2017 Year in Review: 12 Travel Experts share their Travel Highlights

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As 2018 approaches us, it’s time to look back and reflect on the highs and lows of the year. Although every year is dubbed “a year like no other.” But looking at the Year in Review, 2017 truly was more dramatic and memorable than many other years in recent memory.

In the last twelve months, we took our cameras out to capture the total eclipse, used the hashtag #metoo to support the “The Silence Breakers” , watched on loop the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle engagement, laughed and argued on Trump policies, came under a renewed threat of nuclear war, prayed for hurricane victims, argued on the skirt length of Priyanka Chopra and the list goes on. 2017 was a whirlwind year. However, for the travel industry, it seemed to be a good year in general.

When I look back at the 2017 year in Review, only one thing comes to my mind – GRATITUDE. 2017 was a milestone year for me, where I took the biggest risk of my life. I decided to quit my high-profile Expat life to lead an unstable digital nomad life. And, it did not happen after reading a click-bait article ‘How I quit my million-dollar job to travel.’ It was a well-planned decision. We’ll discuss this topic some other time.

Today, I want to share the biggest wealth I accrued in 2017 – genuine connections I made with a tribe of passionate travelers. Though I met countless people some of them stood out. Continuing my annual series of Year in Review, here are the 12 Travel Experts I met in 2017 and their inspiring travel stories to spark the inner wanderlust in you. Adventure or a new culture? There’s something here for you in the 2017 Year in Review.

Table of Contents

1)    Michael Collins

Being Irish is not just about ‘beer-soaked revelries’ or holding the passport of the sexiest nationality. It is a unique mindset to genuinely connect and convert gloomy to cheerful. You don’t need to remind Irish people how much their connections matter. It’s all a part of the Irish craic. They are engaging, polite, relaxed, unassuming and genuinely interested in you. And, I must admit Michael Collins is all of this and much more. Perhaps he is one of the coolest Irish I met in 2017 (and trust me I have met quite a few).

Magnificent and wild as the Wild Atlantic Way, Michael is a person you’ll like the very first time you meet him. His gift of gab combined with a pleasing personality is as addictive as a pint of Guinness. What I really liked about him is that despite being super busy and sitting on top of the hierarchy chain, he is always there for you. Whether you want to burn the dance floor after the ‘after-party’ or have an in-depth discussion on Brexit or just simply seek some advice on your chosen career path; Michael will always have your back covered.

Now, let’s hear from the man himself.

Most defining travel moment in 2017

Cleveland, Ohio. September. I know, not very glamorous.  I attended Content Marketing World for the first time this year. I speak at a lot of conferences and love sharing knowledge and case-studies, but it’s important to always keep learning. I haven’t learned as much at a conference in a long time. CMW is superb. In particular, I really liked the Conversion Optimisation talks by Andy Crestodina.

Most excited for in 2018

We have a number of new international clients coming on-stream in 2018, with an even bigger emphasis on video marketing. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a big fan of YouTube. So, it’s great to have new clients who understand the importance of video marketing and want to invest in video.

Short term I am going to be spending the Christmas and New Year in Girona, Costa Brava, and Valencia. I am a huge fan of Catalunya and Spain and love the food. So that’s exciting.

Travel tip to share

Gosh. So many.

  1. Keep and use old hotel key-cards to keep the electricity on when you are not in the room, to charge up laptops, batteries and gadgets etc.
  2. Join loyalty programs for all that you do business with when travelling and then get some professional advice on how to optimise your points and programs. I did exactly this in 2017, with the help of the great Kerwin McKenzie. So worth it.
  3. On mid or long-haul flights, check out the menu as soon as you board and then ask the cabin crew for your preference before they start their in-flight service. Tell a little white lie, like, ‘I can only eat chicken, could you please hold or put aside a chicken dish for me’. If you’re not in the first few rows, choices can become limited very quickly, especially, if you are last to be offered food in row 47. Strangely this applies to Economy and Business Class.

Best travel photo of 2017

The Walled Off hotel in the West Bank, Bethlehem. It’s not a great photo, but visiting the hotel and the West Bank was one of the most interesting and thought-provoking things I did this year.

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2)    Dusty and Nikki Green

If PASSION is ever personified, it would look a lot like Two for the Road. I met this ‘Made for each other’ adventurous couple for the very first time during  TBEX Huntsville and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have bumped into them. They are my favourite Travel couple. Their infectious energy and bubbly personalities can bring a smile even on the face of ‘forever grumpy’ Trump. What I like most about them is their PASSION for adventure. Yes, they are so passionate it reflects not only in their work but drinks too: P They are quirky and great fun to hang out with. I love their travel show Two for the Road, where they share their adventure travel experiences in a fresh and exciting way. They have set huge benchmarks for couple travel goals. Let’s hear their story:

Most defining travel moment in 2017

We enjoyed so many incredible moments in 2017! But one of our favorites happened during our recent trip to Ireland. Ireland had been on our “bucket list” for years and years and years, and we were so excited to finally make the trip this past October! And the experience was everything we’d always hoped it would be, from beginning to end. The people, the food, the music, the beer, the landscape… Ireland quickly became one of our favorite places in the world, just as we knew it would! And the crowning moment of this amazing journey came at the end. Sunset, on our very last day. With our camera gear in tow, we climbed a hill atop Clogher Head on the Dingle Peninsula – very near the westernmost point in all of Ireland – where we sat alone and watched one of the most spectacular sunsets we’ve ever seen, in one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been. [*sigh*] Quite a moment indeed.  And one heck of a way to end that adventure.

Most excited for in 2018

SO much coming up in 2018, but what we’re excited most excited about is (drumroll please) …. the launch of our second season of Two for the Road! Yep! That’s right! The second season of our adventure travel show will kick off in mid-January of 2018. The show will be available nationwide on PBS stations across the United States. And later in the year, it will be available on Create TV as well, bringing the show to 92% of the country. We’re SUPER excited about that! Can you tell? When it comes to the show, we do everything ourselves. That includes writing, hosting, producing, editing, the whole nine yards! As you can imagine, it’s a mountain of work. So, to actually see it on TV is an absolute dream come true. And we still have to pinch ourselves sometimes. Good stuff!

Travel tip to share

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Travel is knowledge! The more you get to know the locals and allow them to get to know you, the richer the experience! Oh! And don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

Best travel photo of 2017

The 2017 Year in Review – Dusty & Nikki Green

We were traveling through southern China filming episodes for the TV show and captured this spectacular scene walking above the rice terraces near the village of Ping’An. And talk about good timing! There was a pouring rain coming down on us as we made the 45-minute hike up to the village, but luckily the rain stopped, the clouds parted, and a soft golden sun broke free above the valley as we climbed above the terraces to get this shot. And it remains one of the most beautiful, surreal, dream-like things we’ve ever seen. Wow!

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3)    David Nuttal

When imagination and rare talent fuses together, a legendary artist is born. I am privileged to have met David this year. Before I met him, Plausible Maps didn’t exist in my dictionary. Don’t open your dictionaries yet, I am explaining what he does. David draws imaginary maps of real places on any form – body, wood, furniture…you name it and he can draw it for you. Those places look so real you’ll think they exist in reality. That’s the kind of detailing he does. And, I can say that by experiencing it first-hand. He is extremely meticulous about his work and would go any length for it. Going by the work he does, you would think he would be a serious kind of person. But looks are deceptive. After all, he hasn’t lost touch with his Brit humour despite staying in the US for long. He lives in the Rocket City of Huntsville but his work takes him around the country. He has even appeared on Samantha Brown’s show. Let’s hear his thoughts on 2017 & 2018:

The most defining travel moment in 2017

I have two moments really, one was “popping” over to England to spend time with my family and attend my Dad’s 80th birthday. His health is not that great, so it caused more thoughts and reflections. I spent quite a bit of time going through the old suitcase in the attic that held a lot of the family photographs. Found pictures that I had forgotten about and some that I did not know existed!

The other was being asked to speak at TBEX and getting to meet and be filmed by Samantha Brown for an episode of her upcoming show to be aired on PBS sometime in January or February 2018. That could really boost my mapping art and allow me to travel to more places to talk about my work, conduct demonstrations and possibly help in other ways too!

Most excited for in 2018

I am excited to travel with a different purpose. I plan to be able to travel to other places and have several customers in those places for my Human Terrain maps, where I draw temporary fictional maps on their skin. To have places that I want to visit and people there that want my artwork on them will be an exciting combination.

Travel tip to share

A slightly weird thing that I have done, that has always worked… picking restaurants based on the architecture of the building. Even more specifically an older restored building in a downtown area of American cities. I have found that when someone cares enough about the building and the location (not necessarily with the highest traffic count) that the food has always been good. Not always cheap, but always good! Often it is one of very few businesses open in the evening that is in the downtown that is now somewhat deserted.

Best travel photo of 2017

This is a view looking west from the Sky deck in the Willis Tower in Chicago (formerly the Sears Tower). I love it so much somewhat because it is “me” – looking down on the world and imagining the map that would represent this. Also, this was a night out from a business trip based an hour west of downtown. I took the train into Union Station, walked to the Tower and spent about 3 hours watching the changing light, sunset and then the illuminations of the city. And…. I spent the week in a basement with the GIS department!

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4)    Renata Pereira 

The 2017 Year in Review – Renata

A girl born in a small town called Três Rios, 3 hours inland driving from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil dared to dream big. From growing up in a town that did not even have a movie theater to presenting live the world’s biggest Sports spectacle – FIFA World Cup; Renata is a living testimony on how hard work and talent can chase any dream in the world. She’s a former newscaster and FIFA manager. After a very successful TV Career in Journalism, she now works as a content producer specialized in travel. She currently resides in the US and I was extremely lucky to travel with her to one of the most important places in the history of the United States – Birmingham, Alabama. Birmingham is the birthplace of Civil Rights Movement. It was here, I closely saw how passionate and dedicated she is towards her work. Let’s hear more from herself:

The most defining travel moment in 2017

Returning to Russia after 11 years and seeing all the changes the country has been through was by far my most defining experience. I spent one month in Moscow in 2006, when simply trying to know what you were eating was an adventure. In 2017, I spent another month in Russia, visiting Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and the difference is like night and day. Today you can feel that people are more open, there are more people speaking English, more signs in English and the whole experience got much smoother. This was something I didn’t expect, and it was amazing to witness.

Most excited for in 2018

Russia again! I’m a huge fan of the FIFA World Cup. Growing up in Brazil, football is part of your life, and every 4 years we get incredibly excited about this tournament. In 2018, the World Cup will be in Russia. I’ve been to the past 3 World Cups and have the best memories ever! I’m not sure yet I’ll travel to Russia again next year, but I’d love to.

Travel tip to share

Consider also enjoying your stopovers while flying. I mean, instead of just staying in the airport waiting for your connection, give yourself a few days and go explore the city. This is what I did a few months ago. I wanted to visit my family in Brazil, but flights from the USA were expensive. Instead, I found a cheaper flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina, that had a stopover in Sao Paulo. So, I booked this flight, with a 2-week window to stay in Sao Paulo, and only then continued for a third week in Buenos Aires, which was supposed to be my primary destination. I got 2 places instead of one, and a much better deal.

Best travel photo of 2017

I accidentally took it with the GoPro while I was preparing to vlog at Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. I love it because It’s a unique perspective of a very well-known place, where I’ve been multiple times and never get tired of it! I also got some great feedback on social media, so I guess people agree with me – hehehe!

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5)    Kristen Gill

Knowing someone is like listening to music. What attracts us to them is their melody, and as we get to learn who they are, we learn their lyrics. Same happened when I got to know the beautiful Kristen Gill. We were acquaintances before we became friends during our Experience Romania trip. As a Romanian gentleman said, “She is like Summer – cheerful and bright.” With her around, no moment is a dull moment. On the professional front, she represents the shrinking tribe of travel journalists, for whom a story matters over glossiness. A person, who would hang out with locals than going berserk clicking pics. For her, the true essence of travel is to immerse in the local culture and share the stories that are often not visible to the naked eyes. She is a great company and an encyclopedia when it comes to travel journalism. Also, you just can’t keep up with her energy on the dance floor. Even with a broken leg, she’ll beat you hands down. Now let’s hear more from her:

Let’s hear what he wants to say:

The most defining travel moment in 2017

My most defining travel moment this year was a trip I took directly after the TBEX conference in Ireland. Going back to County Mayo, where my Grandpa Gill was born 95 years ago was exhilarating. It’s such a different place now than when he left it to come to the USA and start his family so many years ago. Returning to the region as a seasoned travel writer/blogger helped me come full circle and realize what it means to find “home.”

Most excited for in 2018

I’m most excited about heading back down to my “happy place” in Baja California Sur, Mexico for six weeks, where I’ll immerse myself in Spanish lessons, swim with whale sharks, watch the gray whale migration, and eat lots of fish tacos. After that, I’ll be excited to see what new places and opportunities arise (plans are in the making).

Travel tip to share

Put down your darn phone and look up every once in a while. You are guaranteed to have a more meaningful travel experience if you engage in conversation and share your thoughts with the people from the country/culture you are visiting. You never know where a smile and a hello can take you!

Best travel photo of 2017

The 2017 Year in Review - Kristen Gill

The 2017 Year in Review – Kristen Gill

I love this picture from a recent trip to Romania because you can see the sheer joy on my face and my sense of wonderment at learning a new culture. I also like that it’s a candid shot and not a selfie, which is rare when I’m usually traveling solo!

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6)    Jeannette Ceja

There’s a famous saying, “If you want to attract positive things into your life, then begin now by spreading positive energy about.” Jeannette is one of the most positive persons I met in 2017. She is a is a Bilingual Lifestyle TV Host, Travel Journalist, Travel Expert and an International Public Speaker based out of Los Angeles. Like Kristen, I met her during the Experience Romania Trip and we hit it off like a house on fire. She is a meticulous planner and spends hours in preparation. And, travel is not an escape for her. She constantly uses it to make a difference in others life. She leaves a positive impact wherever she goes. It’s impossible to not like her. Let’s hear more from her:

The most defining travel moment in 2017

I am grateful to have experienced so many incredible moments in 2017. Honestly, it’s a tie between speaking at a travel conference for Experience Romania and attending The Travel + Social Good Global Summit at The United Nations. Both experiences had a profound impact on me personally and professionally. I felt even more compelled to share my passion for travel with the public during both events. And I discovered new ways that I could contribute and make a positive impact in the world.

Most excited for in 2018

Wow! I am excited to make an even BIGGER difference in the world through travel. I am thrilled to start writing a book. I want to share my global experiences and shed light on all the good that’s happening in the world with the public. And I plan to finally set time aside to do just that. After I was told by a fifth inspirational professional that I had to write a book. And I am excited to speak to more students, women and the general public next year about travel. I want to build a legacy like Oprah. A global platform for inspiration and philanthropy. I am excited to be involved with more non-profit organizations like The Free Wheelchair Mission and Synergy of Empowered Women. Honestly, I am just touching the surface. And I know next year will be even more amazing than I can imagine.

Travel tip to share

Travel as much and as far as you can. I hear why people don’t think they can travel all the time (Money, time or fear). However, I love to show people that travel is a mindset. As Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” Additionally, I feel like travel can be within your own city. Travel does not always have to be far and luxurious. Every time we walk outside of our homes we become “travelers.”

Best travel photo of 2017

The 2017 Year in Review -Jeannette Ceja

My best photo of 2017 has to be me standing inside the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The moment was captured shortly before I would attend the Travel + Social Good Global Summit along with five United Nations Ambassadors and 150 of the top travel innovators in the world. The United Nations represents everything I am passionate about. I felt like a kid going to Disneyland for the first time. I was living a dream in real time. And I had to pinch myself because I could not believe what an incredible opportunity this was. I am so grateful to have that experience. You can see in my face that I can’t hide my emotions or happiness. And that’s what life is all about.

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7)    Siddhartha Joshi

I happened to bump into this dashing traveler on my first press trip of 2017 to the country of Santa Claus and Reindeer – Finland. The trip became a memorable trip, thanks to easy going people like him. After our trip, we concluded Aurora Borealis is a farce. Because if you don’t see it, it doesn’t exist, right? That’s an inside joke we have invented to keep our sorrows at bay. Jokes apart, I really loved knowing him as a person and as a professional. He is India’s one of the most well-known travel bloggers and a mini-celeb (correction – Macro). Besides his chaste Lucknowi andaaz (mannerism), what I like about him is his chilled-out attitude and clarity of purpose. He’s down to earth, not at all insecure and gets along with everyone. Let’s hear what he wants to say:

The most defining travel moment in 2017

Tough to answer, but I think it was traveling to Kathmandu in Nepal recently. My mother traveled here at a time when I was growing rapidly within her, and in a way, it was the beginning of my life as a traveler. Somehow, I never came back to the city, until now…in my mind, I was completely an imaginary circle 🙂

Most excited for in 2018

I am hoping to visit Kashmir early next year, as of now that’s keeping me excited. Apart from that my travel plans are fluid and I finalise them at the last minute only.

Travel tip to share

Don’t think, just go out. Travel.

Best travel photo of 2017

The 2017 Year in Review – Siddhartha Joshi

There are tons of photos but to me a photo which evokes memories is special. Here’s one of from Ellora caves – a trip I made with my better half who happens to be an architect. It was lovely discovering the place together – she told me stories from the past while I tried to make new ones.

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8)    Garret Galvan

“Not all those who wander are lost.” These immortal words by J.R.R. Tolkien perfectly describe Garret. For him, travel is not merely visiting pretty places and clicking Instagram-worthy pictures but a way to find rediscover himself while exploring the unknown territories. Although I had met him in different countries before, I got know him better during our Adventure Dublin trip. There are very few people in our industry who are not fighting for the pie but creating their own pie. He is one of them. Extremely dedicated, organised and open to experiment. Let’s hear more from him:

The most defining travel moment in 2017

Well, I have to say this year has been one of the toughest travel years on record. I’ve visited 16 countries this year alone! However, what really defined my year was the realization that even though this lifestyle is challenging, I thrive on it. I love it.  I love asking for help and feeling the compassion of others, I love learning the basics of new languages, I love the challenge of figuring out how to live life in an unfamiliar land. It was this year that truly defined my purpose and goals of how I can do this longer and really make this a sustainable lifestyle, which is truly exhilarating.

Most excited for in 2018

2017 was a great year full of so many good connections with people with the same perspective. So now in 2018, I am excited to reconnect and strengthen the community as we move forward trying to build a lifestyle together. Oh yeah, and of course, there are some plans to travel to some new countries that are visually stunning!

Now if I can only decide which countries…

Travel tip to share

As rational beings, we cannot help but rationalize travel.

Hence all the questions about best beaches, best food, etc… but what I have found is the best of anything is better found when you take chances to explore.

Often it is not the actual beach that makes it the best or the restaurant, it is the spirit of adventure that got you their surrounded by the people that are in it with you.

So, to actually answer your question, my best tip would be to go with the flow and enjoy the journey, the hiccups, the challenges and the adventure that travel takes you on rather than worrying about small details.

Best travel photo of 2017

The 2017 Year in Review – Garret Galvan

Iceland was a photographers/videographers dream. I believe this photo with the Solheimajokull Glacier was the most emotional to shoot and I don’t think I have ever been so emotional about an inanimate object in my life. I still can’t describe in words what it was like being amongst these dying giants. This image of climate change slaps you in the face.

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9)    Charles McCool

A good sense of humour can take you places. And, Charles McCool is a living proof. The first thing you’ll notice about him is his cool attitude (which coincidently is part of his name too) and unique ability to spread happiness. In the last one year, I had met him in three different countries in three different continents and every time I meet him, my respect for him increases by few notches. He is an independent travel writer, speaker, and a consultant. Though I haven’t had the opportunity to spend a considerable time with him, whatever little I have known him – all I can say – he is full of life and knows his business pretty well. Let’s hear more from him:

The most defining travel moment in 2017

Probably attending Mardi Gras activities in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I was blessed to participate in several events, none more special than throwing beads from a float during the children’s parade. Seeing pure joy on thousands of kids’ faces is a perpetual memory

Most excited for in 2018

Some slow travel for my wife and I. Spending 4 weeks or more in one place and really getting to know the place. Suggestions anyone?

Travel tip to share

For US travelers, Global Entry and TSA Precheck helps ease some of the pain of the insidious air travel experience.

Best travel photo of 2017

The 2017 Year in Review – Charles McCool

Another very tough question. I do not like to select “best” anything. Ask me later today and I will pick a different photo. This one, though, is memorable for several reasons. The sunset is not great but it seems that the entire population of Pokhara, Nepal celebrated it around the lake. I love the contrast of the woman’s red outfit against the blue boats. The hand along the lower left railing belongs to Claudia Tavani, who is among the 8 new wonderful friends I got to know during a five-day trek.

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10) Victoria and Terrance

I met this beautiful young couple raring to make it big on the travel scene in Ireland. We were speaking together at TBEX Ireland. What impressed me the most about them is their confidence. I wish I was as confident and clear as they are in their 20s. They really complement each other very well. Terrance is calm like water and Victoria is fierce like fire. One takes beautiful pictures, other markets them well. If you want to learn how to take charge of your life at a young age, take inspiration from them. Let’s hear more from them:

The most defining travel moment in 2017

For us, it was traveling to Ireland and speaking at TBEX Conference (and meeting you) and the FAM trip that followed. Let us explain. Before TBEX we were running on major travel burnout. We were doing back to back trips since May and TBEX happened in Europe. We would go away for a month, come home for 8 days, leave again for 20 days and repeat. It got to the point where we knew we were blessed to do what we do but we were so over it! One time we went away for a month and didn’t stay anywhere longer than 3 nights. We came home from that trip straight into Hurricane Irma which directly hit where we lived.

We really didn’t want to go to Ireland for TBEX and were so exhausted. Once we arrived in Ireland and went on our trip to Co. Mayo for four days it was the most tiring four days of travel we have had in a long time. We were also around other people which is not the way we travel. What should have exhausted us, even more, gave us life and a new appreciation of travel. We didn’t like travel and were over it for months and then one 10-day trip to Ireland changed all of that even though it wasn’t restful at all! Now, we love to travel and our thrill of visiting a new place is back!

Most excited for in 2018

We are most excited to visit Asia in 2018!! Asia still remains unexplored for us and we are so so excited to visit another part of the world and learn about so many cultures and see so many diverse and beautiful landscapes! We can’t wait!

Travel tip to share

Our biggest travel tip is a bit of a cliché, but DON’T OVERPACK! You will be sorry! We are serial over-packers and it isn’t fun to pay extra airline fees, haul your stuff for the whole trip, and force your suitcase to close. You also don’t want to wait for a checked bag so choosing a carry on is always good if you can swing it!

Best travel photo of 2017

The 2017 Year in Review – Victoria & Terrance

This shot is titled ‘Heart of The Sea’ and was taken in Peru. It was our favorite travel photo of 2017 because when most people think of Peru, they don’t think of landscapes like this! We like to challenge peoples’ perspectives of a location and this shot tends to change people’s mind about what Peru has to offer!

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11) Jyotsna Ramani

Bubbly girls are the prettiest. I realised this when I travelled with Jo in Malaysia and liked her instantly. She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes. Very helpful and unpretentious. She knows her strengths and weaknesses very well. She will be the first one to call you if she comes to know about an opportunity that fits you well. The secret of her rocket-like growth and ever increasing list of admirers is her genuineness and dexterity. Let’s hear what she has to say:

The most defining travel moment in 2017

Volunteer work in Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo, Malaysia) for the orangutan project was simply amazing. Learnt a lot about the Orangutan’s, their diminishing numbers and conservation efforts in Borneo. Educating others about it was also part of my “job” and this was my first work away experience (A big travel goal for 2017).

Most excited for in 2018

Traveling to new places 🙂 I want to revisit Europe (there is SO much to see) and make it to South America for the first time. Hopefully another trip to Africa on the charts? AH, let’s see what 2018 brings – as always, I am the last min planner.

Travel tip to share

Just go. So many people spend tons of time in planning, re-planning, canceling due to xyz reasons, budgeting (which is important but can be done on the go too). So, my #1 travel tip is “Just pack your bags and – GO”

Best travel photo of 2017

The 2017 Year in Review – Jyotsana Ramani

Okay, it has to be pictures of Munna (tiger in Kanha). He is the king of cats and during my latest trip with Pugdundee Safaris, the wonderful naturalists of Kanha earth lodge ensured we had the BEST tiger sighting of our lives. It was so incredible that we also got to see one of the most popular cats in the world. He has a marking on his forehead that says C.A.T, followed by P.M  – surely, that brands him as the king.

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12) Kash Bhattacharya

I had heard a lot about Kash before I finally met him at WTM London. His name is synonymous with budget traveling. National Geographic Traveller’s Blogger of the Year, Kash Bhattacharya is the founder and editor of the Budget Traveller and the Blogger Outreach Expert for Toposophy. Kash has revolutionised travel for the stylish, design-led budget-conscious traveler with his internationally successful guidebook to Luxury Hostels that has been featured in the Guardian and New York Times. Though I don’t know him that well, he appears to be a fun-loving hassle-free traveler who has great tips under his belt like how to find a luxury hostel in Tokyo or showing people where to find the best, authentic street food in a city. Here’s more from him:

The most defining travel moment in 2017

Wow. Tough one. There have been a few key highlights but the most defining moment was earlier in the summer. I secured my first book deal! The topic is under wraps but it will be hitting bookstores across the world in Autumn 2018.

Most excited for in 2018

The book of course. Plus, I’m embracing the digital nomad life again and travelling across SE Asia for the first few months. Remains a part of the world I know very little of so really looking forward to this. Also, I have a few interesting storytelling projects coming up later in the year which I can’t wait to share with you.

Travel tip to share

Travel is for everyone and shouldn’t be reserved exclusively for certain times of the year. I’d encourage people to grab their backpack and go somewhere. Even if it means checking into a hostel in your town or city! Adventures are always waiting to happen, even on your doorstep.

Best travel photo of 2017

The 2017 Year in Review – Kash Bhattacharya

You best travel photo of 2017 and the reason why you love it so much Lunch at Bistrot Victoires. November 2017. Their fixed price lunch of €15 is one of the best deals in town. I was chasing the last leaves of Autumn with my other half. It was cold but gloriously sunny. It had been a morning of just effortlessly gliding across the city just soaking in the sunshine. We spent a good part of the day wandering aimlessly in the Jardin Tuileries.

I’ve been to Paris many times at different times of my life. It is a city filled with memories, a kind of timeline of my life. After a tough period in my life which included making some readjustments, this trip was a special one where I managed to just sit back, relax and enjoy the moment. This meal summed up that feeling of being present in the moment, a rare moment where everything in life makes perfect sense. All I needed was a glass of wine, a plate full of good food and someone to share that moment with.

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So, these were the 12 inspiring Travel Experts I met in 2017 and their Year in Review highlights.  There are many that I met on the road who left an undeniable impact on me. Have you met any of these 12 people or anyone else that impressed you a lot?

I would love to hear from you. And don’t forget read 2016 Year in Review to see what the other 12 Experts were up to in 2017.

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  • Victoria Yore says:

    Thank you so so much for including us!!!! Your write up is so sweet and kind! I loved reading about each and every one of these amazing souls! Some I didn’t know and some I’ve met before!!! I hope we cross pathes again ❤️

  • Babulal Beniwal says:

    I love those peoples who enjoy with nature

  • What an amazing group of globetrotting travel writers you have bought together.
    Amazing interviews and loads of useful tips.
    Travel and exploring is for everyone, it makes you feel and connected to the world.
    You meet wonderful people along the way, and learn so much about yourself.

  • Paulina says:

    Wow that is such an inspiring group of travel experts. Its so interestingly to see how they all have their different highlights. Their tips are super useful as well. I will definitely read more about them and their projects.

  • Awesome wrap up. Seems like people have been staying busy in 2017 and making the most of TBEX connections too. I swiveled the screen to Jenn and she immediately recognized Victoria’s photography (so stunning and beautiful). Dusty and Nikki’s rice paddy picture took my breath away. I think the best tip is to just pack your bags and go. The world is a big place and it’s time to get exploring.

  • What a great year in travel! I love hearing these stories and seeing all the beautiful photos! Here’s to a happy new year filled with lots of fun and interesting travel adventures!

  • Suruchi says:

    Great write up with important tips. I really agree with you on your thoughts for Jyotsana. She is really sweet and the first one to call up; if she finds an opportunity for you.

  • Carolina Colborn says:

    This is a wonderful article. Their expert advice warms my heart. Asking them to post their best travel photos was inspiring, especially Two for the Road, Joshi, Garrett, Victoria &Terrance, and Charles McCool. I also loved the defining moments’ section, especially the many times they have been invited to speak. One even got a book deal. How cool is that?

    • Snehalata jain says:

      You have summed up the highlights of all the fantastic people and I really liked how you made each one of them share their 2017 memories and 2018 plans. Good work!

  • Oh wow you really have found some great people to showcase here. I love the pictures too, especially the one by the water in Peru and Garrett’s. I need to find these people on Instagram right away

  • Lillie says:

    What a gorgeously-done round-up of fabulous characters! This makes me so happy. All the people on this list who I’ve met are phenomenal (especially David — we both had him on our year-end summaries!), so it makes me curious to meet the others…

    • So very happy to be on both your lists Lillie and Archana!!!
      Thrilled to have met both of you, hope we have time somewhere in the future to hang out again!

      And this is indeed a cool and rather good year-end review. Wishing great travels in 2018.

  • Dan says:

    I must say I’m truly inspired after reading your article. The Walled Off hotel looking marvellous, I didn’t know it existed until now. Bethlehem is on my bucket list so will be sure to check it out when I finally get there. In this lifetime hopefully 😉 Thanks for inspiring me

  • Marissa says:

    I’ve met Kristen Gill before and always love hearing about her adventures. That’s great some people like her had such personal experiences such as seeing where their family is from.

  • What a truly fantastic collection Archana…loved each of the story and feel even more inspired to start the new year 🙂 This is especially good when you know some of them by name, but get a more closer look at them through a compiled post…

    I really look forward to meeting you again next year…hopefully in another exotic country 🙂

  • Mel Butler says:

    What a great idea for a collaboration and what a great list of travel experts that you have there, very inspirational indeed. I do like Micheal’s tip about mid or long-haul flights, check out the menu as soon as you board and then ask the cabin crew for your preference before they start their in-flight service. It is something I never thought about asking for. Happy New By the way and looking forward to seeing your adventures in 2018.

  • Raghav says:

    This is such a fantastic read and inspirational as well. Reading about all these travelers, who are new to me, I see a common thread throughout their travels and that is of not just being tourists but giving back in their own way to the places they visit. Whether it is writing about them or volunteering, the sense of community that comes across is truly exceptional. Garret’s photo from Iceland is so magical, it’s unbelievable.

  • Danik says:

    Fantastic review from these amazing travel bloggers. Can 2018 get any better? We will see. 🙂

  • Tom says:

    Wow loved reading what all those bloggers did last year. It was an awesome year for me too as it was my first year touring around the world as a blogger rather than a traveler. Crazy to think that it will hard to top last year, but wishing everyone all the best for 2018! Safe travels… 🙂

  • Dada says:

    Wow you have really meet inspiring people! Having their own TV show! Ex Manager of FIFA! And some other…and I am just trying very hard to reach 50 readers foe my blog!😅🙏 They really have excellent travel tips too
    but I am mot sure I would choose a restaurant based of the architecture of the building..very funny. It was really a fun read!

  • Lauren says:

    Hey, I know a few of these awesome people! What a great year 2017 was for these travellers. Such interesting stories that are so inspirational. Can’t wait to see what 2018 brings to everyone!

  • Megan Jerrard says:

    A very cool approach to a year end round up! Congrats on making the jump to digital nomad life this past year – it’s a big step, and I’m glad to hear that it wasn’t a spontaneous one after reading a “you can do it too article” – definitely something which needs prior planning! You met some truly cool travelers this year! And I LOVE the photo of rice terraces in China from Nicky & Dusty. I’ll have to look out for their TV show – super cool!

  • James says:

    There are some interesting highlights from experienced bloggers here. Like Renata I would love to visit Russia for the World cup in 2018. My favorite photo from this selection is that of Siddhartha, the Ellora caves are such an Instagrammable location!

  • Great collection and I liked the set up of the overall article. David is living the dream! Getting to film a segment with or for Samantha Brown would be the highlight of my career! 😉

  • What an amazing round up! I discovered lots of fantastic bloggers to follow and get inspiration from, thank you so much! I can only agree with Garett when he says we are looking so much for info about the best of everything, that we totally lose that exciting exploration feeling, it’s good to have people putting us back on the right track!

  • Indrani says:

    This is a great collection, worth referring to for tips and stories. Good to Sid and Jyotsana here.

  • Katie says:

    Wow what an inspirational collection of people! Loved reading their tips and adventures and their favourite photos!

  • Bailey Mills says:

    It’s so cool to read how all of these different travellers spent their favorite moments this year! Each one has a different inspirational journey, so it’s awesome to see them all come together in this article to share their highlights with us. I would love to attend TBEX soon! Hopefully this year 🙂

  • Swati says:

    Travel is all about people and strangers we meet. Nice post and a great way to end 2017. Btw did you get a chance to kiss the stone at the Blarney Castle in Cork 😉

  • Medha says:

    I love what you’ve done by bringing together all these amazing globetrotters. I particularly loved reading their travel tips, some of which I have myself learned from so many years of travelling! I particularly liked Michael’s advise of letting the crew know beforehand of your food preferences because I often face that issue of not getting what I want. Also, I cannot stress enough on what Kristen also says, about keeping your phone aside once in a while and just enjoying the moment.

  • Bhusha says:

    Awesome read! Esp., its hearty to read about Siddhartha and Jyotsna, whose blogs I’ve been reading already! Gonna head to read the other blogs too now. Happy New Year to you Archana! May this year be filled with tons of travels!

  • Thank you for asking me to participate in this wonderful project. Yes, it was great seeing you on three different continents in 2017. Let’s finish the deal and cover the other four in 2018.

  • Ami says:

    Nice to read everyone’s defining moments. Loved some of the tips too – like the key cards that can be used in hotel rooms. Good to see Jo here. Cheers

  • Samah says:

    This list is so inspiring! The Walled Off hotel in the West Bank, Bethlehem is my dream place to visit, I have read so much about it including why is was created and it is indeed very thought-provoking. I agree with Victoria and Terrance with the ‘don’t over pack advice’. Their best photo of the year is stunning as well.

  • Nikki says:

    It was wonderful meeting and spending time with you, Archana! We’ve definitely got to connect again sometime in 2018! Thank you so much for including us alongside so many inspiring fellow travelers! And huge congrats on your success! You certainly deserve it!

  • Hi Archana! I feel so blessed! ❤️Thanks for including me among so many amazing people! What an honor! May 2018 bring even more great people to your life and that you achieve many more milestones!

  • Vivek says:

    Beautiful description. Thoroughly enjoyed reading the post.

  • steffy says:

    Your post is simply fantastic. have gone through some of the blog posts of travel bloggers listed out here. All the best for all and may this year of 2018 also turn as the best year and gives you all amazing travel experience.

  • Agness says:

    Wow! You had an awesome year travelling, Archana! I love your pictures. Looking forward to reading more about this year’s adventures. 😉

  • KK Sharma says:

    These are great bloggers and they shared such interesting stories about travel. I am a regular reader of Siddhartha Joshi’s blog. He shared a great post about India in second last post.

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