2022 Travels - All Seven Continents!

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, get to all seven continents in one year!

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.


2022 Travels Started In Antarctica

Exploring Danger Island Antarctica

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.

Chinstrap Penguins on Halfmoon Island, Antarctica
Adelie Penguins at Brown Bluff on the Antarctic Mainland

South America

Our ship, the Hurtigruten MS Fram, left out of Punta Arenas, Chile.

Plaza de Armas, Santiago, Chile

We stopped in Santiago on way south. Returning north we had a couple of days to tour.

North America

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.

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.

Ancient Cliff Dwellings, Sedona, Arizona
Red Rock Formations, Sedona, Arizona

Australia

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.

Sydney Opera House, Australia

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…

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Australia
Kangaroo in the vineyards of Hunter Valley, Australia
Koala in the Koala Rescue Center, Port Macquarie, Australia

Europe and Asia

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.

The New Mosque (1665) on The Golden Horn and Galata Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey

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.

Museum-like village with traditional Ottoman Turkish style houses. 17th - 19th c.
Sultan Han - A Large Seljuk Caravanserai Built in 1229

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.

Balloons At Dawn Over Cappadocia, Turkey
Fairy Chimneys in Cappadocia, Turkey

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. 

Sagalassos, Recently Restored Roman City in the Taurus Mountains
Lycian Tombs, near Dalyan, Turkey

And Finally, Africa

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.

African Tribal Mask in the National Museum of Liberia
African Tribal Chief Costume from Ghana
African Masks in Market Banjul, The Gambia

There were mysterious standing stones that spoke of little understood cultures... and traditional ways to reach them when walking became too much for me.

Standing Stones, Sine Ngayenne, Senegal
Africa Donkey Cart, Sine Ngayenne, Senegal

We experienced the chaos of markets and the frenzy of fishermen returning to sell their fish late in the day.

African Street Market in Monrovia, Liberia
Fishing Boats Return to Sell Their Daily Catch, The Gambia
Africa, Resort on Ilha de Rubane, Bijagos Archipelago, Guinea Bissau

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.

Slave Fort on the Cape Coast Ghana, West Africa


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. 

Masked dances, Demen Village, Liberia
Children and Judy watching video of dances in Demen Village Liberia

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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Thanks, Judy and Mark

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