My Next Adventure: Egypt, Oman, Uzbekistan, Iran and more

My Next Adventure: Egypt, Oman, Uzbekistan, Iran and more

For the last few months, I have been planning a pretty epic adventure. As you might know by now I travel from New Zealand to the United Kingdom quite a lot as my boyfriend is from there, so whenever it’s time for me to go back home I try and stopover in different countries. Last year I backpacked solo around India for 6 weeks and it was the best thing I have ever done.
At the start of January, I sadly have to leave the UK again (I’m only allowed to stay in the UK for 6 months out of a year) so I decided “why not travel for a couple of months?”, and tick off some more countries off my bucket list. Then the two-month trip has turned into a 5-month trip due to some amazing opportunities that I have been offered along the way. So, are you eager to know where I’m going to next?

 

1. Portugal

 
My first stop will be to Lisbon, Portugal, just for the weekend. I have been reading so many awesome articles on this cool city so I want to check it out myself. I have never been to Portugal before so it’s a bit sad I will only be here for a few days, but luckily it’s really cheap to travel from the UK. I am sure that I’ll travel and experience Portugal again in the future!

 

My Next Adventure: Egypt, Oman, Uzbekistan, Iran and more

2. Morocco

 
Morocco has always been on my list mostly due to the blue city of Chefchaouen. The entire city is covered in blue buildings and it looks so Instagramable it’s incredible. There are also some really amazing resorts in Marrakesh, which I am super keen to check out too. This will be my first introduction to Africa! I have heard that the markets in Marrakesh can be a bit intense, especially for a solo female traveller but I feel I may a little bit prepared as during my travels in India I experienced some very intense bargaining as well!

 

My Next Adventure: Egypt, Oman, Uzbekistan, Iran and more

3. Egypt

 
Oh my gosh, I have been dying to go to Egypt for years. I got offered an opportunity to work with Travel Talk Tours and one of their locations is Egypt so I decided it would be perfect timing. Egypt’s tourism industry has taken a huge fall in the last several years and it’s a real shame because it’s a magical hub for history. Egypt’s tourism is set to increase in 2017 and people are expected to flood back to this fascinating country so in my opinion, I think it’s the perfect time to check it out!

 

4. Jordan

 
Petra and the Dead Sea, two places that are also high on my bucket list. I am going to spend a week exploring this interesting country. I have been recommended to hire a car and drive around the country, which I am not too sure how confident I feel doing that – but who knows what the future holds?

 

5. Israel

 
A country that I haven’t really thought about exploring in the past but I have heard my friend Brittany from The Sweet Wanderlust talk about her love of Israel, she’s been there many times! What excites me the most about Israel? Apart from exploring the historic buildings and holy sites, I cannot wait to try the food! Falafels and hummus are two of my favourite things so I’m excited to try the real version and all the other food it has to offer! I think my trip to Israel will be highly food-orientated so expect to see a tonne of food porn.

 

6. Oman

 
It’s a country that isn’t often talked about. Some people I have been speaking with didn’t even know where it was situated (in case you’re wondering, the answer is “next to Saudi Arabia”). I did a lot of research because I didn’t know anything about the country myself and after some digging, I added it to the list pretty quickly. I was even more excited when Lonely Planet released their top 2017 travel destinations and Oman was one of them! Oman has a pretty amazing landscape too that I am excited to photograph.

 

My Next Adventure: Egypt, Oman, Uzbekistan, Iran and more

7. Dubai

 
Because why not? Actually, Dubai has been on the list just simply because I would LOVE to go skydiving there. It’s such a huge stopover destination although flying from NZ to the UK all the time I have never stopped over there. I will only be here for a few days but I am excited to have a look around and hopefully have some wicked Dubai experiences.

 

8. Iran

 

Oh, Iran! For months I have been waiting for the chance to travel to Iran. I have seen a few travel bloggers that have recently travelled around there and their pictures looks amazing and their experiences are never dull. From the gorgeous buildings, friendly locals and most of all, the colours!

 
9. Turkmenistan

 
Turkmenistan is a mysterious country not often talked in the media, which is what really attracts me to countries like this. People find these places intriguing because they don’t know a lot about them. It’s famously known for the ‘Door to Hell’ which may sound horrific but let me tell you about it. It actually used to be a natural gas field and it collapsed in 1971 becoming a huge crater that is 30 metres deep! When it collapsed, geologists actually set it on fire to avoid the methane gas spreading and, to their surprise, it has been burning ever since then. Although it may not sound impressive, it’s not until you see photos that you start to take in the actual size of this and how incredible it looks. I didn’t think visiting a massive gas crater would be on my bucket list but the world is full of surprises! Unfortunately, the negative thing about visiting Turkmenistan is obtaining a visa which proves to be quite difficult and a lot of work so for now it’s on the list as long as I can gain a visa. You have to have a guide for your entire trip, which is why this country is probably not as popular as its neighbouring countries to visit. The crater is not the only thing that attracts me to this country though it’s also the ancient cities and ruins that I would love to see as well. Turkmenistan has one of the largest deserts in the world too.

 

My Next Adventure: Egypt, Oman, Uzbekistan, Iran and more

10. Uzbekistan

 
When I think of Uzbekistan I think of buildings covered in beautiful mosaics! The architecture here is just phenomenal and the more I research the more I fall in love with this place. Also, apparently Uzbeks are the 4th happiest people in the world despite 99% of them living in poverty. Uzbekistan is the centre of the legendary Silk Road which links China to Europe. It really looks like a magical and place and, luckily for me, visas are easier for me to obtain because I am from New Zealand.

 

11. Cyprus

 
By the time I finish visiting those places it will be just in time for my birthday so why not visit Cyprus and spend it by the beach although I am fully aware it will be colder weather for the locals! I haven’t researched the country too much, so if you have any suggestions on places to see then leave your comment below as I would love to hear!

 

My Next Adventure: Egypt, Oman, Uzbekistan, Iran and more

12. Suggestions welcome!

 
Now I want to hear from you! There’s going to be a couple of weeks where I’m going to be waiting for my Anzac tour in Turkey to start (more about that below) so I would love to know where you want me to go. I don’t want to veer too far from Turkey due to keeping costs down so let me know your suggestions. Look at the map above and pick a country for me, it’s too hard!

 

13. Turkey

 
I didn’t plan on going to Turkey but Travel Talk tours offered me the chance to experience Anzac day in Turkey which is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a Kiwi like me so of course I said yes. Anzac is a day where all Australian and New Zealand soldiers are remembered for fighting in Gallipoli during World War 1. It’s a very special day for Kiwis and Aussies so I was so honoured to be given this opportunity to remember those who served in the exact place that the battle was fought.

 

My Next Adventure: Egypt, Oman, Uzbekistan, Iran and more

14. Maldives

 
Why not finish the trip with a bang?! Maldives is on everybody’s list I’m sure and since there have been tonnes of travel bloggers heading their lately I thought I should join the trend and relax for a few days after my long adventure. It’s actually not too expensive to get there and since I am travelling to NZ I can go to Sri Lanka and get a return flight from there. Then from Sri Lanka I can visit my Australian family and then back to the homeland, New Zealand.

 

So, what do you think? If you have any suggestions on places that you think I should visit then don’t be shy and leave your comment below.

Do you want to sponsor me on this epic adventure? I would love to hear from you! If you’re a hotel/ resort owner, tour operator, tourism board or just an awesome local who wants to take me to the best restaurants and shops in town, I want to hear from you! Please email ahdykstra@hotmail.com for more information.

 

 

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29 Comments

  1. December 11, 2016 / 4:11 pm

    Your trip sounds like a dream! We would love to do a trip just like yours. From the Spinx to Petra to hopefully taking the hot air balloon ride you are going to have an amazing time. Especially to end up in the Maldives what a great way to end a most unique trip.

  2. December 11, 2016 / 4:51 pm

    Sounds like an incredible experience!! Sri Lanka is meant to be amazing… sounds like an adventure. Safe travels!

  3. December 11, 2016 / 6:42 pm

    WOW your 2017 looks amazing ! A lil jealous tho lol.Will be living via your updates.

  4. December 11, 2016 / 8:18 pm

    First of all I can’t believe you are going to Iran without me! What happened to our plan?! Anyway, it will be amazing. I am also super jealous of Uzbekistan. It is also on my list, possibly for 2018. Can’t wait to hear more about these plans. Oh and those weeks in between..have you done Croatia or Montenegro? Both are amazing.

  5. December 11, 2016 / 9:48 pm

    That’s a pretty EPIC travel plan!! So many cool and interesting countries.

  6. December 12, 2016 / 12:08 am

    I loved both Oman and Egypt when I went! I didn’t really explore enough of either. Are you planning to stay in Istanbul? I went on a school cruise a long long time ago which stopped in Istanbul but also went to Yalta in the Ukraine (on the way there) and to Dubrovnik on the way back. If you like wine, then Georgia might be fun (I have a contact there)

  7. December 12, 2016 / 1:14 am

    One of my friends went to Uzbekistan earlier this year and absolutely loved it. She was a solo traveller so I’m sure you’ll enjoy it and find it safe. It really great that you make sure to stop over at a new destination on your way back from visiting you BF. That’s such a great way to travel!

  8. December 12, 2016 / 1:48 am

    What an adventure! I love Egypt and Jordan. Petra is absolutely amazing. Make sure you spend at least two full days there. I’ve always wanted to go to Morocco , Maldives and Oman. I’ll be following your trip with interest.

  9. Amelie
    December 12, 2016 / 3:39 am

    Those are some awesome and exciting plans! I just returned from Israel a few weeks ago and I’m so sad I couldn’t find time for Jordan. Marrocco is also high on my list for 2017! Maybe see you in one of those places! 🙂

  10. December 12, 2016 / 4:51 am

    Looks like you have quite the travel itinerary on the horizon. Iran is intriguing, as several have recently visited.

  11. December 12, 2016 / 1:23 pm

    What an amazing itinerary! All of the destinations are places I want to visit – I will be following your journey so I can plan mine in the future.

  12. December 12, 2016 / 2:36 pm

    This is going to be an EPIC trip! You’re covering part of the world I haven’t had a chance to do yet, of which pretty much all are still on my bucketlist. I’ve wanted to get to Egypt and Morocco for the longest time, and am really keen on Israel and Jordan now at the moment too. Can’t wait to follow your trip and be inspired by your photos, stories and updates!

  13. December 12, 2016 / 6:05 pm

    Sounds like an amazing adventure. I loved Dubai. It was so over the top and fun. Egypt and Morocco are places I would love to visit. Maldives seems like a dream.

  14. December 12, 2016 / 7:33 pm

    This is a great list of countries to visit. I have been to just Portugal and I can guarantee you the trip there will be memorable. Travel and food is reasonable there.

  15. December 13, 2016 / 7:16 am

    This is an exotic list. An unusual one and very promising. Egypt is one place I would love to visit and have been hoping to get there some day. Oman and Uzbekistan look promising too. Would love to do this circuit.

  16. December 13, 2016 / 10:43 am

    I’m so jealous! Especially of Egypt! I’ve wanted to go there for so long. I hope 2017 is the year for me too!

  17. December 14, 2016 / 1:22 am

    Awesome plan you got here! For me I would love to reach Turkey and Israel first then the rest will follow. I would love to ferry myself across Asia and Europe via Turkey. Thank you for sharing this!

  18. sharon
    December 14, 2016 / 12:03 pm

    sounds awesome!! Iran is one of the best places I have been and Samarkan is stunning….. you will love em both.
    so how about a few more sites in Turkey? mt nemrut dagi is cool…. pammukale, Ephesus, cappadocia, dalyan?

  19. Gary Boivin
    December 14, 2016 / 4:06 pm

    These are all fascinating destinations. I wish you much joy, and safety, as you explore these fabulous countries.

  20. December 14, 2016 / 4:36 pm

    Those places sound cool. If you are going to be in Turkey, check out Ukraine. You can fly to Odessa in about an hour from Istanbul, and the visit there, Kiev and Lviv at least.

  21. December 15, 2016 / 3:57 pm

    Ooh what’s your itinerary like? I’m going to a few of these places in 2017 and I wonder if we’re crossing paths? I’ll be in Egypt and Jordan end of Jan – end of Feb and am pretty flexible but I want to go to Morocco, Oman and Iran also (not yet planned).

  22. December 30, 2016 / 11:03 pm

    Wow, what great travel plans. Definitely including some countries that are high on my wish list: Oman, Israel, Iran.

  23. January 3, 2017 / 4:23 pm

    This sounds amazing! Such amazing and fun plans! I hope you have fun!

  24. Julie Kitchen
    January 5, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    My folks went to Crete and raved about it. There is a military cemetery there that has Kiwi Soldiers in it.

    Oh to be young and unencumbered again. Travel safe!

  25. Heather
    January 11, 2017 / 5:47 am

    If you’re going to Jordan and Israel, make sure you go to Lebanon as well. There’s Byblos (the oldest town in the world), Baalbek (massive well-preserved Roman ruins) and Tyre (bridge built by Alexander the Great), plus beautiful Beirut!

    • January 12, 2017 / 4:16 am

      Thanks for the recommendations Heather! Sounds amazing 🙂

  26. March 10, 2017 / 8:29 am

    Turkmenistan seems SOOOO intriguing. I can’t wait to hear about it…hopefully the silence it about means GOOD!

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