This article is a look back at Sandalsand’s travels and articles in 2020, and a hopeful glance into the new year. Every year is different, but I must say that it was a very special year for a soul with travel bugs.
I managed to pay a visit to Berlin in February before the world closed down. My wish list for the year was not possible to do anything with. The corona situation gave me a secret hope of publishing all the articles from previous trips that had been on hold. Alas not. I guess I have more than 20 articles left to publish, covering travels well over two years back in time.
There were only six new articles, many fewer than in previous years. The number of articles is now 916 in addition to 33 menu pages. The number of clicks on the site climbed just over 10,000. It’s the weakest thing ever. I would assume that my low publishing activity means that Google sends fewer searchers to my website.
The articles with the most hits in 2020 were:
- Religious Buildings (4) Buddhist places of worship
- Sculptures in the centre of Oslo, Part 2
- Horizontal lines on world maps – the special ones
- Paintings about travelling
- Poems and quotes on trains
This website is used to convey experiences from my own country, Norway, in Norwegian. The readers of Sandalsand Norway received 89 new articles in 2020. This was the highest number in several years, even though I did not quite get through with all the impressions from this year’s travels. In addition, I have a number of other cards (or articles) up my sleeve of a more general nature.
Like last year, I have also spent some time upgrading the design and content of the permanent pages (i.e. menu options). This applies in particular to the mention of the counties in the Destination menu. At the turn of the year, the website consists of 712 articles plus 41 regular pages. There are now 13,297 photos on Sandalsand Norge, from 184 municipalities.
The number of page views from readers exceeded 160,000, the best ever. Already at the turn of the year there was a change of pace, so to speak, but it really took off over the spring. The corona situation probably made many people sit with their screens and look for excursion opportunities. In particular, it was the hikes that pulled up the hits. It is nice to note that Sandalsand Norge can give many inspirations to explore our beautiful country.
As my trips abroad were not as extensive as in previous years, there was of course all the more reason to explore my own country. The small trips in connection with business trips, which have previously spiced up my travel pattern, were reduced. On the other hand, I had good and long holiday trips to the farthest south and north in the country. It came to dominate the publishing activity throughout the autumn, and several articles still remain to be published.
Social media otherwise
For Sandalfilm, my YouTube account, the number of views passed 820,000. However, the increase almost halved in 2020 compared with the previous year, which was also weak. It is clearly related to a zero growth in the number of videos.
I uploaded 21 new photos to Sandalgram, which is my Instagram account. The number of followers is 476, roughly the same as the year before. On Sandaltweet (Twitter) I irregularly share interesting articles, even beyond my own. However, I do not engage in discussions or direct communication with other Twitter users. The number of Twitter followers at the turn of the year was 6,403.
My own activity on the regular social media is declining. Sandalsand on all channels is read and seen to a lesser extent than in previous years. The exception in 2020 was Norge. Where I have the greatest new activity, the response is greatest.
For several years I have published my bucket list of places I want to travel. Find the previous years at the bottom. Here is the update for 2021 (and beyond):
- Morocco. All those amazing towns on the coast and in the mountains. (1-2 weeks)
- West Africa from Senegal to Nigeria. It would have been nice with a road trip through half a dozen countries, but quite difficult. (3-4 weeks plus).
- East Africa south of Sahara, with safari as part of the trip (2-3 weeks).
- Rwanda, the country with a terrible past is reinventing itself.
- Caribbean island hopping, in particular the southern part and the Antilles. Perhaps even on a cruise, one of my taboos. Visiting multiple islands is not easy to accomplish apart from with airplanes, and prices are not favourable (2-4 weeks).
- USA from New York to San Francisco. Flights between several places and perhaps a train journey across the plains just to sense the distances (2-4 weeks).
- Central America and more: So many wonderful locations, and I have to date missed them all. High on the list is Yucatan (Mexico), Costa Rica and Colombia.
- India is a long-time favourite (2-4 weeks) and I have just began to savour it.
- Sri Lanka in the south is a rapidly rising star, recommended by many.
- Iran is opening up to foreign visitors, but is still very much off the beaten track for a number of causes. Iran is one of the oldest civilisations on Earth, holding on to their history with pride. Tourism is rapidly on the rise, so I’ll better get there soon. (1-2 weeks)
- Israel: Been here before, long time ago, but I spent too little time. Round trip in the country for a week, perhaps also a beach holiday with the family by the Mediterranean or Red Sea. (1 week)
- Vietnam. I have visited most of SE Asia, but not Vietnam yet. There is a lot to discover both in terms of nature and culturally significant places. (1-2 weeks)
- Georgia (country): Their food and wine is good, the Black Sea coast is fine for sun bathing and inland there are some nice cities and villages in the Caucasus. It would be wise to combine Georgia with neighbouring Armenia and perhaps even Azerbaijan. (1-2 weeks)
- Greece, to Athens and the Peloponnese on a road trip to eight World Heritage Sites. (1 week)
- Saint Petersburg: Extreme treasures and immense museums, as well as a fascinating history in every respect. Other European cities are also beckoning for weekend trips, particularly Berlin, Belgrade, Ljubljana.
- Old Norse settlements in the West: Shetland, Orkney and Greenland. (1-2 weeks)
- Pacific island hopping on a round the world ticket to make the journey cheaper (3-4 weeks).
- Australia and New Zealand: For some reason I have never really fancied Australia, on the other hand I really should go there. Perhaps next year.
Find all year-end reviews and bucket lists for the coming years on this page.