10 countries, one year: Florina Mocanu from Lufthansa InTouch Brno had a wild idea – to travel to 10 different countries in 2017. Bucket list challenge accepted!

W orking at Lufthansa InTouch, a passion for travel is second nature. In the past year I took this passion to the next level, when I had the wild idea to travel to 10 different countries in one year. It seemed ambitious, but where there’s a will (and flight benefits), there’s a way!

I started with a country that always fascinated me: Turkey. I headed straight to the country’s core in Cappadocia: The land of fairy chimneys, where legends used to live. I wandered through the fairy-tale clay castles…

…And marvelled at the sky filled with hot air balloons.

I continued my adventure in Nepal. I followed the footsteps of kings in Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur.

I travelled to Pokhara, hiked the Sarangkot mountain, and watched the sunrise over Annapurna.

I left the heights of the Himalayas for the rocky beaches of Malta. I walked in one of Europe’s tiniest capital cities, Valletta, enjoyed dramatic sunsets, ate the freshest seafood, and hiked from one corner of the island to the other.

Backpacking through Southern Europe

I started with Montenegro, where I woke up at 5am just to have the view over the fjord-like bay of Kotor to myself. Magnificent, isn’t it?

Montenegro Kotor Bay

I then headed to Bosnia-Herzegovina. From big cities like Mostar and Sarajevo to tiny villages like Blagaj and Pocitelj, that country is a must for any history/culture lover.

My next destination was Croatia. The magical National Park of Plitvice Lakes is not to be missed!

Croatia Plitvice-Lakes

It was ten time for Hungary, to discover a hidden gem – not Budapest, but the small village of Pannonhalma. While it’s famous for the medieval building of the Benedictine Archabbey and its monumental library, I went for the magnificent lavender farm.

Hungary Lavender Farm

My next trip was to Madrid, Spain. I’ve always been fascinated by its architecture and history, with over 80 museums and 2,000 historic and artistic monuments. Added to the great shopping and nightlife, it’s also a foodie heaven, with a ridiculously excellent gastronomy.

Madrid Monuments
Heading West: Peru!
Peru

I danced samba in Plaza de Armas in Lima, read a book by the Pacific Ocean, touched buildings constructed by the Incas in Cuzco, saw a rainbow that won’t disappear (any time soon), and hitchhiked my way to Machu Picchu Pueblo.

Coming full circle: Epilogue in Germany

As Christmas was just around the corner, I finished off with Germany, where the traditional Christmas markets are a must-visit. I chose the most famous one in Nuremberg; it dates back to the 17th century and has over 180 stalls, all filled with wooden toys, handmade decorations, freshly made gingerbread, roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and grilled sausages.

Germany Christmas market

While I was feasting on these delicacies, I realised – I’ve accomplished my goal! I visited 10 countries in 2017! As I was thinking how grateful I am for these experiences, a thought sneaked up on me: “So, what’s next?”