2018 is in the books and (as I say every year), this year has been yet for my personal growth, goals and travels.

In 2018, Deanna and I stepped foot on our 7th continent together (Africa!).  We made Bangkok our new home base and we successfully held our first group trip.   I cracked both 1 and 2 million social media followers and 500 million overall video views.  I hired a full time cinematographer, Michael, who has taken my video production to a whole new level.

Through this year, I visited 41 countries.  35 of them were for the first time including 24 countries in Africa – almost half of the continent.

If you are a visual person, here is a map of my exact travels throughout the 365 days in 2018.

I will forever remember 2018 as the year of Africa as I had so many amazing memories and moments from Ethiopia to Somaliland to Rwanda and everywhere in between.

The following are my Top 10 experiences of 2018:

1. Isfahan, Iran

I cannot tell you how much I love Iran after spending 2 weeks there.  It’s easily most misconceived country in the world and one of my absolute favorites.  The most enjoyable city for me was Isfahan, home to the world’s second biggest city square and amazing architecture!  Iranians are some of the most hospitable, friendly and kind people that you will ever meet and I’m already looking forward to my next trip there!

2. Somaliland

Another underrated country is Somalia, which I visited the sovereign north state of Somaliland for 5 days at the beginning of 2018.  Going in, I was very nervous as the media says nothing good about Somalia, but I had a very safe and exciting trip!  The capital of Hargeisa was filled with life, markets, and delicious food.  The best part overall was the camel market and visiting a UNESCO site called Las Geel which is old rock carvings. A remarkable place, indeed

3. Omo Valley

In Ethiopia, I went to the  Omo valley in the south western part of the country to visit the most remote tribes in Africa (and maybe in the world).  Tens of thousands of people are living just like humans lived tens of thousands of years ago, and it was surreal to witness.  The nomadic Mursi tribe was most fascinating with their giant pierced lip plates and over-the-top feathered headwear.   It was a special experience to walk through their local markets, witness their traditional dances and see how they eat and interact.  I hope to be back there again soon.

4. Uganda Primates

In Uganda, I visited both the mountain gorillas (who are only native to Uganda/DRC/Rwanda) and then the following day, pwe visited the chimpanzees in their natural habitat about 8 hours North in a different national park.  The chimps were most human like, as they scream and jump around the trees.  Despite the steep prices ($2K total just for the permits), I highly recommend going!

5. Syrian Refugee Camp

While in Lebanon 2 months ago, I wanted to visit some of the millions of Syrian refugees who escaped war to settle over the border.  I was nervous to go inside, but then quickly settled in as the people are so welcome.  I was invited into their homes with tea, coffee and smiles as I interviewed various families her their escape stories.  They are such humble people and I can’t wait to go to Syria soon.

6. Maldives Bday

For my 27th birthday, Deanna and i had an amazing time in the Maldives.  We first stayed on a resort island, but then I wanted to see the local life which not many people get to experience, so we headed to Maafushi island and it was a totally different experience of the Maldives than you may imagine.   We were there during Ramadan, and despite most things being closed, I enjoyed spending it with my local friends and their families!

7. Bhutan Tiger’s Nest

Bhutan surprised me in many ways, such as their initiative to protect the environment, beautiful Buddhist shrines and pagodas and the unbelievably warm people whom I met.  But nothing was more impressive than the 7 hour hike to Tiger’s Nest – that giant monastery built on the side of a cliff.  I’m sure you’ve seen the photos, but no photos can do justice by how spiritual the entire experience is!

8. Gabon Iboga Initiation

In the Central African nation of Gabon, I did an initiation for iboga – the psychedelic drugs that’s found only in tree bark in Gabon, Cameroon and Central Africa Republic.   I didn’t consume enough to feel any effect (only ate 1 stick and 8 sticks makes you trip), but I did all the rituals and it was out of this world incredible.

9. Namibian Road Trip

Overall, I think Namibia is my favorite country in Africa.  It’s a place where glistening sand dunes meet with ocean.  Wildlife is everywhere and so are nomadic tribes. I spent an afternoon with the Himba people, learning about their way of life. They do not wear clothes and their diet consists of goat and antelope that they kill in the bush.  I love meeting nomadic tribes and learning about their way of life.  In fact, we connected so much that they invited me to spend the night in their huts which I respectfully declined.

10. Mauritius Nature

We spent 9 days in this island nation off the southeastern coast of Africa, and the nature was breathtaking. High Waterfalls, rocky mountains, lush greenery, perfect beaches and scuba diving.   It’s pretty much a perfect island, across the board, and I highly recommend it!  It’s also the only Hindu-majority country in Africa and I enjoyed visited the various Hindu temples around town.

———–

Looking back, 2018 was really an awesome year all around and I’m sad that it’s already over.   I hope you guys can see the common theme from my highlights that all human beings are kind and hospitable.  Even when I travel to the farthest places away from home, I am constantly surprised and humbled  by the people I meet.

I want to extend an EXTRA THANK YOU FOR reading my blog and watching my videos! 2019 will hopefully be the year that I’ll finish all the countries on the world.  The best is yet to come!

Places visited in 2018 in order

MANILA – ZANZIBAR – DAR – JO BURG – TULI GAME RESERVE – KRUGER – JO BURG – LESOTHO – JOBURG – SWAZILAND – MAPUTO – VIC FALLS – LIVINGSTONE – LUSAKA – LILONGWE – NKHOTAKOTA – LILONGWE – NAIROBI – KISUMU – NAKURU – NAIROBI – KIGALI – ENTEBBE –  BWINDI – KIBALE – KAMPALA  – ENTEBBE – ADDIS – ARBA MICH –  JINKA – ADDIS – DJIBOUTI – ADDIS – HARGEISA – DAARBUDUQ – BERBERA – HARGEISA – DUBAI – SEOUL – LA – PHOENIX – ANTELOPE – ZION – EL PASO – PINK STORE – PALOMAS – EL PASO – DALLAS – ENGLEWOOD,  FT MYERS, NAPLES, MIAMI, HILTON HEAD, NYC, DC, AZ, MANILA, PORT MORESBY, PINU, DILI, BALI, MANILA, SIEM REAP, MALE, KURUMBA, TEHRAN, YAZD, KERMAN, SHIRAZ, ISFAHAN, ABYANEH, TEHRAN, PORT LOUIS, VICTORIA, BANGKOK, THIMPU, PARO, BANGKOK, KUALA LUMPUR, ANTANARARIVO, DIDY, MORONI, WINDHOEK, SOLITARE, SWAKOPMUND, STOSHA, WINDHOEK, LUANDA, SAO TOME, LIBREVILLE, DOUALA, BUEA, MALABO, NDJAMENA, LOME, BAMAKO, NOUAKCHOTT, BEIRUT, BYBLOS, BAALBEK, BANGKOK, CHIANG MAI, CHIANG RAI, LAMPANG, NAN, BANGKOK, TBILISI, KUTAISI, BATUMI, TBILISI, JAKARTA, BANGKOK,  MANILA, BAGUIO, ZAMBOANGA, HONG KONG, BALI, UBUD, PHUKET, BANGKOK

Drew Binsky

A graduate from The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Drew Binsky has visited 120+ Countries since 2012.He first caught the travel bug while studying abroad in Prague, then taught English in Korea, and now he's on a mission to visit every country on earth.Follow his journey on Facebook & Instagram @drewbinsky 🙂

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62 thoughts on “My 2018 Recap: 35 New Countries Visited

  1. I cannot keep this to myself. Jesus loves you with all His heart and adores you. So does our Heavenly Father. Jesus is the way the truth and the life back to our Father in Heaven! <3 Praying for ALL of you and God bless you ABUNDANTLY <3

  2. I’ve been a huge fan of this blog since I found Drew’s videos via Facebook Watch. His videos are so amazing and inspirational in the same time. I also share some of his video to my friends so they can watch too..

  3. I love this blog and you experience around the world.
    You have been an inspiration for me too..
    Next year I will leave for a trip around the world. I’m afraid to leave everything but I’m excited thinking about what I’ll find..
    maybe we’ll meet 😀

    Se yoou
    Stefano
    Mindthetrip.it

  4. Hello! Just wanna share what might occur as useful relevant information. We love to travel and see another part of the world, and sometimes it is sad when we see that the world is dying because of climate change and thinking like nothing we can do, but actually I know this cool website, if you use it to book, then they will plant a tree for free. At no extra cost. I am so amazed to find out that there is such a thing, at least I can participate in something positive for the earth. Here is the link http://bedandtree.com

  5. Hi, I Like your article, its amazing feeling when you don’t know that what you will do on your travel . when you see mountain snow lush greenery than you think now I have achieved the whole world.

  6. I never knew Mauritius had such breathtaking nature. I have a question, how do the native people view tourists from other countries? Are they as intrigued as we are about them or is it just normal for people to be traveling around? I’ve always wondered that because we see tourists in the US every day and just think of them as the normal flow of society. Thanks for sharing this article, it was a great read!

  7. Hi, you are truly living a remarkable life. It’s mind blowing how much you’ve accomplished in just one year. The 7 hour hike to visit the Tiger’s Nest monastery… Just wow! I’m inspired to travel more. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  8. Heya Drew
    Your blogs…really do encourages me to go on with the flow of life. I can see you are in love with Africa.
    And it deserves to be loved!!! Keep on exploring and keep on encouraging.

  9. Ah man! What I wouldn’t give to travel like this!!! Guys I thought all of you travellers probably have youtube channels and make money off there too. This course helped me create another income from youtube besides the normal “monetization” ways and creating your own videos… SO TIME CONSUMING!… This course showed me how to make money from youtube without all of that and I believe you guys will be interested in this too! https://bit.ly/2yPCzBt Thanks Drew, really great blog you have here!!!

  10. Hello Drew,
    Hope you’re well enough. Me too Alhamdulillah.
    Please make a video on Kashmir’s present situation raising the issue of “Upcoming Genocide” ASAP.

  11. Can i know why you choose bangkok as your landmark? How you plan to go which area in certain country?
    Well just curious😅

  12. Hi there

    Thanks for sharing the article, wonderful insights. Keep up the good work.

    I am planning a trip to New Zealand and there is conflicting advice on when the ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) will commence.

    Do you know whether it is the 1st of July or 1st of October for New Zealand ?

    Thanks
    Varun

  13. Hi Drew,

    Interesting piece!

    I’ve also visited the mountain gorillas two years ago and it was super cool seeing them up close and personal. Also, I think the permits are that expensive because it helps with protecting the gorillas as they are critically endangered (you can read more about what endangers them here if you’re interested –> https://africatravelco.com/the-mighty-mountain-gorilla-from-africa/)

    But yeah it was a super insightful trip! I’m going again at the end of the year but will be exploring even more parts of Kenya! I cannot wait!

    Enjoyed your blog, keep it up!

    Warmest Regards

  14. Dude… Congrats on the incredible year! I’m super jealous of your Gorilla experience in Uganda. I hope to do something similar in 2020. Keep up the safe wanderings!

  15. Drew, you really inspire me. I love hearing about your travels and watching your videos! You seem really cool. I’ve only been to 12 countries so far but I’m excited about going to Portugal in a few weeks! Have a wonderful day!

  16. 41 countries in a year?! That’s amazing and really impressive…. but how can you even see or learn anything about those countries if you spend so little time in each one? Our planet is incredible and worth stopping to look at close up rather than just from the windows of various vehicles. Good luck for 2019!

  17. Hello, these are beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing. Would you say it is safe to travel around Turkey right now? I plan to go next year in May. I was also wondering if you can share how is it possible for one to sustain your life style ? Do you work remotely?

  18. Hey Drew, great you can travel so much!

    Have you thought or have you adapted some more sustainable travel practices already? Like refusing single use plastic, using reef safe sunscreen, taking the bus or train to lower your travel footprint?

    Would love to read about that if you do already, if not, maybe you like to read about that in my responsible travel guide:) Let me know what you think,
    https://www.thehappychoices.com/responsible-travel/

  19. I just discovered you today, have always wanted to travel. So jealous and proud of you that you followed your dreams, wish I had. You are seeing the world the way I want to, off the beaten path and open to it all. Enjoying everything you experience. You make me want to get rid of my cat and pack my bag. Would love to go with you on a trip somewhere, anywhere….

  20. I found your blog really interesting. I am from Wisconsin and my parents felt the same way when I decided to teach English in Mexico in 1982. They are true Wisconsinites and see little reason to venture out of the state. But I didn’t take their advice. I have mixed my work and travel throughout my career in the hotel business and for thirty years as a meeting planner. Travel has been the biggest gift. When I have the opportunity to plan a meeting abroad those are the best. Congratulations on your success and hope to meet you on the road!

  21. WebPlayer Team, the Best Video Marketing Company offers you the best and in-budget video marketing service that will improve your online presence and get value-added leads.

  22. Lately I was wondering to go on an adventurous travel trip to various countries across the globe and every kind of traveler wants to indulge their wanderlust grabbing the best travel experience. Through blog post, even I feel to take up the challenge of travelling and exploring different places. You have described your journey in a beautiful way. Congratulations, Thank you and keep up this awesome work.

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