2017 is nearing its end and it’s time for us to write a review of a fantastic year. About twelve months ago we celebrated the new year in Vagnhärad. The plan is to finish this year in the same place where it started. Now we are looking for some time to relax before looking forward to what 2018 will have to offer. It will be hard to beat this year, even though we hope to increase the number of trips. As you know, we love traveling.
2017: a Review of an Amazing Year
So how was 2017? To summarize it, way better than 2016. It is actually hard to imagine, considering that 2016 was an amazing year. We got married and we made a new personal record of the number of visited countries for one year. However, some events sure make 2017 even more special.
This review begins with January…
January: Riga Saves the Day
January was like Januaries usually are, Gray and cold and miserable, We managed one trip to Riga. For apparent reasons, this was one of the last trips abroad for Susann. Riga was nice as always – just as cold and gray as Stockholm, but a little quirkier, a little more charming and with a little bit more snow.
February: Jesper goes to Bratislava
One of only a few occasions were Susann has been left at home. Jesper visited his brother in Bratislava for a long weekend. A car was rented and a road trip began. Several small towns in the central part of Slovakia was on the list. Such as Bojnice and Zvolen. It was a drive out into the fog of Slovakia. The trip was eventually ended with a short visit to Vienna.
March: Taking it Easy
March was quite uneventful in regards to traveling. Jesper went to Karlstad for a weekend, but that was all. Instead, we were preparing ourselves for the arrival of our Little A. Any trips just had to wait, but the planning had of course started. Where should we first go with our little one?
April: a Month of Waiting
April continued just as March with a long wait. Staying at home taking walks in the neighborhood was what we did. So, nothing much to mention in a yearly review like this one. Our little one was expected at the end of the month, but we had to wait a little bit longer than that. Eventually, we saw April turn to May without any signs of things happening.
May: a Lifechanging Event
The most important journey in May 2017 (and probably life thus far) was about fifteen minutes away. We finally met Little A – our ray of sunshine – in Danderyd. This tiny being changed our lives – but not our lust for traveling. We intend to make her a world traveler!
June: a New Way to Travel
It did not take long before we started going on small trips. Mostly we went on short visits of our parents and relatives. It sure takes some time to get used to all the changes at home and when traveling. Midsummer was however spent on the Åland islands just like in the previous years and at the end of the month we could finally pick up our car. We had been able to live without one for so many years, but the arrival of Little A made it a lot harder to use the public transport in Stockholm as well as the regional trains and buses. In other words, a car turned out to be very useful for visiting our relatives. It also opened up new possibilities for trips and a road trip for August looked more likely.
July: Enjoying the Summer of 2017
We started to test how it was to travel by car with Little A. Short visits to Norrtälje, Sigtuna, and Vaxholm was our way to enjoy the summer. A lot of time was also spent with family and relatives. It was probably the calmest summer that we have ever had, but it was for sure one of the best ones we could ever have imagined.
August: Hitting the Road
Susann had a goal for 2017. She wanted to visit five new countries. In the beginning of the year, things did not look too bright. There were only return visits to Finland and Latvia up until August. It all changed in August when we headed out on our road trip to Northern France and back. Starting in Vagnhärad, we continued south to Germany, making stops in Lübeck and meeting an old friend in Bielefeld. We finally entered Belgium where we stayed in Hasselt for a few days. From Belgium, we took a detour to the Netherlands before continuing to northern France. We spent a bit more than a week to explore the area, including trips across the border to Germany and Luxembourg. We saw towns such as Reims, Verdun, Vianden, and Saarburg. At the end of the month, we were still down in France.
September: Back Home
Our trip back home began in early September. After leaving France, we traveled through Germany making several interesting stops on the way. Some of the more interesting stops were Quedlinburg, Wernigerode, and Stade. We eventually left Germany and continued north to Denmark, once more making a few stops. We did especially enjoy meeting an old friend in Aalborg before returning to Sweden. Once September ended Susann had reached a total of three new countries and Jesper two.
October: Time to be Spontaneous
It sometimes (well, quite often) happens to us that we feel a sudden need to go abroad. In October, we could not take it anymore. So, we booked a cruise to Tallinn. For us, the journey over is not the special part of the trip. No, the highlight is to explore the destination. The cruise is, however, an easy and cheap way to reach the Baltic states from Stockholm. I cannot remember that we have visited Tallinn during the fall previously. But the colors of fall really highlight the medieval feel of the city. And it’s so romantic with the city walls being framed by all the colors. Summer might be best for visiting, but fall is not far behind.
This also turned out to be the last trip abroad. No, Finland does not count. However, there are still a few things we can mention in this review.
November in Sweden is when it starts to get quite dark during most of the day. It is the month when most people start to feel like it is time to leave for the sun. Well, that happened to us as well. Sadly we did not go anywhere sunny in November, but we did plan a new trip for the beginning of 2018. So we have since November been looking forward to our trip to Madeira, giving us some hope of sunshine also during these dark days.
The only trip during all of November was a trip to the Åland Islands to visit relatives of Susann. It did give us some time to explore a bit more of the island and we are happy that we have been able to extend our guide for the Åland Islands with several more sights.
December: Relaxing and Getting Ready for 2018 – Goodbye 2017
It is now the end of December and even though we have only made one longer trip this year – the whole year has really been an amazing journey. Sometimes you don’t have to travel anywhere to actually travel. Life changing events might really bring similar experiences. Even your own home might look different once it is inhabited by a small creature.
There are still a few days left of 2017, but we are both sure that we will not be exploring more this year. At least not when it comes to geographical areas. Instead, we will spend the last days this year to follow Little A’s interactions with her surroundings. She has found a new playmate in the dog Trixie at Jesper’s parents’ house and who knows, maybe she will learn how to be a dog.
We hope that you enjoyed reading this review and we wish you an amazing new year with lots of travel!
Visited Countries in 2017
- Austria (Jesper)
- the Netherlands
- Slovakia (Jesper)