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2018 in Review

It’s that time of year again…

Time for my annual year in review for 2018!

(Pssst…If you haven’t already read my previous round-up’s for 2016 and 2017, definitely check them out).

Twenty 18 was a pivotal year for me, in both the world of travel and my personal life. I learned a new language, turned 30, ran out of passport pages and in case you missed the memo…

I MOVED TO TANZANIA!!!

But not without a little travel first (obviously). I was able to visit 16 countries in total this year (10 of them new to me).

2018 Countries Visited (* indicates first time):

-USA (Nevada, Oregon, Arizona)

-Colombia *

-Mexico

-Slovenia *

-Poland *

-South Africa

-Namibia *

-Botswana *

-Zimbabwe *

-Zambia *

-Malawi *

-Tanzania

-Rwanda *

-Uganda *

-Kenya

-Netherlands

Without further delay (drum roll please), here are my top adventures of 2018.

1. Exploring the Cape Peninsula – Cape Town, South Africa

Before embarking on my epic backpacking trip across Southern Africa, I took time to explore Cape Town. I rented a car and drove around the Cape Peninsula, stoping to see the penguins at Boulder beach, the famous colourful huts at St. James beach and to hike the Cape of Good Hope.

best women's daypack

backpacking africa

how to travel as a student

2. Hiking and Waterfall chasing – Bogota, Colombia

In early 2018, I went on a whirlwind one week trip to Colombia and was able to get in some hiking while I was there. This was taken on a beautiful waterfall climb just outside of Bogota, which happens to be the largest waterfall in the entire country!

3. Dog Sledding – Oregon, USA

While on a snowboarding trip in Bend, Oregon, I had the opportunity to try dog sledding! Not only was it so fun, but we got plenty of time to interact with the dogs before and after the ride.

4. Walking with Rhinos – Livingstone, Zambia

In Livingstone, I took a tour to explore the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can take a guided bush walk to see some of their 13 remaining white rhinos up close and learn about the park’s conservation efforts.

backpacking africa

backpacking africa

5. Kayaking the Black Canyon – Arizona, USA

During a trip to Las Vegas with my Dad, we wanted to get off the strip and do something a little more adventurous than drink and gamble our time and money away! You can do a day trip right from the strip into Arizona to try kayaking the Black Canyon, a natural landscape so beautiful it’s been featured in National Geographic!

6. Road tripping through Namibia

Road tripping through Namibia was one of my favourite trips of 2018 — from climbing sand dunes and rocks, to doing a self-drive safari and sleeping under the stars, it was a magical adventure I highly recommend!

Backpacking Africa

Backpacking Africa

7. Turning 30 on an island – Zanzibar, Tanzania

I spent my 30th birthday on the island of Zanzibar, where there are so many fun things to do! We took a boat out to Prison Island, spent days on Paje beach getting sun and relaxing by the pool!

getting to zanzibar

8. Experiencing the Nile River by board and boat – Jinja, Uganda

During my trip around Lake Victoria, I stopped in Jinja to see the Nile River. Initially I planned on white water rafting, but since I was recovering from a stomach bug I opted for a more gentle SUP board experience and a sunset cruise.

lake victoria africa

lake victoria africa

9. Taking a dream safari in the Serengeti – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

One of the perks of being based in Tanzania is that I can explore the natural beauty and wildlife of the country at any time! I took a 4 day/ 3 night safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater and can’t recommend it enough! The wildlife and landscapes are truly stunning.

10. Seeing a mountain gorilla while hiking – Musanze, Rwanda

While backpacking around Lake Victoria by land, I decided to do a day hike in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park just out of Musanze. Since the gorilla trekking was outside of my budget (at a whopping $1500 USD) I took my chances on the Dian Fossey hike (only $150 USD) and thankfully I saw TWO GORILLAS! It was a dream come true.

mountain gorillas in rwanda

11. Trying Via Feratta for the first time – Quebec, Canada

Did you know Quebec has a Via Ferrata course? Spanning over a canyon and waterfall, this climbing and zip-lining adventure isn’t for the faint of heart.

quebec city rappelling zip lining

quebec city via ferratta - st. anne canyon

via ferratta canyon sainte-anne quebec city

12. Sandboarding in the desert – Swakop, Namibia

I tried sandboarding for the first time while traveling through Namibia and it was a blast! Thank goodness for all those years of snowboarding — I was pleasantly surprised that it crossed over so well…or so I thought until I got a little cocky and my GoPro caught the result (for your viewing pleasure below)!

sandboarding in namibia

13. Glamping in the Slovenian country side – Primostek, Slovenia

This year I had the opportunity to try glamping at the Big Berry resort in the beautiful Slovenian country side. Nearby, there are many opportunities for nature lovers to get outside, and hiking up to the viewpoint to see the Krupa river (a natural border between Slovenia and Croatia) was my favourite!

kolpa river view of croatia and slovenia

14. Seeing Elephants swim – Kasane, Botswana

During my backpacking trip from South Africa to Tanzania, I had the chance to explore Chobe National Park in Botswana. For just $30 you can take a boat ride at sunset to see elephants graze on these grassy islands. In order to get out there, they have to swim from shore. I didn’t even know elephants could swim! It was truly amazing.

15. Victoria Falls by land and air – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia

Victoria Falls is on most people’s bucket lists and it was truly SO amazing to cross it off mine. I walked the falls on the Zimbabwe side (getting utterly soaked in the process) and soared over them on a microflight on the Zambia side.

Backpacking Africa

Backpacking Africa

Looking for some travel inspo for 2019? Check out these once-in-a-lifetime bucketlist adventures!

What was your favourite adventure from 2018?

Let me know in the comments below!

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