The Beautiful Places We Want to Visit this Year.
Hold on to your feathers, it’s 2018! 2017 was a roller coaster of a year for us here at Penguin and Pia. Aside from the fact that we basically began our relationship in 2017, we created this blog entirely in 2017. We travelled quite a bit in the first half, while the back half of the year had seen us working away on lots of things – growing and building as we go!
That said, 2018 is going to be full of travels – and they will begin quite soon! We wanted to give you, our awesome penguin people, a taste of the places we hope to head to this year. Noting that we will be based in Europe again very soon (sorry, Canada), some of these destinations will become weekend trips, while one or two will actually become our home for a few months.
Of all the places to end up in Europe, Eric’s been to Zadar, Croatia before. That said, Lisa is dying to go and so we will definitely spend some time in Croatia in 2018. While we’d like to see Zagreb, the coast calls to us more. Split would be a great place to check out because everyone that visits seems to have a wonderful time – but to check out the coast without the tourists, we’ll likely head back to Zadar.
As the cultural capital of Europe for 2018, it’s no wonder so many people are talking about Malta. The island is so small that after a week long trip, Eric was able to see basically the entire country in the form of day trips. The capital, Valletta, is a beautiful mix of North African and Mediterranean influence, Sliema makes for an awesome neighbourhood to stay in, and the Island of Gozo is an adventure considering you get to take the ferry across. With cheap flights from all around Europe, it’s easy to get to Malta – especially if you’re in the United Kingdom.
If there’s one place we’re itching to get to THE MOST – it’s Georgia. This seemingly underrated country has seen its fair share of exposure in the last few months. We personally know three other people through blogging or real life that have spent some time there in 2017 and have said it’s absolutely gorgeous. Georgia also has an eVisa to enter which you can read about if you’re interested in visiting this country. The capital, Tbilisi, is a great mix of culture and “off the beaten path” adventure so we’ll be sure to make it there before the year is out!
We know a Slovenian from our time in Edinburgh so he’s assured us that we will not be disappointed if we visit Slovenia. As one of the only remaining Schengen Area countries that Eric has left to visit, it’s time we tick it off the list. From the numerous castles that dot the landscape, to the capital Ljubljana, and the famous Lake Bled, we’re dying to check out the country known for its natural beauty.
Scotland – Just More of it.
Yes, we know what you’re probably thinking – “you two are already crazy for Edinburgh”. Right? I mean, you’d be right. We’ve created an entire six post guide to discovering Edinburgh. However, despite living in Scotland for extended periods of time – there’s something we haven’t experienced yet: The Scottish Highlands. From the Isle of Mull to the Isle of Skye, and all the way up to Loch Ness and Inverness – there’s plenty more of Scotland to see and appreciate than just Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Another one of those countries that we’ve been interested in seeing but just haven’t had the time is Romania. Frankly, the Balkan Region hasn’t been explored by either of us and so we’d love to use Romania as a starting point for adventures into other countries like Bulgaria. The capital, Bucharest, looks very pretty and we’ve had quite a few friends go and have a great time. We’re also interested in the countryside and places like Brasov – and of course, Transylvania in general – because Dracula lives there. Update March 2018: We’ve been travelling through Romania for the past month. Here are our first impressions of the country.
Another place we want to see more of in 2018 is Italy. It’s been almost a decade since Eric visited on a high school trip, while Lisa has only been to Tuscany. Together, we want to take a train around the country to check out a few known areas and a few lesser knowns. We’re looking to explore Tuscany, and the coastal areas like Cinque Terre where we can work our way south to the Amalfi Coast and into Sicily.
The Netherlands is one of those countries that you end up in but don’t really get the chance to see a lot of – you know? Lisa has spent time in Amsterdam, and Eric has been there plus Rotterdam but that’s about it. There’s many more small cities and towns to check out like Utrecht, Eindhoven, Linden, and then Rotterdam again because Lisa really wants to see it. To be completely honest, there’s a very good chance that we will live in Maastricht for a year from 2018-2019 so we’ll keep you posted!
Sri Lanka is a place that we’ve always wanted to visit but until recently had no idea how to go about checking it out. After a few words of advice from fellow travellers, we’ve learned about a few places that we’d make a point of seeing. Notably, the capital of Colombo is an interesting way to dive into your adventure. From there, heading to Unawatuna and exploring the coast by train might be a course of action for us. We’ll see where we fit it in in 2018 – but there’s definitely room for a side trip from Europe. Oh, but you’ll need an electronic entry visa called an ETA – you can learn more about it here. We’re kind of visa experts.
And that’s it! Anything catch your eye? Have you been to any of these places and have some tips? We’d be so grateful if you’d share with us. Feel free to comment below or reach out on one of our social channels – we’d love to say hi! We will keep everyone posted as 2018 soldiers on and you’ll be well aware what we get up to!
As always, Happy Waddlin’
-L & E