• 2018 in Review

2018 is coming to an end, and I’ve decided to look back at what an amazing year I’ve had, by scrolling back on my instagram feed. Check out my favourite moments in Instagram pictures below, hoping it will help you get inspired for an adventurous 2019!

ICELAND

I travelled to Iceland twice in 2018. Actually, that’s where I spent NYE!

It was incredible to see all the crazy fireworks going around on little towns (I was in the small viking city of Hafnarfjördur, 20kms south from Reykjavik. I then came back in April, with a group of travellers who joined me on a West to South coast expedition in Iceland.

For NYE it was really magical to see Iceland with such beautiful light – despite the small daylight hours, being so far up on the Northern hemisphere also means they get sidelight oh this time of the year, so the whole daylight hours were actually like extended golden hour time! Magical ♡

THE WANDERLUST

In 2018 I did my first travels with The Wanderlust.

Travellers joined me on all the three tours I had programmed for this year: Wild Mongolia, the Transiberian Route and the incredible Nepal.

For 2019, I’ve added more dates for these destinations, added an insane Mystery Expedition, and will also announce a different itinerary soon! Besides my tours, I really appreciate the fact that I can give back to the community, backing up a project we created in Mongolia (Mongolia Active Kids), as well as the Sharada’s Shelter for Children in Nepal.

Apart from being a tour leader, I also contribute writing regularly for their Wanderblog and for SAPO Viagens.

I really do have the best job in the world!

FILMING IN THE ALTAI MOUNTAINS

I challenged Inês von Bonhorst and Yuri Pirondi (the minds behind the MAKKINA) to film a short documentary on the Altai Mountains, and the challenge was accepted!

We spent some time living with a native Kazakh family, documenting how life is for a family of eagle hunters, and soon you will be able to see the amazing results.

Even though I spend a lot of my time in Mongolia, this was super special, because of the remoteness and also the privilege to live so closely with a local family, with whom we created really strong bonds. Understanding better their history and traditions was great!

HIKING ON THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA

Even though it’s forbidden, this was the year I ticked a long-waiting box on my to-do list: overnight hiking on the abandoned sections of the Great Wall of China!

Together with Andrew, whom I’d previously met in Irkutsk, and Chris and Cassie, who we’ve met on the bus stop going to the village next to the Great Wall section we were going to, we’ve spent two full days hiking almost 20kms of pure raw tough stripped wall!

An overnight slept under heavy rain with some scorpions by our side, and painful walks above 40ºC (no NOT hike the Great Wall in June!), we successfully did it and had a great time! An experience of a lifetime to tell my grandchildren, one day 🙂

SIBERIA

I’ve always loved Siberia, but this year was special!

I did an incredible hike along the original Transiberian line, near lake Baikal, and that was the top of my Siberian experiences. 36kms amongst cedar forest and frozen waters, I watched snow slowly melting, birds coming back to nest, great Baikal slowly defrosting…

Another incredible Siberian experience was in Nobosibirsk with Anastasia and Svetlana, who taught me how to make traditional slavic dolls. These dolls are believed to have magic powers, and these two beautiful ladies taught me how to make my own doll and mandalas, for good luck on my travels, my job and my health. I now pass on this tradition to my Transiberian travellers as well, also with Anastasia and Svetlana!

DURKHA - THE REINDEER PEOPLE

Since I visited the Yogi tribes in Colombia, I became fascinated with remote tribes.

I’ve always wanted to spent time with the Dukha tribe, also known as the reindeer people. These people live in the deep forest in Northern Mongolia, and originally come from Siberia.

It is believed that only 40 families are still living the traditional ways as their native ancestors. I spent some time with a Durkha native in May, and am planning to come back in 2019 for a more in-depth follow up on my personal documentary project with them.

HOME SWEET HOME

It’s always good to go back home, but my coming home had a twist in 2018: I was bold enough to go back to my roots, and move back to my parents home town, São Pedro do Sul.

Home to around 4000 people only, the area is well known for its remote villages, the “magic” mountains, the thermal waters, the rivers clean waters and incredible waterfalls.

I have been planning on moving for a while back, and 2018 was the year I finally did it. And I’m so glad I’ve done so! The mountains are a daily inspiration boost, the clean air and water makes us feel more alive, and I’ve already met incredibly likeminded people.

Coming back home had a special taste in 2018.

SHARING IS CARING

I’m a Gemini, therefor, a communicator by nature!

I love talking, and sharing experiences, so public speaking is always an honour. In 2018 I didn’t have as many dates as in 2017, but I had something really special: being able to share my travel stories with the Volta ao Mundo magazine!

Apart from that, was also a great honour to join my The Wanderlust colleagues Patricia Campos and Liliana Ascensão, and together to a talk at the BTL – Lisbon Travel Market, about what happens when we come back from such long travels…

It was also super cool to be on TV again! First, alongside Miriam Augusto (founder and tour leader of The Wanderlust) at Curto Circuito on SIC Radical, and secondly, at É a Vida Alvim on Canal Q.

Not to forget, the amazing opportunity I have to also work as a contributor for the Wanderblog, and SAPO Viagens! 2019, can you top this??

WORKING TOGETHER

2018 is the year I decided to partner up and work with different brands, featuring and trying out products, writing reviews and producing contents for brands.

This year I was honoured to work with sustainable brands, like MDMA shoes and tentreeSalewa, who supported a documentary project; and the honour of being one of the momondo Open World Travellers!

ITALY

In 2018 I travelled to Italy in February, and I came back in December 2018, where I’m writing you from. This is where I’m spending NYE, and welcoming 2019 with arms wide open!

Italy is a destination that is close to my heart: I have many good friends that are originally from here, I’ve had two Italian boyfriends, I love Italian food, and mostly, I absolutely adore Italian mountains (Alps, Dolomites… you can’t get it wrong!).

I’m hoping the Italian vibes set me off to an amazing 2019! This time I’ve doing small trips around northern Italy. I’m not sure I’ll have time to share all with you here on the blog, but in the meantime you can keep up with my little Italian getaway on my instastories 😉

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