There’s no shame in it. We’ve all done it. Whether it’s on the train to work, while sitting on the toilet or discreetly under the bedsheets…scrolling through our photo archives reminiscing holidays of years gone by is perfectly natural, and normal, and has become a key component in the grieving process brought about by COVID and its bounty of travel restrictions.
After many of us found ourselves cooped up at home yet again in 2021, living vicariously through the few who were lucky enough to get out and explore the world seemed to settle our itch to travel – and left many of us daydreaming of where we’ll head in 2022.
Here at Travello and Backpacker Deals, we were lucky enough to team up with some of these INCREDIBLE travel content creators who shared with us firsthand what they were getting up to, and boy oh boy were the FOMO feels real.
With 2021 now done and dusted, we caught up with some of our top contributors for a chat to reflect on the year that was, and to share their top travel tips for those chomping at the bit to get out there in 2022.
Currently on a two week road trip from Perth to Esperance, Karolina Tuszynska has been dreaming of this adventure for a while.
“This destination is well-known for some beautiful sandy beaches and coastal hikes. It’s the last bit of Western Australia that I haven’t seen yet,” she said.
Originally from Poland, Karolina launched her travel blog, Breaking the Borders, in March 2020, although shortly after arriving in Australia, she faced enduring one of Melbourne’s toughest lockdowns.
Away from her family in Poland and with her passion to travel Australia getting her through, Karolina then relocated to Western Australia, although changes to their border restrictions have seen an interesting start to 2022 for the blogger.
“Being based in Western Australia gives you lots of freedom within the state, but the WA border is currently shut down, so once you leave the state, you can’t come back without self-isolation,” she explained.
“This is why I recently quit my 9-to-5 job and I’m preparing myself to leave Western Australia for good, and go travelling more on the east coast.”
Although things haven’t necessarily gone to plan, Karolina has still been able to continue her dream of becoming a travel blogger, spending five weeks exploring Tasmania back in 2021.
“It’s an ultimate hiking paradise,” she said.
“I feel like I need another five weeks there (at least!) to get to know this island well. I’m literally in love with this place, and planning to come back (this year).”
Determined to never stop adventuring, Karolina promises to travel more, hike more, and create more content across her platforms in 2022.
After spending the end of his 2021 adventures in Houston, Texas , with his sister, We Seek Travel’s Olly Gasper said he was grateful to have some downtime.
“It’s been a big year of adventure and we’re looking forward to an even bigger 2022 with a lot on the horizon,” he said, with plans to kick off 2022 with an “epic” winter US road trip.
Now well acquainted with the open road, Olly spent five months exploring Tasmania in 2021, trekking around the “epic little island at the bottom of the world” in a self-converted van.
Looking back on his trip, Olly dubbed attempting the 4,180ft Federation Peak as one of his personal favourite travel experiences.
“(It was) a humbling and truly remarkable lesson in outdoor survival that I’ll never forget,” he said.
“For me this was a great example of how a failure can teach you more than any success.”
Looking ahead to what the New Year will bring, Olly said he hoped to spend more time in the mountains and climbing some big peaks, with developing his mountaineering and climbing skills high on the list of this year’s goals.
As for what advice he has for fellow travellers in 2022?
“Don’t let comfort or fear define your path; carve your own and you’ll reap the rewards that travel is willing to offer you. If you’ve been holding off, 2022 is the year (to travel),” he said.
With over 60,000 followers on TikTok, Josiah ‘Jos’ Laloh is literally one to watch in 2022.
His videos have amassed nearly 1 MILLION likes, with Jos having spent the majority of 2021 traveling around Australia’s Sunshine State, Queensland.
“I never realised how much natural beauty there is in Queensland,” Jos said.
“From the tallest single drop waterfall in Australia, Wallaman Falls, to one of the best beaches in the world of Whitehaven Beach, there’s just been so many places in Queensland that I never knew existed.”
Despite crashing his beloved drone into Whitsunday waters at the end of 2021, Jos’ Instagram posts from his most recent trip are a must-look-at for anyone eyeing off a tropical getaway this year.
As for what Jos has planned – he hopes to head overseas for a bit, with a solo roadtrip on the cards.
“If you have a chance to go travelling (in 2022), do it,” Jos said.
There’s no place photographer, Louise Rumian, would rather be than by the sea with the sand between her toes.
Currently home on the Gold Coast with her family, Louise has her heart set on treasuring every moment in 2022, wherever that may be.
“We just never know what tomorrow will bring,” she said, with her Instagram photography page now followed by over 18,000 people.
Having grown up relaxing on the Gold Coast’s stunning beaches, a trip to up north to the Great Barrier Reef’s Lady Elliott Island in 2021 has left a lasting impression on the talented photographer.
“(Lady Elliott Island has) incredible water clarity and (I had) the best snorkelling experience ever! Swimming with turtles, manta rays and so many beautiful fish on the reef was breathtaking,” Louise said.
With her sights set on the “whiter than white” sands of the Whitsundays in 2022, Louise is also keen to venture down to Tasmania and across the ditch to New Zealand, with Hawaii even on the cards.
However, with travel restrictions still in full swing, Louise also recommended fellow travellers look at travel insurance and checking cancelation policies before booking their next trip.
David Jaske looks back on 2021 as his “biggest year yet”, and understandably so – with the avid adventurer having clocked up nearly 38,000km in his van visiting every corner of Australia over 10, exciting months.
“Western Australia is truly awesome and became my favourite place ever,” David reflected.
“It’s the biggest state of Australia and offers literally everything.”
Noting his time spent swimming with whale sharks on the world’s largest fringing reef, Ningaloo Reef, as an “unforgettable experience,” David was most impressed by the region’s natural beauty.
“Karijini National Park and its gorges is something I had never seen before and I was stunned by its beauty,” he said.
Away from his family in the Czech Republic for over two years, David recently returned home for some much needed family time, before he heads back to Aus for what is gearing up to be a phenomenal New Year.
“Even though I have travelled a big part of Australia, there is just so much to see, so I’ll stay around here as I’m not planning any more international travels yet,” he said.
“I’d love to get a 4WD and drive through The Simpson Desert, hit the Old Telegraph Track to Cape York and do the famous Gibb River Track; none of those were doable in my van and I had to skip them, so this is definitely the next goal.”
Keen to return to Australia, David said the most important advice he had for prospective travellers was to not overthink it.
“Pack some stuff, have at least a few dollars with you, find a buddy to join you or solo it as I did and just go and explore!”
“You’ll figure out the rest once you’re on the way. Iťs beautiful out there, no matter where you are. Just go for it and appreciate every second of it.”