Our best travel experiences of 2018

Mozaic 2018

“It is better to travel well than to arrive.” – Buddha. This quote so sums up our travel lifestyle. For those of you who just landed on Tourist Exclusive, you might not know this but we travel full-time and call the world our home. 2018 has been our second full year with non-stop travel. We’ve done and seen some of the most amazing things and every year just gets better. Enough intro it is time to wrap up 2018 with an overview of our travel highlights.

Countries

After deciding in 2017 that we would pick a home base to travel from rather than move from country to country, we still ticked of 15 countries in 2018. We had 3 home bases around the world. We stayed for almost 5 months in Malaysia, 3 months in Romania and 4 months in Portugal. These home bases allowed us to travel to a lot of cool cities and new countries in between while not juggling around all our luggage. We visited 4 new countries such as China, Romania, Hungary, and Ireland.

Penha Longa resortFlights

With 31 flights in 2017 (read 2017 in numbers here) we ‘only’ had 21 flights this year.

  • 29.300 miles or 47.153.779 km in 2018
  • +1 time around the world in miles
  • 2 business class flight Paris – Kuala Lumpur with Oman Air
  • 1 missed flight (from Lisbon to Bucharest with TAP air)

Touristexclusive

(Oman business class Paris – Kuala Lumpur, January 2018)

Best flight experience

Oman air business class is still our favorite even this year. There is no other flight that can top that one so far. We didn’t focus much on flights in 2018 but we will back again in 2019! Let us know your favorite airlines so we can try them out and give you a review.

Ritz Carlton Budapest

(Ritz-Carlton suite in Budapest, Hungary

Hotels

In 2018, we stayed 59 nights at hotels compared to 157 nights in 2017. We did stay 291 nights at AIRBNBs or private apartments that we rented through our network.

Our top 3 favorite hotels of 2018

Top notch service together with a great atmosphere. Could it get any better? Read the full article here.

  • Six Senses Zighy Bay Oman

There are not enough words to describe this resort. There is a small summary at the end of this article.

Only the location alone is worth going to this hotel. The accommodation, the animals, the surroundings, literally everything is breathtaking. Read the review here

Zighy bay

(viewpoint to Six Senses Zighy Bay Oman, September 2018)

Restaurants

We eat outdoors almost every single day. Not because we don’t like cooking (Peter loves it) but because it is practical and easier than all the grocery shopping, preparing and cleaning up. If you are running a business, something needs to give and with us, it mostly is cooking.

In 2018 we didn’t focus too much on haute cuisine. We haven’t selected our favorite restaurant although I was hugely impressed by the restaurant in hotel Franq, Antwerp. I got an amazing evening there with fellow business babe Jolien and our talk in combination with the delicious 3-course veggie dinner we had was amazing.

 

Experiences

 

  1. Sightseeing in Sevilla with our new friends

For Peter’s birthday, we went on a surprise weekend to Sevilla where we met up with our newly made friends from Bucharest. We had three fun-filled days exploring Sevilla while celebrating Peter & Marks birthdays!

 

  1. Starting a community of amazing ladies in Kuala Lumpur

When we were living in Kuala Lumpur I missed a community of empowering women. I posted a message in an expat Facebook group and did that blew up. I started a community and within a few days, we had +1000 members. We did some super exciting events and I’ve made friends for life. The group is still very active and I weekly doing activities together. It is one of those experiences that truly made me feel connected with the world.

 

  1. Horseback riding on the beach in Portugal

An old friend of mine (Stéph) reached out that she was in Portugal and wanted to meet up. We used to be best friends going horseback riding every weekend in Belgium. Instead of just going for drinks we decided on meeting each other (after +7 years) on the back of a horse galloping over the beach by sunset. Peter captured this amazing photo of us having the best sunset ever. Thank you, Hannelore for reaching out!
P.S. she travels around Europe in a converted van – so cool! Follow her story on Instagram.

review tourist exclusive 2018

  1. Our complete stay at Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman

Our number one experience this year was our stay at Six Senses Zighy Bay. We got the opportunity to try out paragliding off the mountain into the resort. Yes, this is a way of arriving and checking in to the resort. There we also had candlelight dinner with wine degustation, a sunrise breakfast on the mountain, a sunset aperitive with a view over the mountain tops. It all was so incredible and romantic. It was surreal so we not only captured it in photos but also with video. We had the talented mister P. Vercruysse (check his Instagram) with us who ran after us (or before us) with a camera and created a stunning after movie of our stay at Six Senses Oman. (release Jan on YouTube – subscribe to see it as first)

We hope you enjoyed reading about our highlights of 2018 and inspired you for some fantastic trips in 2019. For more videos & photos of our trips, check our Stories highlights & photos on Instagram.

We wish you a healthy, fun and spectacular 2019!

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