This has been a tough year for everyone in the travel industry, myself and Go Backpacking included.
Back in the spring, I had a hard time concentrating on putting together a single blog post.
However, I'd come to value the escapism of spending hours revisiting past trips and travel experiences by summer.
Besides writing about travel on Go Backpacking, I also wrote about food and craft cocktails on Feastio, my food blog.
Below my stories, you'll also find links to the best guest posts of the year.
Go Backpacking is supported by advertising, and while I don't link to those articles here, I appreciate everyone I worked with this year.
Stories I Wrote
My first article of the year was the 20 Best Things to Do in Copenhagen, based on my week-long visit last autumn.
There's so much to explore (and eat). I'd love to return in a few years to spend more time there.
New Orleans, Louisiana
I visited New Orleans twice in 2019, once in the spring and again in the fall.
I wrote about the Whitney Plantation outside New Orleans, the first museum dedicated to American slavery, based on my fall trip.
Visiting was a moving experience, and I'll never forget reading some of the sad quotes from former slaves who have been memorialized.
When I'm in the Big Easy, I check out live music almost every night. So, it wasn't hard to put together a list of the 7 Best Jazz Clubs in New Orleans.
My most popular article for 2020 on Feastio is The Best Restaurants in New Orleans.
Los Angeles, California
In Top 10 Things to Do in Los Angeles, I re-visited my first trip to Los Angeles to promote CheapOair.
Lockdown and Later
Writing about travel rewards, points, and credit cards is not my favorite thing to do; however, I saved thousands of dollars on flights in 2018 and 2019 and hundreds on Apple products in 2020.
I'm ending 2020 with a balance of about 250,000 points, which is about the same amount as I've ended each of the prior two years.
I don't have much to say on this topic for 2020. I canceled several credit cards that were over a year old and only got one new one.
Backpacking Panama: A Two-Week Itinerary is based on my 2013 trip to the country connecting North and South America.
The highlight of my Panama trip was a three-day, two-night stay on Kuanidup in the San Blas Islands.
The archipelago lives up to all the buzz I'd heard about it over the years while living in Colombia.
I also wrote about 10 Incredible Things to Do in Panama if traveling to the country is on your bucket list.
San Andres and Providencia, Colombia
I visited both in early 2015, and between the two, I prefer Providencia.
It's less-developed and visited, as the only way to get there is by boat or plane from San Andres.
Sadly, San Andres and Providencia were hit by Hurricane Iota in mid-November, the first-ever Category 5 storm to hit Colombia and only the second to develop in November.
While both islands were damaged, the smaller Providencia was practically leveled.
An estimated 98% of the small island's infrastructure was destroyed.
According to El Espectador, 80% of houses on the island were destroyed and the remaining 20% damaged. The hospital is too damaged to use, making it difficult to treat those injured in the storm.The Bogotá Post
Thankfully, the loss of life was low in the single digits in the immediate aftermath.
It will take years for the island's 5,000 residents to clean up and rebuild. In the meantime, my thoughts are with them.
Hopefully, the damage to the world's third-largest reef was minimal.
Year in Review
Usually, I'd share notes on all the cool places I traveled during the year, but since I didn't leave Austin, TX, I share what I was up to at home.
Check out 2020: A Year Without Travel for more.
Stories by Guest Writers
I'd also like to take a moment to acknowledge and share some of the best guest contributions made to Go Backpacking this year.
If you're interested in writing for this site, check out the submissions page.
- How to Travel West Africa on a Budget by Alissa
- 7 Best Things to Do on Nosy Komba Island, Madagascar by James
- Exploring The Maldives on a Budget
- Hiking in Mongolia: An Epic 8-Day Adventure by Nick
- Yam le Yam: Hiking from the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee by Erez Speiser
- 5 Surprising Things About Pakistan by Rebekah Brandstratter
- North Korea Tour: Traveling Inside the DPRK by Freddy Lansky
- Are Landmines in Myanmar a Threat for Tourists by Catalin Geangos
- Should I Watch “First They Killed My Father” Before Traveling to Cambodia by Maarten Cox
- Visiting Heilongjiang: China’s Frozen Northeast by James King
- Andalusia on a Budget by Jeremy Palacios
- Budget Food Guide for Florence, Italy by Misha Inglis
- The Ultimate Guide to the Lake District by Joe McQuillan
- Top 10 Things to Do in Guatemala by Sean
- Traveling on Your Period: South America Travel Guide by Laura May
- Why Confronting Fears When Traveling Makes You a Better Person by Seth
- The Essential Travel Packing List for Gen-Y Women by Laura May
- How to Plan a Family Vacation on a Budget by Jared
- Best Drones for Travel (A Buyer’s Guide) by Alexander
Prior Annual Reviews
Check out the highlights of past years when I traveled more:
- 2019 – Sweden, Denmark, Colombia, USA
- 2018 – Italy, Spain, Cuba, Mexico
- 2016 – Montreal, Peru, Brazil
- 2015 – Turkey, Greece, Georgia, Romania
- 2014 – Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Italy
- 2013 – Panama, Colombia, Mexico, Canada
- 2012 – Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia
- 2012 – Iceland, Spain, Germany, Hungary, UK, Indonesia
- 2011 – Japan, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia
- 2010 – Rwanda, Colombia, USA
Thank you for reading, and I wish you a safe and healthy holiday season.