Make every day your adventure!

Reviewing 2012

I have canceled all travel plans for December to recharge my internal batteries and plan 2013. Therefore I decided that it was time for a review of 2012. It was a travel intensive year but did I travel more than 122.089 miles like in 2011?


Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

I traveled around the Netherlands, Germany and Ireland. It mostly was a month full of weekend trips to different parts of Europe. One of the highlights in January were the Cliffs of Moher at the west coast of Ireland.


Bangkok by Night

Back in Thailand and my job as marketing consultant needed most of my attention. Not much time for traveling but enough time to experiencing Bangkok and making new great friends from around the world.


Long tail boat in Krabi

I was on a business trip to Khaolak and Krabi in Southern Thailand where we were creating a branding video for a resort chain at the Andaman Sea. Incredibly busy days but we did a great job and had some days off where I was able to relax and explore the area.


Leopard in Sri Lanka

I had to do a visa run and visited Sri Lanka for a week. 7 days full of surfing, relaxing and leopard safari. It was an incredible experience to see wild leopards in their natural habitat.


Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan

After months in Thailand I decided to visit the famous Full Moon Party where I got robbed and lost all my money. It was an experience on its own but I had fun though… Shit happens and it seriously is a huge party! Check out my Big Full Moon Party Guide if you decide to visit it!


Gibbon jumpin in Kaoh Yai National Park

Together with a friend I visited the nearby Khao Yai National Park. Where we hitchhiked all our way through the big National Park meeting incredibly nice locals.


Angkor Wat in Siem Reap

My contract at the marketing agency ended and I started to travel around South East Asia. In July I visited Ton Sai Beach, my favorite place in Thailand, Chiang Mai and Angkor Wat in Sieam Reap, Cambodia. A great month with many beautiful places!


Sunset over Bagan

Finally I had time to travel to Myanmar. Together with Ash from The Most Alive I traveled to Burma where we experienced great hospitality and saw some interesting places. It is a great and more or less unexplored country. However, more and more tourists arrive in the country and it easily gets crowded. While we barely saw westerners my friend Yvonne from Justtravelous recently complained about the many westerners while being in Bagan. If you plan to go, check my detailed cost break-down to Bagan!


Beach chairs in Germany Föhr

I was tired of not having a home and spontaneously moved to Berlin. I got myself an amazing apartment in Kreuzberg and decided to use Berlin as my home base for my upcoming travels. Finally a place which I was able to decorate the way I wanted and where I could store a lot of clothes and don’t have to throw away something when I buy new things. But before I did all this, I went on a little vacation with my parents to Föhr in northern Germany.


Föhr in Germany

I visited my home country Spain. This time I traveled to Vigo in northern Spain where I was speaking at a conference. I was there for a couple of days and got to experience Galician hospitality with a lot of delicious food and a day of sailing to the Cies islands. A great escape before it gets cold in Europe.


Tauern Spa

It was a busy month with a lot of traveling within Europe. I was in England, Switzerland, Germany and two times in Austria. London was very busy since I was there for the World Travel Market where I met fellow travel bloggers. In Austria I relaxed at the Tauern Spa in Zell Am See, a great place if you ever need a weekend break.


reviewing 2012

I’m doing nothing. But you should!

Just because I don’t travel it doesn’t mean I’m doing nothing! After one and a half years I decided that it is time for Off The Path 2.0 I just redesigned the website and hope that you like it as much as I do.

2.0? What’s so new?

– Featured Area
– Columnists
– New sharing tools on bottom of posts and pages
– New contact forms
– Mobile Theme (2.0!!!! Easier access to Off The Path from your mobile, try it now!)
– Bigger slider with Photo of the Week

These are just a couple of new features. I hope you like them!

Columnists: You might have noticed the columns section. Let me use this opportunity to introduce you to Kristina, Anne and Sina. All three are expats in different parts of the world and will now write a weekly column about their weekly adventures on Off The Path! Go over to their column and say hi in the comments!

As I said just because I don’t travel this month, you should! To thank you for all the loyalty during the last one and a half years I’m giving away two (2) direct flights in cooperation with Vueling.

You don’t have to do that much:

1. Leave a comment and tell me your highlight of 2012 and where you are planning to go in 2013!

2. Subscribe to my Newsletter!

I will announce the winner on the Newsletter on Christmas Eve. This is my present to you!!

If you have read until here I would just like to thank you again for amazing one and a half years and wish you a relaxed and great pre-christmas time!

Thank you,


P.S.: Seems like I have chilled this year, I have only traveled 55.000 miles!


The tickets correspond to direct flights round trip for two (2) people to the destination of the winners choice and subject to availability.

The application period for the tickets will be January 2, 2013 to June 1, 2013. Reservations have to be made at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the first flight. Holidays are excluded.

The tickets include airport charges and one (1) checked bag of up to twenty three (23) kilos.

There is no right of appeal. The prize cannot be paid out in cash, and is non-transferable.

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68 comments on “Reviewing 2012

  1. Karin Stienemeier on

    My highlight of 2012 was 2 trips to Italy which after more than 30 years of traveling the world I am just starting to discover. I was on the Tuscan coast and in Umbria – both for the first time. The other equally important travel highlight this year was my travel to me and my inner soul, it was a difficult but rewarding and successful trip! In 2013 I hope to make it to Penang Malaysia, and the islands off the eastern coast.
    I love following your travels and adventures Sebastian and it was great meeting you in Girona!

  2. Rosa wansink on

    My highlight of 2012 was quitting my job to go on an adventure with my boyfriend josh to Thailand, Cambodia and his home country Australia. In 2013 we are going on another trip to Hawaii and Canada. My brothers girlfriend is pregnant and she will be due in July I would like to visit them when the baby has arrived!

  3. Ian Ord on

    I had several highlights of the past travel year that really stand out to me – but I suppose the one that takes the cake was when I got to swim along side Whale Sharks in the Philippines! Pure bliss gliding along side these majestic, gentle creatures! In 2013, I hope to make it up to Myanmar while it is still in the developing stages of tourism, and before it gets completely over run. I’d love to see a culture that still remains relatively un-impacted by globalisation, as such.

    Awesome recap, mate! Hoping your next year is equally as fruitful!

    • sebastian on

      I found out too late that you can do this in Thailand too. Must have been a great experience!!

      Go to Myanmar fast, it’s getting crowded!

      See you soon somewhere Ian! 🙂

  4. Marina Garcia on

    In 2012 I interrailed from Greece to Germany, through Turkey, Bulgaria, Rumania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia, Hungary, and Austria. My highlight was Sarajevo, were we met a girl only 22 years old who told us about how she had lived through the war. I think its those people you meet along the way that make traveling such a interesting experience!
    In 2013 I am planning to move to Brasil for 6 months, and travel from Rio de Janeiro through Uruguay down to Argentina to the Patagonia and up through Chile to make it to Bolivia and Peru.

  5. Christian Baloloy on

    My travel highlight this year is Brazil. Having traveled to South America for the first time and alone was itself an achievement for me. Been to Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Ouro Preto, and Brasilia in just 10 days and used the bus in moving within cities in Brazil. I love my Brazilian escapade from 20 to 30 July 2012! My 2013 travel plan is Asia again. I had been in 2011 to SG, KL, HK but this time would like to be in BKK, Hanoi, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia to complete my Southeast Asian trip!

    • sebastian on

      This must have been a hectic itinerary but I bet Brazil is worth it. Unfortunately I haven’t been there yet!

      For BKK, Myanmar and Cambodia you can find some infos here on Off The Path 😉

  6. Maria on

    2012: *sigh* Been a time of forced grounding. layoffs, unemployment, etc… kept me still.

    2013: Brings two must-do domestic trips – have to visit Mom (been a couple of years related to the info under 2012) and MUST go to the bank… in Montana (looong, stupid story) HOWEVER, free tickets to anywhere could change all that, dramatically. *grin*

    OTP: Expansion with the Column section = more fun reads and adds a flavorful and fragrant spice I’m looking forward to checking out.

    Thanks for always expanding my knowledge/horizons.

    • sebastian on

      To be honest Maria, sometimes its good to be grounded somewhere. Makes you enjoy other things more! Hope 2013 will be full of exciting travels for you!

      Thanks for the nice words. I hope you enjoy all the new features and the new columnists. The girls are great and I know them all personally from different travels!

      Wish you all the best Maria and thanks for being such a loyal reader!!

  7. Alexandra on

    Your blog is truly inspiring! I hope to one day travel as much as you, absolutely incredible.

    In 2012, I took a big leap…I quit my corporate job & left for Costa Rica for 3 months. I spent my time there volunteering in an orphanage and a small school Monday – Friday and had the pleasure of exploring the country on weekends. It was hands down the best experience of my life thus far.

    In 2013 I hope to travel to NYC to see my sisters who live in Long Island and managed to survive the hurricane. Aside from that, if I can make it happen financially…I’d REALLY love to go to Norway/Finland in 2013 to visit with one of the volunteers I met in CR…hey, can’t beat a free place to stay!!! Well, unless there’s free plane tickets too. 🙂

    • sebastian on

      Thank you for your nice words Alex! Costa Rica must have been amazing I was there many years ago. I’m sure it must have changed a lot since then!

      I hope you are going to Norway/Finland in Summer, it’s super cold in Winter 🙂

  8. Kaylin S. on

    My favorite thing I did in 2012 was DEFINITELY Cambodia in January. I had so much fun in Siem Reap, I didn’t want to leave!! I saw all the Angkor temples which were stunning, got to relax by the pool in my hostel in the warm sun, AND got to celebrate my first Australia Day with a bunch of crazy fun Aussies. I was also incredibly moved by the Killing Fields and Genocide museum in Phnom Penh.

    In 2013, I’m looking forward to seeing some new countries, and visiting some places I’ve not been to in a long time. I have first-time trips planning to Italy and Germany in the spring that are 100% happening in Feb and April respectively, as well as potential trips to Iceland (never been either), New York City, and Washington DC (went 8 years ago) in the works for May. I’m probably most excited for Italy, since seeing Rome and Pompeii are at the top of my bucket list!

    • sebastian on

      Siem Reap seemed like a fun place to stay at for a longer time. I only stayed short in 2012 to visit the temples.

      You have exciting travel plans for 2013. Where are you going in Germany?

  9. Josie on

    Hi Sebastian,
    I like the new design, new features and thanks for sharing your very interesting life.

    2012 saw Conrad and I on a long-term house sitting assignment in the U.S. The good part of that is it is near friends and family so we reconnected and got to spend a lot of time with loved ones.

    2013: We’re chomping at the bit to begin a two-year vagabonding trip that will take us — where we don’t know yet! We’ll start with a one-way ticket to Barcelona in March and go from there.

    Thanks for asking.

    I wish you happy and safe travels always and all ways,

    • sebastian on

      Thank you so much Josie! Always nice to see your name in the comments!

      I have followed your housesitting job a little and it sounded exciting! I look forward to read more about it next year!

      Safe travels!

  10. Koren @ City Gal on

    Before I read about the contest where you asked us to tell you our highlight of 2012, I was reading about all of your travels and wondering what YOUR 2012 highlight was! I imagine it’s difficult to choose, with so many great experiences to choose from! For me, it was definitely my first trip to SE Asia. I seriously did NOT want to come home! Life moves to quickly in New York and while I will never take back my thought that it’s the greatest city in the world, it can be overwhelming at times. It amazed me how little I was able to live off of and how little material things mattered. As for 2013, there will be a lot of travel within my own United States – the most exciting of which will be Burning Man in August. Anyone going?!

    • sebastian on

      Good question Koren! I think my life in Bangkok this year was a highlight. I had such a good time there and really miss it sometimes!!!

      The United States are so big I’m sure you’ll be busy all year. I’ve heard great things of Burning Man. I need to check it out myself! 🙂

  11. Lauren @millermemoires on

    Looks like you’ve had an awesome year!! The highlight of my year was a trip I took to norway over the summer. I was only there for a couple of days but it was just beautiful 🙂
    I’ve got tickets booked to the Philippines for the beginning of January and am very excited about some beach time and chicken adobo.
    Enjoy your break.

    • sebastian on

      Norway in the summer is beautiful. Was there myself last summer. I had an incredible time in this beautiful country!

      You are escaping the winter. I’m so jealous! 🙂

  12. Madeleine Mouton on

    My highlights of 2012 were going to Dublin for work for 4 months and then going to Bangkok for 3 months. Actually that is where I had the chance to meet you, and I’m very happy we bumped into each other at Cheap Charlies and then at the So sofitel’s Pool Party.
    For 2013 I would like to go back to Dublin for St Patrick’s Day and I would like to visit Scotland a bit more than just Edimbourg!


  13. Giselle and Cody on

    2012 has been an amazing year for us. We quit our jobs and have been travelling the world since February. One of the major high-lights thus far has been taking care of a 3 day old newborn baby elephant. We volunteered at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai and we were very fortunate to be asked to care for a newborn elephant. Falling asleep and cuddling with such an amazing creature was so incredible.

    In 2013 we plan on returning back to Canada in June for two months and then heading back to Thailand. We plan on going to Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Australia. Another busy year for us 🙂

    • sebastian on

      Elephant Nature Park is a great place. Diana from Dtravelround is working there right now. Her stories are amazing! You should go and check her out if you don’t know her yet!!!

      Check out my posts about Myanmar if you need some information and I also have some posts about Australia that might be helpful!

      Wish you all the best for your busy travel year 2013!

  14. Alex on

    Wow! What a year you had. I’m especially envious of all your travels in Thailand, my favorite country. I think my highlight of 2012 was my six week trip to Hawaii, those my week in Iceland was a close second.

    As for 2013, the first five months will be spent back in Southeast Asia! I can’t wait….

  15. Pete on

    Fabulous post Seba, and it’s always a good idea to recharge the batteries. 2012 was a pretty crazy year for us and the highlight had to of been experiencing Turkey by living in a small rural town named Burhaniye. So many of the locals wanted to meet us and have their first English experience. The hospitality and kindness of the people was truly overwhelming. So much so we have decided to return in 2013 after we hit ITB. The mayor has even requested to meet and host us at his house. We can’t wait to return.

    All the best in 2013!

  16. Erica on


    Our highlight this year was… umm.. holy crap we did a lot this year. Berlin, Bolivia, Machu Picchu?

    I didn’t realize we did that much!

    Next year we’re looking at boat sitting in Guatemala or Japan!

  17. Hie-suk Yang on

    My higlight of the Year is lying ahead of me. Christmas in Budapest! I will be really really lazy, get massages in the thermal baths there and eat lots of lots of ‘Knödel’.
    My highlight for 2013 will be that I am planning to have a total surprise trip. Just go to the airport and fly wherever I would like to go to! Never been that spontaneous but excited to see what’s expecting me!!!

  18. Ayngelina on

    Love love love the new site. I’m in the process of redesigning mine and also going for a really clean look.

    Highlight of 2012 was Maui. I spent a month there and it was an amazing time.

    And I’m hoping to hit Berlin and Brazil this winter so a free flight would be very very nice…

  19. Linda ~ Journey Jottings on

    Highlight for me this year was Switzerland –
    Love mountains and hadn’t seen any ‘real’ ones since moving to Australia many moons ago!
    Combined that with one of my favourite forms of travel… train 🙂
    Trains up, over and through 7km of mountain to get to the Top of Europe and walk in powdery snow.

  20. Daniela C.b on

    I can’t spot a time limit for this, so I’m cheekily going to add on my comment. It seems a shame to leave the rest out- but this year’s highlight would have to be visiting Jodhpur. It was part of my first visit back to India since I lived there, and Jodhpur proved my instincts right (I’d been told not to go). Luck and opportunity came together and allowed me to meet people I’ll *actually* stay in touch with, discover and establish links to potential research, and watch a couple of glorious sunsets on the fort. The icing on the cake was sitting on my room’s bay window watching a wedding procession go by below me as I got the news that my new baby sister had been born!

    For 2013 I look forward to exploring Australia a lot more and doing as much island hopping as I can. Vanuatu and PNG are definitely places I need to get to.

    I look forward to hearing about your 2013!

  21. Raymond @ Man On The Lam on

    Love the new site look Sebastian — very “clean!”

    For 2012 my highlight would probably be spending a month in Sulawesi, Indonesia. That and hunting rats of course. 🙂

    For 2013, I’m heading to Oman again, Berlin (I’ll drop by and say hi!), Spain, Qatar, Bahrain and whatever else I can fit it.

    Hope you have a great holiday my friend!

  22. Allison on

    What an incredible year, filled with so much travel and exploring! Super jealous, and so amazed at what you were able to do in less than a calendar year! For 2012, my highlight would be moving to Barcelona in August of this year and making a new life for myself in this unique city. For 2013, too many ideas on where my travel plans will take me. I’d like to do a large leg of the Camino de Santiago and hopefully explore more of Northern Italy. Happy resting, and looking forward to following you next year!

  23. Kelly P on

    Impressive year Sebastian! I’ve always been super curious about Sri Lanka and Myanmar – so cool you got to both this year! Highlight? Getting detained by customs in Canada was pretty memorable. Hoping to hop down and get to Tikal in Guatemala early in 2013.

  24. Amanda on

    I don’t know if I can pick just 1 highlight from 2012! Iceland? Yosemite National Park? Eastern Europe? The Olympics? I really did SO MUCH – almost as much as you, it sounds like!

    So far, my plans for 2013 include ringing in the New Year in Scotland, and then heading to Central America (mostly Belize) for a week. Beyond that, who knows? Hopefully more Europe will be in the equation, along with a visit to a continent I haven’t been to yet (haven’t decided whether it’ll be South America or Africa yet).

    Can’t wait to see what you get up to in 2013, and hopefully our paths with cross again at some point!

  25. Stefán Jóhannsson on

    Well 2012 wasn’t really a spectacular travelling year for me personally.

    After going to S-America in 2009, travelling through the Middle-East in 2010 and Asia in 2011 I only went to three European countries in 2012.

    First I went to Luxembourg to visit friends in May, and then I went to Belgium and Germany in June and July, first and foremost to go to Rock Werchter, music festival just outside of Brugge, and then to Cologne to shop! (incredibly although after our economic meltdown it is still cheaper to shop in Europe then here in Iceland.)

    Hopefully I can make it to more far-flung places in 2013, or 2014 when I finish my Bsc. in Business!

  26. Arnar on

    As a full-time university student, I did not travel much this year.

    I worked all summer as a cashier in a bank and saved up some worthless Icelandic Kronas’. Then I went to Copenhagen and Malmö for a few days in August with two friends. That was a really nice trip. We stayed at the most amazing hostel in Copenhagen, met people from all around the world and partied with hookers, drug dealers and a Norwegian handball team on the infamous Istegade.

    Like your site!

  27. Andrea on

    I had a lot of amazing travels this year, but one that stands out to me was my visit to Cambodia. I had low expectations for the country, but ended up finding it to be a place filled with kind locals, delicious food and lot’s of interesting things to see and do. Eating in Cambodia was definitely a highlight!

    Next year I hope to travel to Brazil with some of my best friends, and my husband and I are planning a couple of road trips around the US. I can’t wait to see what adventures next year brings!

  28. Laura on

    My highlight of 2012 is getting my website mad fan page together to begin my travel journey. I will finally graduate college in may 2013. I have been really wanting to get back to Switzerland. I haven’t been there since 2008 and I met so many great people. It felt like a little family and ever since I’ve been trying to find ways to go back. This prize would be amazing and hell of way to end my college career and start traveling the world!

  29. Alex on

    my highlight of 2012 was definitely the wedding of a korean friend of mine with whom i studied in japan. that wedding in korea was also a long overdue reunion with other exchange program friends from different nations but most of them have moved to japan or even married a japanese. it was a good mix of new culture (eating still moving octopus sashimi, korean wedding ceremony), catching up and talking about future plans.

    next year im planning to fly to australia for about two weeks during easter break and in fall i am planning to do an internship in cambodia.

    off the path is off the hook!

  30. ellie on

    You have been VERY busy! What an amazing year you have had… I wish you lots of luck and happy travels in 2013!

    The highlight of 2012 for me was getting to marry the man of my dreams on a beach in Thailand, just the two of us! It was the perfect day I had always dreamed of and I am so thankful to have also been very blessed in 2012! In 2013 I hope to make it to India for a healing yoga and meditation break in the mountains, another dream destination of mine! Awesome end of year give-away! Much love!

  31. Leah on

    Congrats on an amazing year of travel! What amazing memories you’ll always have…

    My highlight of 2012? Quitting my job and leaving NYC behind to discover South America for four months, learning Spanish, helping out an adventure tour company and introducing myself to the concept of backpacking.

    The highlight of my highlight? Making it to Machu Picchu after 36 hours of bus rides, plane rides and one shady taxi ride across the Peruvian border. I cannot wait to continue my journey in 2013, this time in Central America, with no definite plan but to see where the road takes me!

    Note: If someone had told me a year ago that I would have all these things to highlight for 2012, I would have said they were absolutely insane. Cheers to whatever the future holds!

  32. adam on

    My travel highlight of 2012 was revisiting Indonesia after 8 years away from the archipelago. I retraced my steps through Jogya, Bandung and Jakarta…noticing how the cities have progressed beyond the edges of memory yet still appreciating those corners and spaces in-between that have remained in still-life. I reconnected with friends across the distance of place and years – a phenomenal feeling to rejoin the lives of people who live in a landscape I once called home. As for 2013, I plan to travel to another part of SE Asia that I haven’t yet discovered, Vietnam. The purpose of this trip, I hope, will ignite my creative insight to become the foundation for future narrative.

  33. Ankeeta Sekhri on

    Just seeing this post amazes me! You’ve acheived so much in one year and had an absolutelyyyy divine experience. My highlights for next year are a bit of a European tour. Will be stuck in college for the most part but shall definitely try and visit Austria, South of France, Greece and ofcourse I will come see you in Berlin this year! its my new year resolution :p
    and ofcourse you know im up for Bangkok anytime you are 😉
    MErry CHristmas and Happy New YEar 🙂

  34. Agnes Szabo on

    The highlight of 2012 was a 12 week long Work & Travel program in the USA. I visited Boston, New York and the Niagara Falls! And my target for 2013 is Denmark and the Loire Valley in France!

  35. Tara on

    Thank you for sharing your travels with us for the last year and a half! It’s been fun reading about them. The highlight of 2012 for me was my trip to New York And a few neighboring states. It had many ups and downs but I look upon it with much fondness. For 2013 I have planned my first trip outside the United States, we will be going to Europe. The plan is to visit the Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Croatia and Austria. I can’t wait to see what all you have planned for 2013!

  36. Esmeé St James on

    My favorite 2012 Travel Highlight was swimming with dolphins in the wild in Maui and listening to whales calling each other during a dive off Monokini. It took my breath away. Actually, you have to hold your breath so you can hear them underwater.

    Also was blown away by night dive with beautiful, enormous manta rays on the same Maui trip.

    There’s something so incomparably serene about diving. Can’t wait to go back! Although the Great Barrier Reef may be my next re-visit destination. It is truly magnificent, we flew to the Reef via sea plane and saw the most incredibly stunning giant clams. It was right out of Jacques Cousteau.

  37. Ashley on

    This year I drove across the U.S., fell in love with an already great friend and got rid of EVERYTHING in preparation for our big move to Asia. We leave New Years Eve. Reading your blog has got me even more excited than I already am, thank you!

  38. Ginger Kern on

    A huge highlight of 2012 was exceeding my travel goal of exploring at least 5 new countries while working a full-time job as an expat in Germany: New Zealand (my favorite country in the world so far), Greece, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Malaysia! It’s always great to continue finding inspiration to keep going — adventurous posts on your blog help! 🙂

  39. ChinaMatt on

    Highlight of last year was probably my 10 days in Panama–I met some nice people on my flight and wandered Panama City with them for a few days; learned way too much about spiders and snakes thanks to an Italian photographer and some visiting biologists who took me on hikes.

    The plan for this year (already went to Iceland) is to get to Southeast Asia for the summer so I can work normal hours (I already work Asian hours from the US).

  40. Jennifer Atkins on

    Last year I traveled to Tanzania. This trip changed my life! I cannot wait to return to Africa ( no later than May 2015)!! This year I’m making my first trips to NYC and Vermont.

  41. Hannah Darling on

    2012.. I traveled across England, Nepal, Singapore and India. Had plenty of time in my hands, so all I did was travel, cook, play music and sing! Ahhh..those days..I’m itching to travel!!!