This article is a look back at Sandalsand’s travels and articles in 2021. It was another exceptional year. There were no trips abroad, but in return it gave more time to domestic travels in Norway.
The world in 2021
It was a disappointment that I did not go abroad in 2021, for the first time since 1998. I had planned a trip to London before Christmas, but new infection and entry rules forced a cancellation.
The Sandalsand Global website
This website is if not dead, then in most respects dormant. I maintain it technically, and have great ambitions for it. Looking back on 2021, only one new article was published, and it was a lament about my inability to publish more. The number of views of the site was about the same as the year before, just over 10,000. This is a very low.
It is clear that Sandalsand Global, which has text in English and the whole world as an arena, faces a much sharper competition. Nevertheless, it is clear that with little new activity, Google sends even fewer visitors to Sandalsand.
The articles with the most hits in 2021
- Paintings about travelling
- Religious Buildings (4) Buddhist places of worship
- Horizontal lines on world maps – the special ones
- Poems and quotes on trains
- International backpacker routes
Norway in 2021
Travel and experiences in Norway
In retrospect, 2021 was a good travel year. There was room for two long road trips. One dealt with the northern parts of the counties Vestland and Innlandet. The other went mainly around the county of Møre og Romsdal. These were parts of the country I have only visited to a limited extent in recent decades. In addition, travel activity was limited to my own county, Rogaland.
At the beginning of the year, I set up a wish list, in five points. They were to a large extent accomplished.
The Sandalsand Norge website
This website is used to convey experiences from my own country, in Norwegian. Readers of Sandalsand Norge received 80 new articles in 2021. This is slightly less than the year before, but more than in previous years. This means that an average of one and a half articles are published each week. That’s probably a lot, because it takes time to write an article. Fortunately, I enjoy it.
As always, I lag behind in describing this year’s travels, and I have some exciting themes up my sleeve that go beyond the pure travel descriptions. In fact, I have a pick list of 50 items.
I have worked a lot to optimise the web pages for search engines, so that they come higher up on the hit pages of (especially) Google. For some search terms, Sandalsand ends up on the front page, and that is the ambition for almost all the articles on this website. This means that more people click in, and can be inspired to explore Norway.
At the turn of the year, the website consists of 790 published articles plus 42 permanent pages. The number of pictures is approx. 15,600. They are from 201 municipalities, i.e. 56% of all municipalities in the country. You readers clicked on the pages more than 140,000 times. It’s second best ever, just beaten off last year.
Other social media
For Sandalfilm, my YouTube account, the number of views passed 848,000. The increase is very low, only 25,000 over the year, and much lower than in previous years. It is clearly related to a zero growth in the number of videos.
I uploaded 24 new photos on Sandalgram, which is my Instagram account. The number of followers is 458, roughly the same as the year before. On Sandaltweet (Twitter) I irregularly share interesting articles. 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 6,251, slightly less than the year before.
When we look at 2021 in retrospect, my own activity on the social media decreases. Sandalsand on all channels is read and seen to a lesser extent than in previous years. The exception in 2021 was Sandalsand Norge. New activity spurs click rates.
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 2022 (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 Belgrade and 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.