My 2013 Travel Plans, and a Re-Cap of 2012 : The Annus-Awesomus.

riga national day
National Day, Riga.

Hello! How are you on this fine day? It’s almost New Year’s eve here in The Netherlands, it should be a great night ahead. First and foremost, I want to say a huge hello, and a big thanks, to everyone who has checked out Yomadic during 2012. Thanks for being here, you are the reason why this site exists.

It’s been a quite amazing year for me, what about you? I’ve quit my job, sold my stuff, and left the most isolated city on Earth to start the journey of a lifetime. Although earlier in 2012 I had a few short trips, the journey only began in earnest on July 31st, and I have now been travelling continuously for five months – through 3 continents, and 14 countries. Quite a busy half-year for me, and 2013 will only be more intense. I’m just getting started.

A quick recap – since I left my home of Perth, Australia, this is where I’ve been whiling away the last five months of 2012.

  • I spent some a week in the east coast Australian city of Melbourne, the first destination of this journey.
  • For about a month, I explored both the North and South Island’s of New Zealand, spending almost every night in an RV/Motorhome.
  • A friend in Sydney gave me an apartment to stay in, and a classic Volkswagen to use for a week.
  • A Singapore stopover for a few days had me hanging in the red light district of Geylang, taking street photos.
  • On to Malaysia, where I ended up staying for a few weeks, with most of my time spent in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
  • I infamously flew to Iran with a one way ticket and no visa – and got to spend a month in what is now my number one destination recommendation for travellers. This story was even featured in the Washington Post, which I thought was pretty cool.
  • Flying from Iran to Amsterdam, I quickly left The Netherlands to spend a few days in Belgium, and the Opal Coast of north-west France.
  • Returning to The Netherlands, I met up with two friends from Australia, and we took off on a good old-fashioned road trip. We toured for almost a month, through The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and the Czech Republic.
  • The guys left to go back to Australia, and Phillipa and I have remained here in The Netherlands, taking small trips to Germany, and getting to know the rest of this fascinating country.


latvia national day 2013
National Day, Riga, Latvia.


2013 Travel Plans – The Wheels Are In Motion

That was 2012, what about 2013? I do have some plans for early in the year. First up, I’ll be leaving The Netherlands around the middle of January, and heading south, to northern Italy. I’ve never visited Italia before, so I’m really looking forward to it. Italy will be at least the 39th country I have visited. I say at least, because there is a chance I will be visiting 1, 2, or possibly 3 new countries between now and then. Yes, it’s a busy start to the travel year.

From Italy, I’ll need to get out of Europe. As with most non-European travellers, I only have a 90 day Visa for this part of the world. Many people may not know this – but the “Schengen Zone” covers most of Western Europe, and where as in the past you would get a visa for each country, you now just get a single 90 day maximum stay – in all the countries combined. Bummer!

My escape route after leaving Italy, will take me to the Balkan area of South East Europe. Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Kosovo. A “grand-tour” of the Balkans.

After that? Well, I have a few “irons-in-the-fire”, so depending on what happens, I could end up anywhere. One thing I’m not known for, is extensive travel planning. Iran was totally unplanned – and it worked out to be one of the most memorable experiences of my last time.

Although I’m not a “country-collector” there is a very good chance I’ll get to explore my 50th country during 2013. A bit of a milestone, but at this point, I have no idea which will be the lucky nation. Any suggestions?


latvian sausage
National Day, Riga, Latvia.

What’s Going to Happen With Yomadic in 2013? Huh?

On one side, there’s my travel. On the other, is writing about it here for you. There’s a few things that will happen with Yomadic, starting over the next week or so. Including larger photos, a really useful new map page, and a truly iPad, iPhone, and Android friendly format.

Commencing in 2013, I’m also going to update more frequently. My goal is a minimum of 100 posts for 2013 – averaging two posts a week. The schedule will start with a new post every Monday and Thursday. Set your watch!

I’m going to stick with the same Yomadic format – I travel, I take photos, and I pick something of interest to myself – and hopefully to you – then I write about it. Simple. The benefit of having no sponsorship, is I can say what I like, about whatever I like. This way, you get to know me, you get to know yourself, and maybe you’ll be inspired to visit some of the same destinations.

My photography will continue, with one lens, and one camera. I’m a big believer in a light-weight travel camera kit, and that won’t be changing any time soon. So, you can expect the very photo-heavy articles to continue.


latvian soliders
National Day, Riga, Latvia.

Happy New Year! On, to 2013!

So my friend, again, thank you for being here. December has been the highest traffic on Yomadic so far, and it’s really a great feeling to be ending 2012 on a high. I’m looking forward to 2012, continuing a life of travel with no end in sight.

Now, it’s time to light a few fireworks.

Happy New Year!


PS, I have a constant companion with me – Phillipa – the biggest thanks of all goes to her. Without her constant support, tolerance, and adventurous spirit, none of this would be possible.

PPS, for the record: it’s around mid-day here in the Netherlands, and I’m supposed to be having a fireworks battle with the local kids. 

* all photos are from Latvian National Day, in the capital city of Riga, taken last month.

BTW, I would love to send you the next dispatch, posted from some-where random around this planet (and you'll soon find out why YOMADIC email followers are my favourite followers):

34 thoughts on “My 2013 Travel Plans, and a Re-Cap of 2012 : The Annus-Awesomus.

  1. Sounds like you’ve had a great year! I read about the Iran trip but didn’t realize it was you. Italy is one of my favorite countries, enjoy! Have you been to Turkey? Also an amazing country, if you get the chance. According to Slovenia is part of the Schengan zone, so just be aware of that. Happy travels!

    1. Thanks Ali… yep, Iran was me ;) I’ve been to Turkey before, although it’s high on my list of countries to return to. And yes, Slovenia will have to be a quick pass-through, on my way out of the Schengen zone. All the best to you.

  2. Great minds to think alike Nate. I too will be planning a trip to the Balkans in 2013. 2012 looked an awesome year for you. I particularly enjoyed reading about your trip to Iran. Happy travels for 2013.

  3. So happy to hear from you again, Nate! It’s been a while since I hear about your travels.

    That is so awesome that your Iran article was featured in the Washington Post! It was really good, you deserve it :)

    Sounds like 2013 will be just as exciting for you. It will be the year of cutting up loose ends for me. Hopefully 2014 will be the one I finally start my full-time travels. But one never knows what surprises life will bring…!

    Much love and blessings,

    -Maria Alexandra

    1. Hey Maria! Love hearing from you, thanks for the kind words, and all the best for 2013. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s going to be a big one for you! Have a great NYE.

      1. Funny you say that, Nate! I just stumbled upon this article again, then I thought I had not commented, then I saw this..

        Well, guess what I’m up to?! THIS:

        I’m auditioning to become a travel host for the company My Destination. The selectee will be sent around the world for 6 months, reporting from several countries in all continents.

        Really, this is MY DREAM, the opportunity of my life!

        Now all I need are your VOTES and support, if you could please tell everyone you know to help me, I would greatly appreciate it!

        All you have to do is click on the Facebook, Twitter, Google, StumbleUpon and/or Pinterest buttons on that link (my audition page) above & SHARE — that’s it! No forms to fill or anything. ;)

        Thanks in advance for your help, Nate. I’m hoping 2013 WILL be my year, my BIG one! :D

        Happy travels,

        -Maria Alexandra

  4. “Any suggestions?”
    Georgia. The country, not the US state. Fantastic variety of landscapes and climates on a tiny patch if land, and great people.

    Happy 2013, looking forward to reading more from your travels.


  5. Hi Nate, that sounds super exciting for you both! I love checking out all your photos, they are amazing. I can’t wait for more posts from you as they are a great read and drool worthy images. After a few emails to you mid last year and some serious inspiration, we too are taking a one way flight in March with no particular plans. It is exciting and I hope you know that I draw my inspiration from many people online but your one on one help was invaluable. Thank you. Bec

    1. Bec, that is so great to hear! As you may know, one of the most important reasons for this blog, is to perhaps convince others that what I am doing is not special, and that maybe they should try it out for themselves. Glad to hear you re taking the plunge, keep in contact – you never know we might bump into each other somewhere!

  6. I’m sooooo looking forward to where you go in 2013. It’s amazing all the places you managed to fit in so far. Best wished and safe travels in 2013!

  7. What a great start to your nomadic life! I think your Balkans Grand Tour sounds like a fantastic plan. It’s a region I’ve been wanting to explore since I took a short trip to Croatia and Bosnia about five years ago. I’d love to see what you think of it.

  8. your 2012 seems really awesome! well done! I love your European plans, and especially the Balkans ones! This area is really fascinating and so beautiful (and well, kind of depressing bearing in mind what happened there 20 years ago…) that I’m sure you’ll love it there. If you have some extra time left in Europe you can always explore Eastern Europe as there’s so much to see! If you need any advices about the area – feel free to ask, I’ll be more than happy to help!

    1. Thanks Kami – I will be sure to ask, when you see my articles in the different nations of the Balkans, be sure to leave some hot-tips. I’m just looking through your blog now for Eastern European articles!

      1. I will! well, my blog is still pretty new and there’s not as much informations as I’d like to so if you’re interested in any particular place or area – let me know! If I could give you a small advice – consider Caucasus, especially Georgia, this country is the best ever!

  9. What a great year you’ve had Nate. I’m always thrilled to read about your adventures. Can’t wait to see how 2013 pans out for you. Let me know if you end up in Split and I can give you some tips. Let’s see if you can end up at my grandparent’s village in Norther Greece – there’s a challenge for you ;)

  10. Agh you are so much farther ahead than I am. I have no idea what my travel plans are going to be this year! Hopefully they cross paths with yours at some point. It would be nice to meet.

    1. Hey Ayngelina! I’m only a month or two ahead with my planning, and very loose planning it is. Would love to meet up with you – there is an increasingly good chance I will be in Canada, near Toronto, during April. Will keep you posted!

  11. I’m glad I stumbled upon your blog. I can wait to read more about your adventures. I haven’t ventured outside of the U.S. yet, so this will be a sneak peak into the future. Happy travels!

  12. Amazing photos and recap of your incredibly interesting year, Nate! I really want to check out Iran too but the Canadian embassy in Tehran recently closed and our government issued an “avoid all travel” warning. I tend to usually take their recommendations with a grain of salt but without a consulate/embassy there it seems that I should maybe heed the warning a little more seriously. Do you think it would it be completely insane for a Canadian to travel there in light of this?

  13. Jeej! You’re back!
    Glad to read you again. Your last story about Berlin street art has really gotten me thinking you know.
    Looking forward to more posts like that!

  14. Howdy Nate, it’s been many a year since I last saw you!
    I stumbled upon your blog very recently and can barely sit still I’m so eager to travel again. I really enjoy your take on the places you visit and your photos are strikingly beautiful. Wandering around the world with you has also renewed my interest in photogrphy and I have since been putting down my iphone and picking up my D200 so thanks for that. It had become a very expensive hunk of metal in my wardrobe for far too long.

    I’ve been trying to figure out where to head to in June/July and I just can’t get Lithuania out of my head since seeing your post about it. Thanks for the inspiration and I look forward to hearing more stories about the citizens of the world.

  15. I’ve been doing almost the same as you the past four years – in some of the same places (I’m lucky to have UK and Aus nationality). I’m a big fan of Montenegro, but if I was to vote for places in 3 different continents it would be Myanmar, Morocco (off the beaten track parts), and Cuba in that order.

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