Travel Bucket List-2017 Gapyear and Expating

Last year’s travel bucket list focused on Africa… And for a reason, we were living in Angola and knew it would be our last year there. So, we had to take the opportunity and visit Angola and its neighbors.

The travel bucket list successes

As scheduled we went to Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe and completed an 8-day overland Safari through Africa! 🙂 This was undoubtedly our main adventure of the year. We loved this overland adventure and will surely do others in the future. It’s a great way to go to several places in one trip, and some of them aren’t easy to get to.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

In Angola, we were able to go to Malanje and Lubango but you will love it! Because there’s no way anyone doesn’t love Lubango…

Kalandula Falls, Malanje
Kalandula Falls, Malanje

And this marked the end of our journey in Angola! We will miss it and our friends there, but new experiences are to come! We will continue our expat adventures because we believe that expating is the ultimate slow travel and the best way of really knowing a region.

Travel bucket list fails

Unfortunately, we couldn’t go to São Tomé and Príncipe because of Angola’s oil and foreign currency crisis. We literally couldn’t buy USD or plane tickets from Angola. It is an easy trip from Portugal also, so we will do it later…

These problems also meant we had to postpone the trans-Siberian. As we really don’t want to deal with Siberian and Mongolian winter, this “must do” adventure will have to stay on the shelves for a little while.

The surprise trips

On the upside, we did two amazing road trips in Europe. One road trip through Andalusia and another through Bavaria, Austria and the Czech Republic. Both were really immersive trips with culture, food, trekking, beaches… and even an experience in sports tourism :). So much happened that we still have a few posts to write about!

Granada Alhambra - UNESCO World Heritage site
Alhambra – UNESCO World Heritage site

2017 Traveler & Expat Bucket List

2017 is the year of the East! So, South East Asia is the focus of our travel bucket list. We will start in the south of Thailand and go north to Laos and then Vietnam and Cambodia. This trip will take a few weeks or more… It will depend on how our expat project unveils.


We discovered a fantastic deal from Cologne to Phuket, 199 euros, one way. So we will start the journey there, visit the southern beaches and head north to Bangkok and then Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Backpacking in Thailand was one of the best trips we did so far.

What to do in Bangkok Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand


From northern Thailand, we will cross the border overland into Laos and get a slow boat cruise in the Mekong River to Luang Prabang. From there we will go to Vang Vieng where we want to try tubing in the river. Apparently, it’s a major thing there. We still haven’t decided if it’s worth going the Laos Capital: Vientiane.

Top attractions of Laos
Vientiane, Laos


We will arrive in Vietnam from Laos and go directly to Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. From there we will slowly go south into Ho Chi Minh City, passing through Da Nang, Nha Trang and the beautiful rural countryside. Vietnam has an incredible list of places to visit


In Cambodia, the main goal is obviously Angkor Wat in Siem Riep, but we will pass through Phnom Penh and maybe rest in some beaches along the coast. We heard there are a few fantastic and yet very little known ones…

What to visit Angkor-Wat Cambodia
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

And beyond

Well, this is when this travel bucket list becomes complicated… Our project is to embrace a new expatriation, but this can happen in February or May, even by the end of the year…

Therefore, we will continue the trip as long as we can. However, knowing that we will have to return and go to work in a new region and appreciate it on a completely different level. Our focus is in the Middle East (east again), probably Qatar or Dubai.

We will just have to wait and see what the world has to offer, but one thing is certain: it will be a year of great new things!! And you? What do you have on your bucket list for 2017?

16 thoughts on “Travel Bucket List-2017 Gapyear and Expating”

  1. That aerial view of Victoria Falls looks AMAZING! Looks like you guys are going to have an exciting year of travels, good luck!

  2. What a country Angola and so many things to visit. I had no idea! And 2017 looks so exciting! hope you will be able to do everything. We lived in Asia for 2 years and could not visit everything but we loved it!

    • Yes! Asia is huge, we will start small and try to visit the most we can :). And if we end up really going to Qatar it will be easier

  3. You have got a wonderful list out there. Will be awaiting your travel stories as you tick the destinations off your list. Wish I could do something similar, I am still uncertain where to go 😛

  4. That’s a great BucketList. Sounds like you will have a fun and exciting 2017! We’re not sure where we will be heading but definitely somewhere we’ve never been! 🙂

  5. It’s great when people write about what didn’t go well in addition to their successes. Such a shame you couldn’t make your trip do to the oil crisis, but hopefully it will happen in the future. Good luck in 2017!! Wishing you many successes.

  6. My 2017 travel bucketlist is, to, in the summer of 2017, over my 21st;
    France & Switzerland – family & friend stay
    Paris – the compulsory City of Love
    Norway, Finland & Estonia – on Topdeck Scenic Scandi. Not dirt-cheap, but I have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Scandinavia as I have wanted to for years. It’s a fair way to go from Australia & an expensive place, but it is top on my bucket list & includes crossing the arctic circle – whee! Not to mention, Norwegian Fjords!
    Go on to St Petersburg, Norvogorod & Moscow (& maybe sneak a lil’ visit to a small random town in between) other people question why I want to go to Russia, but it’s on my heart & a real opportunity.
    Keep up the good work, & happy travels for the year to come!

  7. These destinations look like amazing places to see. My goal is also to visit Thailand and the other beautiful cities of Asia. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. well, I am getting tired just from reading your travel account and plans – wow, you are amitious. How awesome! I have been all over Europe and the US, but never in Asia and Africa, would love to remedy that, one day. Thanks for the inspiration – blessings!

  9. Hi Jorge and Claudia,

    Way cool!

    Neat to see an expat couple in Angola. I am back home in New Jersey for a bit. The high school basketball team I follow – one of the best in the entire USA – just had a kid from Angola transfer in. He was one of Angola’s best young players, Valdir Manuel.

    What a gorgeous country. And if we travel to Thailand this year we should definitely meet up 😉

    Thanks for sharing.


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