My 2021 Travel Recap

Last Updated on January 8, 2022 by Natalie

For me, 2021 was one of my biggest years of travel.

Sitting in my house for over a year (just like the rest of the world) made me want to go anywhere and everywhere I could think of!

The second I got that COVID vaccine, I started booking flights like crazy.

I was ready to go!

Here’s My 2021 Travel Recap

After traveling to 23 cities and 10 countries, here’s a look at everywhere I went in the year 2021.


My Favorite Travel Essentials

Las Vegas, Nevada


My first trip of 2021 was none other than Sin City!

It was my first time in Las Vegas and it was a jam-packed trip. Check out my 5 day Vegas itinerary,

A few of my highlights from this trip were the seven magic mountains and the valley of fire state park.

If you’re planning a trip to Las Vegas, check out my hotel guide to the Las Vegas Strip for any budget.

Las Vegas Sign

New Orleans, Louisiana


My next trip was to the Big Easy 😎

I went for the fourth of July and it was just as crazy and fun as you’d expect it to be.

Check out my 3-day itinerary.

Make sure you stop by the famous Carousel bar if you visit!

New Orleans Itinerary



Chicago was a quick trip as my flight out of the United States left from O’hare. It was the perfect excuse to plan a weekend getaway to the Windy City.



I kicked off my 5-month backpacking trip in Dubai.

A city full of technology, luxury, and expats – Dubai feels like some sort of strange Utopia and idealistic city. It’s definitely worth checking out once in your lifetime.

Read some of my favorite things to do in Dubai here.

I stayed at the coolest hotel, Grand Cosmopolitan Hotel. Check out my review here.

The best things to do in Dubai


Next was the land of Dracula.

Romania was my first stop in Europe. It’s somewhere I had never been before and I was blood-thirsty to see the iconic Dracula castle.

I also visited the capital city of Bucharest and the mountain village of Brasov.

getting to the dracula castle from brasov



After Romania, I was craving the sun and the sea.

My tour around Cyprus included the city of Limassol and the beach town of Paphos. I paid a visit to Aphrodite’s rock hoping for eternal youth.. we’ll see in twenty years if the legend is true! 🤣

things to do in paphos

Greece – Greek Island Hopping


No Europe backpacking trip is complete without a little partying on the Greek islands!

I spent a solid month soaking in the sun on the islands of Crete, Ios, and Paros.

Check out my island guide to Ios here.

ios island greece



Bratislava has always been at the top of my travel list. I spent a week exploring the beautiful and quaint capital city of Slovakia.

Read some of my favorite things to do in Bratislava here.



Next was Ukraine! It was so interesting to explore a country with such complex historic and modern history.

I traveled to Kyiv, Chernobyl, and Lviv during my time in Ukraine.

Pripyat Chernobyl tour



You can’t keep me from the Mediterranean for long!

Turkey was a dream destination for me, and one of my favorite new countries I explored on my backpacking trip.

I started off in Cappadocia then made my to Antalya, and then of course Istanbul!

Athens, Greece


Greece is no doubt one of my favorite countries in the world. I came back for a round two to explore Athens.. for a whole month!

I volunteered to work at a hostel to save money and enjoy a slower pace of getting to know the fascinating and historic city of Athens.

Check out my guide to the Ancient Agora of Athens here.

Athens photo spots



After Athens, I spent my last few days in Europe in Poland.

I spent some time in both Krakow and Wroclaw. My highlights of Poland were learning about the country’s rich history and walking around the Christmas markets.



Since my flight back to the USA was out of London, I decided to go back to my old study abroad town of Oxford.

I might be biased, but I think Oxford is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

New York City, New York


Go big or go home! I ended my backpacking trip in none other than one of the craziest cities in the world.

I’m lucky to have spent so much of the year exploring. While 2022 will likely not be filled with much globetrotting, I’m looking forward to spending time at home with family and friends. And of course, dreaming about where I’ll go in the future!

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  1. You did all of that during a pandemic?! Just kidding, this was super fun to read and glad to see someone enjoying their travels this year! I also had my biggest year of travel ever during 2021 and did a 10 month trip in Central America and Europe. A lot of people judged me for it even though everywhere I went was 100% open for tourism and I followed the local restrictions. So many travel bloggers have been doom and gloom about the pandemic and feel the need to highlight every little restriction they followed or criticize others for traveling “too much” in their opinion, so it was refreshing to read a recap that doesn’t do that.

    1. Thanks Alicia! I totally agree with the judgment aspect and I personally was really conflicted as well and met other travelers facing the same issues. I was one of those who didn’t leave my house for months because I was so fearful of getting sick. However, when I got vaccinated I felt safer and was ready to go and made that decision for myself. I think at this point we can all agree that covid isn’t going anywhere and is for sure something we will have to learn to live with – which means following restrictions and making informed decisions!
      I’m so glad you were also able to have a year filled with adventure and travel. Your trip sounds awesome!

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