COVID slowed us down for a couple of years, and now a few health issues challenge us. We're still traveling if not writing about it quite so much. Our goal in 2022 was get to all seven continents in one year... and we did it.
Going forward health issues may not allow us to travel. No one can take away those memories though. We hope all of you are well and staying safe... and that you find some inspiration here for YOUR future travels.
Writing about our 2022 travels is the first time I’ve tried to catch up here. We have been dealing with some unwelcome health issues, but at least we have been able to get back to traveling.
We don’t want to give up traveling…
...Exploring, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures feeds our souls.
We decided that we needed a worthy goal after two years of COVID restricted trips…
...so what did we come up with?
We decided it would be fun to visit all seven continents in one year!
If you want to see the photos of our 2022 travels in a larger size, just click on them.
We went to Antarctica 40 years ago. Some of our friends asked why we would back. Even with ice shelves melting, what tourists see hasn’t changed all that much, but…
We loved it 40 years ago so why not go back.
There are many more options these days...
Several cruise companies offer cruises, and the expedition ships have gotten more comfortable.
Our ship, the Hurtigruten MS Fram, left out of Punta Arenas, Chile.
We stopped in Santiago on way south. Returning north we had a couple of days to tour.
We do live here of course, but we also tour our home continent.
This year we took a road trip through Arizona visiting friends in Tucson, Phoenix and Sedona.
It had been many years since we last visited Sedona. It has become very popular. The cute little town is a traffic jam of tourists.
The shopping can be fun, but you need to get out into the Red Rock formations and see the Early American history to really appreciate what it has to offer. We took a Pink Jeep ride into the back country and drove to all the scenic overlooks. We always say we’re great tourists.
We were a bit worried about getting to Australia. They were slow in opening to tourists after Covid, but to our great joy, they opened just in time for us to fit the Land Down Under into our timeline.
We only spent one day in Sydney to rest a little after that long flight… but what a glorious day! We had lunch near the Circular Quay with a view of the Sydney Opera House.
That glorious weather disappeared, turning to heavy rain and flooding. We rented a car and started on our way to visit aviation museums and air shows, wine areas, and visit friends. Somehow, we managed to stay one step ahead of the rain and flooding, and we had a great time.
You know you’re in Australia when this cast of characters shows up…
We had scheduled a tour through central Turkey, but of course, we started in Istanbul which is in Europe. (Yes, we know that the country is officially Türkiye now, but old habits die hard.)
Istanbul has changed through the years, and yet it has remained the same. We were there when several cruise ships were in, AND it was a Turkish holiday weekend… something I can’t recommend because it was crowded everywhere.
We were disappointed to learn that fishing boats no longer tie up to the Galata Bridge to sell wonderfully fresh fish and calamari… still it is calm and serene inside most mosques.
Our tour then drove us over Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge (aka 3rd Bridge) from Europe to Asia.
We stopped and explored sleepy villages that have been lost in time, and we prowled through caravansaries where traders and camels stopped on the old trade routes and silk road.
In all of our travels, we had never gotten to Cappadocia. This time we went and stayed in a fabulous cave hotel. We did the early morning balloon ride over the fairy chimneys and later went to explore them on foot.
Enroute to a couple of relaxing days on the Adriatic we stopped to explore ruins from a number of ancient civilizations that have been part of Turkey’s history.
High in the Taurus Mountains, we visited Sagalassos, a recently restored city from the Roman era.
Down on the coast near the city of Dalyan, we boarded boats to motor past Lycian ruins which were cut from rock cliffs in the 4th century BC. Above these we made our way to another Roman site. Civilizations on top of civilizations.
And to finish this seven continent romp for our 2022 travels, we had to go to Africa. It could be this adventure that started the whole thing. We had been waiting to go on this tour for three years. It took us to West Africa—through eight countries starting in Senegal and ending in Ghana.
It was curiosity that took us here… none of these countries could be called a tourist hotspot. It is not a safari destination - there are still few national parks and few animals.
They are all relatively poor countries, but they are rich in culture and ancient kingdoms that we in the west don’t know about.
We’ve always been interested in primitive art, and there was plenty in these countries. Museums showed us fabulous masks, costumes and instruments that were novel to us.
There were mysterious standing stones that spoke of little understood cultures... and traditional ways to reach them when walking became too much for me.
We experienced the chaos of markets and the frenzy of fishermen returning to sell their fish late in the day.
There were boat rides through mangroves where dolphins came to play and excursions out in bays to explore off shore islands near and one time far away.
We spent a couple of days in the Bijagos Islands a two hour boat ride off the coast of Guinea Bissau at a beautiful little resort.
The beauty of those islands contrasted with the dark shadow of the historic slave trade.
There were “slave castles” all down the coast from all colonial powers where traders lived grandly while slaves were held in horrific cells below.
Everywhere we went we were treated to local dances… much the same and yet different and unique to each tribe. The children delighted in seeing the dances as much as we did... and they were very curious when we made videos of the dances to show them.
This tour of West Africa was a long and arduous trip, but rewarding. The people had little, but they were kind and gentle. I can’t recommend this trip to everyone, but we are glad we went.
It was a crazy idea to visit all seven continents in one year, but we have always loved travel, and as infirmities slow us down, we wanted to squeeze in as much as we could for our 2022 travels.
Where will we go next year? That will depend on our health more than desire, but we will travel where we can and have no regrets. We hope we have inspired you to do the same.
Happy travels... even if you don't travel the world... just remember that life is a journey... embrace and enjoy it! Judy and Mark
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