, Graubunden

 

  1. Ko Phangan, Thailand

Loved it, even with Full Moon Party well out of our dates – or perhaps because of it. The North and North West were beautiful (definitely not stunning as Ko Kood) and with lots of nice cafes and dining options. 

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Trees, rocks, sand and sea in Haad Khom, Phangan.
  1. Tripadvisor top-rated Spanish beaches

Not that I was looking for a badge or something, but it turns out that this Spring I was lucky to hit two of the best beaches in Spain, which means in Europe too. In Easter it was Ses Illetes, in Formentera, followed by amazing Bolonia in Cádiz. 

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Family love in Bolonia.

 

  1. Strolling around Cádiz with my children

My kids are cool travelers: solid, enthusiastic and, above all, grateful for what they get. Discovering Cádiz with them and enjoying some pescaíto frito was definitely a travel highlight of the year 

 

  1. Heli bar, Kuala Lumpur

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I found Heli bar in KL to be just my kind of rooftop bar: great views with no frills – it’s a heliport after all. K and I enjoyed them and socialized with Spanish expats who talked great things about  their life in KL. 

Plus some irony. In 2016, in my last evening in KL, I chose a fancier bar over heli, and well, one (bad) thing led to another (worse) and the morning after I could barely guess what I’d done and who I’d been with. No gooood, as they say in Thailand. 

 

  1. B-Side hiking around Riaño, Spain

A trip arranged on a short notice, I managed to bag three summits on three days in a beautiful region close to the Picos de Europa, yet meeting few other hikers on the trails. I strongly recommend it, especially the stunning Mampodre area, with its collection on peaks and ridges. 

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Summit hopping was never easier and more fun.
  1. Bangkok, encore

A classic of this blog, perhaps my quintessential destination, Bangkok never ceases to amaze. This time the discovery was more food, a pool with views and a street where I’ve made a point of staying in the future: Charoeng Krung Road.

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Selfie-time at Amara rooftop pool, Bangkok

As I start 2020, I cringe at the fact that the City of Angels is not on my travel plans – for the first time after four years!

 

  1. Walking to Portitxol cove, Ibiza

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What an amazing experience. Walk with kids under the pine trees to awesome view of cliffs overlooking choppy waters, then discovering a cove that is almost closed off from the sea. We swam and ate our picnics under the afternoon sun. 

 

  1. Perhentian Besar, Malaysia
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PIR resort beach in Perhentian Besar

Our slice of paradise – and not the one that we lost. What walks from beach to beach. What life underwater, just a few swimming strokes away from the shore. 

Afternoon at Teluk KK was a glorious travel moment. Cold beer after the hair-raising boat ride to our accommodation another one. 

 

        0. Un-soloing my travel.

Thanks K. for joining me on my long trip of the year. Granted, it could have been longer, but the joys of sharing and laughing and seeing ourselves in new unexpected lights more than compensated. 

Really, it’s fun and inspiring to see travel far not as a necessary escapade, but rather as an extension of the joys of being home. 

Let more of them come in 2020.

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