caribbean coast

Best of Our 2011 Travel

As the year of our gap adventure, 2011 was huge for us travel-wise. We'd like to take a moment to make some shout-outs about the things we liked best.

Tongariro Crossing

A stop along the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in New Zealand.

Best adventure activity: Climbing Volcan Villarrica in Chile
Best attraction: Iguazu Falls, Argentina
Best beer: Brain Blasta, Porterhouse Brewing Company (John) and Emerson's Pilsner (Andrea)

climbing volcan villarrica pucon

Climbing Volcan Villarrica in Pucon, Chile

Best city: London (Andrea) and Berlin (John)
Best country: Germany
Best new country: Colombia
Best food: Jordan

mendoza vineyard

At a vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina

Best people (friendliest): Ireland
Best hike: Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand
Best hostel: The Albatross Backpacker Inn, Kaikoura
Best hotel or resort: Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi

salar de uyuni Bolivia

At the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia

Best meal: BBQ at our mate Klemen's place in Ljubljana
Best Museum: Terror Háza, Budapest
Best national park: Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, Argentina

caribbean coast

On the Caribbean Coast in Colombia

Best organized: Switzerland
Best restaurant: Francis, Montevideo
Best tour guide: Raed from Jordan

ireland cliffs of moher

Rain and wind in Ireland at the Cliffs of Moher

Best town: Grindelwald, Switzerland
Best thing we saw that we didn’t know about when planning: Bozcaada, Turkey
Best wine: Chile

London Big Ben

Hanging out in London

grindelwald first switzerland

About to take on the zipline at Grindelwald First in Switzerland.

We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank the following fellow travellers we met or caught up with this year who made our time extra special. Because it's always more about the people you meet than the places you see:

Abby (The Jungle Princess), Adam (Travels of Adam), Amar and Dipti, Andi and Lucas (My Beautiful Adventures), Andrew (Grounded Traveler), Anna, Adam and Basia in Poland, Ayngelina (Bacon is Magic), Brad (LindVentures), Brendan (Brendan's Adventures), Cheryl (Cheryl Howard), Christina (Jandal Road), Christy and Kali (Technosyncratic), Claudia and Umit, Dalene and Peter (Hecktic Travels), Dave (Go Backpacking), Eileen (Bear Shaped Sphere), Emily and Rodolfo (Don't Call Me Gringa), Jasmine (Jasmine Wanders), Jim (Holes in My Soles), Julie (Nueva Americana), Katrina and Dario (Tour Absurd), Kerry-Ann (Audacious Freedom), Kirsten (Aviators and Camera), Klemen, Kyle and Seba (Kyle Hepp Photography), Laura and Roberto (Travel for Love), Lucy and Michael, Marcello (Wandering Trader), Marko, Melvin and Astrid (Traveldudes), Rease (Travelated), Rob and Angelica (South America Me), Robbie and Luke, Stephanie (The Travel Chica) and Tobi.

oktoberfest maas Germany

Enjoying litres of beer at Oktoberfest


Petra, Jordan

What was your favourite travel experience of 2011?


  1. Andrew 22 January, 2012 at 10:46 Reply

    Thanks for the mention. I’m just now getting through some of my reading backlog. Looks like you guys had a great year. It was great fun visiting and drinking with you two. Glad that Germany made your top country. :)

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 22 January, 2012 at 10:55

      So wonderful meeting you, Andrew – thanks for a great time in Freiburg and we hope to see you again. Looking like Europe is a strong possibility for our next stint so hopefully we can meet you and Ali again sometime soon!

  2. GRRRL TRAVELER 18 January, 2012 at 20:55 Reply

    Great shoutout for 2011.  I wish I did a post like this. =)  Love that you found the best food in Jordan. That country is really making its way into my bucket list of travels.

  3. Flipnomad 13 January, 2012 at 10:00 Reply

    wow… you’ve been to so many places last 2011… Happy 2012 John and Andrea… wishing you more adventures this year:-)

  4. Jesse Pinkman 12 January, 2012 at 00:26 Reply

    Great picture of the donkey in Petra – and I love the scarf, and the pink and white polka dot handbag he’s wearing!

  5. Lara Dunston 2 January, 2012 at 05:37 Reply

    Well you two were certainly busy! I climbed the volcano at Pucon, gulp, around 18 years ago. Was tough-going but absolutely loved it until we reached the top and I sprained my ankle just 15 metres from the top (it was winter and lots of ice). My friend who dragged his snowboard up sped down and got a rescue guy to come get me on a skidoo. Though by the time he reached the guide and I, I’d already slid halfway down the mountain on my butt. Funny what a fast-moving fog and temperature rapidly dropping can do! I drank a lot of pisco that night to numb the pain. Thanks for bringing back some fun memories. I’m sure you’ve got a gazillion great ones from the last year.

  6. emilyinchile 1 January, 2012 at 13:56 Reply

    Aww, I was reading this already thinking about saying that it was so great to meet you both in amongst all your adventures, and you beat me to it! I’m so glad we did get to meet, and I look forward to our next get together, wherever that may be.

  7. Joolsstone 29 December, 2011 at 21:07 Reply

    Lovely set of pics, some great memories I bet. So gutted I missed you when you were here. How did Edinburgh fare anyway?

  8. Michaela 29 December, 2011 at 09:17 Reply

    You look like you’re having soooo much fun!  And you’ve been to some amazing places.  What a great way to start my morning – wishing that I wasn’t sitting behind this computer screen!  What a push to get moving!  Thx!

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