2022 didn’t start well for me. My NYE trip was canceled, and I was sick and isolated, welcoming the New Year alone. I was determined to turn it around. Did I manage? Here is my travel review for 2022.
I enjoy looking back at my year towards the end of it. Not trying to judge or determine if I achieved whatever I wanted, but to look back and reflect. Is there anything I can learn from it? Even if I’m not happy with something at the end of the year, there usually is something else that I should be grateful for.
It helps me to put things in perspective, and, in my case, shows me, that things are actually quite well. It’s easy to get lost in a comparison game and forget how much you achieved already.
But this review is about travel. So how was 2022 for me for traveling?
Want to read my other yearly travel reviews? Check the year in review here, with the three latest reviews:
2022 in a nutshell
The travel year of 2022 didn’t start well for me. A trip for New Year’s Eve, which I was looking forward to, and postponed once already, needed to be canceled.
Instead, I was stuck in a room in Scotland, isolated from everyone due to the virus I got. Remember that? The end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 were still when a particular disease was prominent in Europe.
But I recovered, came back to Poland, and then Norway from the UK, and quickly planned a gateway to the island of the eternal spring in Portugal – Madeira. I desperately needed a change of scenery and some sun. It was a great success.
The rest of the year saw me exploring less-known corners of Norway and checking out places and activities that I had on my bucket list for a long time.
I’ve visited 13 countries, 5 new ones. Witnessed something that I’ve dreamed of for years, did a solo trip in a “dangerous” area of the world, hiked in the mountains I wanted to visit for years, and fell in love with a new sport. If I was to choose two words for that year, they would be fire and ice. Definitely a lot of fire, and a lot of ice!
Some of my favorite moments of 2022 include:
- watching an erupting volcano spitting out lava the whole night, witnessing sunrise over the volcanoes, and being surrounded by them in the lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Magic!
- seeing fluorescent plankton shining in the water while taking a boat ride in the darkness on the islands in Panama. A local captain and two travelers I just met, took me on that trip. To get there I needed to walk alone in the forest full of fireflies and caymans. Wow!
- Paddling on a SUP board on a glacier lake, in front of a glacier in Norway. A bucket-list item for me, and an amazing experience.
- Roasting marshmallows and baking pizza inside an active volcano. Yes, really!
- Seeing multiple wild animals everywhere, on my trip to Costa Rica and Panama – tucans, sloths, macaws, and more.
- Living nomadic life in Madeira, where I could go on a misty hike and hit a sunny beach on the same day.
- Via Ferrata and hikes in the Dolomites in the autumn, wow!
- Traveling solo in Central America and meeting travelers from around the world. I missed that!
- Finally making it over to Denmark. I can’t believe it took me so long.
- Having over 30 of my photos printed again in a travel book distributed all around the world. The book is released next year, so I’ll let you know more about it then.
- Finishing the year in the land of fire (this is coming!)
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Start of the year in the UK, Norway, and Madeira
After I was forced to cancel my flight to Armenia for NYE, I stayed in Scotland and visited Edinburgh. Scotland used to be my home for 5 years, so it’s always nice to come back.
The next stop was a quick visit to Poland, and then Madeira, an island in Portugal, with multiple climates and diverse nature. During my time there, I made a lot of friends from around the world, and fell in love with the vibe and nature. I will definitely be back!
I also made sure to come back to Norway to make the use of proper Norwegian winter, do skiing, ice skating, hiking, ice climbing, and more. I’ve also visited Sweden in winter, and stayed in a tiny cottage in the middle of the woods, without electricity or water.
USA and Central America for spring
I knew I wanted to take a big trip abroad over spring. There were many ideas (always are!), but eventually I decided on Central America, where I spent a month traveling over three countries – Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Panama.
On the way there, I stopped over in the USA, in New York, as that’s how the flights worked out the best. A day in the city, allowed me to come back to some places I’ve been before and try more of the new food.
Central America was amazing. I celebrated Easter in Guatemala with massive processions happening the whole week in Antigua. I climbed a volcano to watch a lava eruption from another volcano. I’ve roasted marshmallows inside the lava of an active volcano and swam in the volcano lake.
If you know me, you know I love volcanoes – I traveled to see them in many corners of the world, from Iceland to Indonesia to Uganda to Ecuador, and more.
I’ve lived surrounded by the jungle and its sounds in Costa Rica and made friends with sloths, tucans, monkeys, macaws, and many more animals that were everywhere I went. I walked on paradise beaches and snorkeled looking for starfish.
I’ve made international friends and saw fluorescent plankton (a big bucket list thing for me!), while solo traveling in Panama. Stayed in a hostel on the beach, falling asleep to the sounds of a jungle. Ate breakfast with monkeys playing in the trees above. It was just fantastic.
Summer in Norway
After coming back from Central America, and quickly visiting Poland, I wanted to stay in Norway to do some hikes and explore places I still really wanted to see.
Summer is the best time for Norwegian hikes, and I’m happy that I managed to discover some fascinating ones. I’ve also fallen in love with SUP-board and paddled on the fjords, lakes, the sea, and even in front of a glacier.
One of my favorite hiking trips was Reinanuten, a magical experience with a glacier up close, and camping overnight on top of Bakkanosi looking straight down to the fjord below. I’ve finally visited Dronningstien Queens Trail, and Brufjellhålene which involved some climbing and did several other stunning hikes.
I was happy to add more items to my list of the best day trips from Oslo – there really is a lot to discover around Norway’s capital.
Summer break in Albania
During the summer, to actually get some heat (you can never be sure of that in Norway), I decided to go back to my favorite part of Europe – the Balkans.
I wanted to explore more of Albania, which I visited more than 10 years ago by hitchhiking. This time, we had a rental car which allowed me to travel throughout this still underrated country with stunning nature, great food, hospitable people, and difficult history. I can highly recommend it!
Autumn in Italy
In autumn, I had a birthday trip to Italy, which I try to visit at least once a year. This time, my focus was the Dolomites, and it was my first time in these mountains.
It turned out, the Dolomites are the place to be in autumn. The mountains were just spectacular in the fall with wonderful colors, warm, sunny weather, great food, and not many people. I’ve done many top hikes there, stayed in a refugee, and did some of the via Ferrata routes.
Winter in Denmark, Poland, and…
At the end of the year, I finally managed to visit Denmark. Copenhagen in winter was beautiful with many Christmas Markets around.
I’ve spent holidays in Poland visiting friends, and family and spending my free time in the mountains. The Tatra Mountains and Zakopane in winter are worth a visit, and taking a horse sled ride in Poland is also a must!
I plan to spend New Year’s Eve in a new country, which I am traveling to in a few days. It’s often called “a land of fire”, and it’s located in the Caucasus. Do you know where I am heading to? Let me know in the comments!
I hope your 2022 was amazing, and I wish you an excellent and healthy 2023! Happy New Year!
60 countries before turning 30
Norway on a budget – locals’ tips for cheap travel in Norway
And how was your 2022? Let me know the good things in the comments!