Welcome, one and all, to the 2023 edition of my blogging year in review! Every year since 2016, I have written a monthly recap of all the wonderful adventures I had during the year. It may seem weird, but I often go back to read these reviews, as I do many of my other blog posts, and it gives me so much joy to reminisce on past adventures.

Last year was a wonderfully fulfilling year of travel. It was filled with numerous hiking adventures and quality time spent with friends and family. I went on several solo adventures and also enjoyed travelling with Mark; I had a few work-related travels, some quick weekend excursions, and many slow travel days.

Fort Canning Spiral Staircase

As I recap a year well spent, I feel immensely grateful for these opportunities to explore different parts of the world despite the challenges that come with travelling with a Nigerian Passport. I look forward to an equally fulfilling year of wanderings this year!

a note of thanks!

Before getting into this 2023 year in review details, I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone who has visited this blog over the past few years. Thank you for reading, commenting and following my adventures around the world!

I hope that they have helped you plan yours out, or at least inspired you to visit some of these places!

The 2023 Month-by-Month Adventures on Travel with a Pen!

Now, without further ado, let’s get into the year in review!

January – Kuwait & Kenya: Kisumu

For the second year in a row, I began the year 2023 with a work trip to Kuwait. I’ve been lucky with my trips to this country as they have both fallen between December and January, which are considered some of the best months to visit.

Unlike my previous visit, this one was more laid back and there were no hectic commute and work schedules. In fact there was no commute at all. The company put me up in the beautiful Hilton Kuwait Resort, the same location for my project and I thoroughly enjoyed my stay there.

The location was fantastic, the meals were excellent and most importantly, I received excellent feedback from our clients, which I am very proud about.

How to balance work and travel

When I returned from Kuwait, Mark and I honoured an invitation to attend the swearing-in ceremony of new Peace Corps volunteers in Kisumu, Kenya. The visit ended with dinner, drinks and a most gorgeous sunset on the banks of Lake Victoria.

Holm Cafe Zamalek

Trip Planning Resources

Book your accommodation: Find accommodation options for any budget on Booking.com

Purchase Travel Insurance: I use SafetyWing for both my travel and visa application needs

Activities: Find fun activities and tours in your destination via Get Your Guide, Viator or Klook Travel

February – Singapore, Malaysia

In February 2023, I took my first solo trip of the year to Singapore and Malaysia. As with my previous visit to the region last year, I enjoyed the feeling of orderliness and safety in Singapore. Of course, the sites were beautiful too and the blended cuisine was splendid.

Being a small country, it was easy to have a wholesome experience in a short amount of time. Still, there were a few things I ended up not experiencing, like the impressive indoor waterfall at Changi Airport. As a result, I am hoping to revisit the country, or at least transit through in the future to see this for myself.

Singapore visa application Nigeria

After my time in Singapore, I headed to Malaysia to spend a few days in the country before returning home. Due to an unfortunate event at the border, this country is not one I remember with much fondness. Nevertheless, my time in Kuala Lumpur was not all bad.

As soon as I was able to get over the border incident, I enjoyed visiting the beautiful sites and buildings in the city. I even found many of the locals to be warm and friendly.

PS: The last time I checked, the Malaysian Government website now states clearly that Nigerians are not allowed to enter through the land borders. Therefore, if you choose to visit these two countries, i.e. Singapore and Malaysia, flying into Malaysia first is the way to go.

March – Kenya: Safari and the Beach

Next, in March 2023, we had the pleasure of hosting Mark’s parents in Kenya for a few weeks. During this visit, we curated an itinerary to share some of our best destinations with them.

The trip started at the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki, where we spent two wonderful days before making our way to Ol Pejeta. There, we stayed at the Sweetwater Tented Camp located inside the park. From the lodging, we watched elephants, zebras, and rhinos visit the watering hole.

It was pretty incredible. We also enjoyed short safaris within the park, and later, in Naivasha, where we spent the night on Crescent Island.

Also in March, I revisited the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi and finally made it down to the Nairobi National Museum, after procrastinating this visit for several months.

After a few months of travelling, I was grateful to have a slow April. I caught up with friends in Nairobi and some who were visiting and enjoyed walks in Karura Forest with Mark and Blue.

Karura Forest Nairobi

May – Egypt: Cairo

May kickstarted a 3-month work rotation for me in Egypt and I was excited to be revisiting the country after five years. I revisited the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx complex twice during my first rotation and wrote about the best way to do so in this article.

I also took tours to Khan-el Khalili and several other places in the city. I wrote about 19 of these places in this post.

In June, I returned to Cairo for another stint, the end of which coincided with a week-long public holiday. My first ever visit to Egypt in 2018 was also in June and I spent the holidays visiting Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel and Sharm el Sheikh.

June – Egypt & Lebanon

This time, I opted to explore somewhere outside the country and Lebanon was the perfect destination, as it required no detailed planning and advance visa application.

At the time of my visit, and of this writing, Lebanon offers a conditional visa on arrival to Nigerians for as low as $2! I booked a cheap flight from Cairo to Beirut and spent seven days exploring parts of the country.

Raouche Rocks Sunset Pigeon Rocks Beirut

I loved spending time in Beirut and visiting the old towns and beaches in Batroun and Byblos. This was one of the best destinations I visited in 2023, in that I expected and paid relatively little for the experience and received maximum returns.

2023 The Year in Review: July

In July, I returned to Cairo for the last month of my rotation. I spent most of my free time relaxing at the hotel in Zamalek and just walking around the area.

After my project was done, I returned to Nairobi in time to join Mark on a trip to Rwanda to participate in the 2023 edition of the Ironman 70.3 triathlon in Gisenyi.

August 2023 – Rwanda: Gisenyi and the Ironman 70.3

This was my second visit to the country. Mark and I had visited previously the year before for the same reasons. We extended our stay then to go gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. This time around, it was a short but sweet visit to the Lake Kivu area.

Baby Gorilla Noheri Group

It was even ‘sweeter’ because Mark completed his race! I was (and am) incredibly proud of him as he put a lot of effort into training for this and came back stronger after the incident in the last race.

Honestly, I aspire to have this sort of willpower and determination towards achieving my goals this year!

Later in the month, we headed to the US to spend some time with Mark’s brother in Seattle before travelling down to Glacier National Park for an adventure of a lifetime!

Glacier National Park in September

2023 The Year in Review: September – USA

From Late August into September, Mark and I spent two weeks hiking and camping in Glacier National Park alongside six companions. This trip was characterized by beautiful landscapes and alpine lakes, stunning sunsets and incredible wildlife sightings!

Most of our time was spent in the backcountry, away from any form of civilization. We got up each morning and hiked for hours, punctuating these moments with lunch and snack breaks against stunning backdrops.

Although tough in the beginning to adapt to, it was just the reset I needed for the year. If I were to rank my trips for the most unique ones taken in 2023, this would take first place!

2023 The Year in Review: October – Kenya

We spent the rest of September and October between Nairobi and Naivasha, revisiting Naivasha, Crescent Island and Mount Longonot with family visiting Kenya.

I love visiting Naivasha, so it was great to get the opportunity to return during the year.

November – Japan, Qatar

Then in November, I took another solo trip to Japan, which is a country I often refer to on this blog as “my favourite country I have never been to”.

Hakone Shrine Torii Best Time to Visit without crowd

I had very high expectations for Japan and the country surpassed every one of them! It’s hard dealing with “expectations vs reality” when visiting one’s dream country but somehow, everything worked out just right in Japan.

Over 16 days, I explored multiple cities, visited several beautiful sites and had wonderful cultural experiences. I hope to return to visit lesser-known sites with Mark shortly.

PS: You can expect to see more posts about Japan this year!

On my return journey from Japan, I had a long layover in Doha, Qatar and opted to leave the airport to explore parts of the city. Usually, I find myself stuck at the airport when I have layovers such as this, but luckily, I was able to get a visa to enter Qatar quite easily.

My layover tour was fast-paced and covered many sites; I wrote about how I spent my time here. If I revisit Doha, I’d allocate more than 9hours in the city and explore at a much slower pace. Still, I think the tour was worth it and time well spent and I’m glad I got to do it.

December – Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary

Finally, Christmas came early for me in December when I received my German (Schengen) visa three days before!

We travelled just in time to spend Christmas with my sister in Berlin and enjoy the beautiful and magical Christmas markets all over the city.

This was a new experience for me and despite having a strong dislike for cold weather, I enjoyed seeing it snow in Berlin, drinking delicious mulled wine, and admiring the beautiful architecture and the festive atmosphere all around us.

As part of this trip, we extended our stay in the region to visit other countries close by, including Czechia, Austria and Hungary. I will be writing more about this trip and places later in the year. I hope you stick around!

Hiking in Glacier National Park in August

Thank you once again for following travel adventures in 2023! I hope 2024 only brings us wonderful things in every aspect of our lives. Please share your 2023 highlights and 2024 travel wish list with me in the comment section below! I always love reading your comments and I wish you a happy new year!

Happy New Year!

I love to hear from you, Leave a comment here!


  1. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us! I’ve really enjoyed following along, and definitely saving inspo for future travel. I hope 2024 feels just as fulfilling or even more.

    • Oh, for me a highlight of 2023 was getting to spend 2 weeks traveling Europe. I visited Malta for the first time and really enjoyed it. This year, I’m mostly keeping my travel domestic but excited to hopefully return to South America later this year.

      • So glad to read about your travel highlights and plans for 2024. I enjoyed your posts in Malta, Italy (and Mexico too)! Looking forward to seeing more beautiful places through your eyes this year as well!

    • Thank you, Tiese!! Wishing you an amazing 2024 as well!

  2. What a beautiful travel-filled year! Cheers to an equally amazing 2024 😃 I aim to travel internationally at least once this year

    • Thanks, Elle! Wishing you a wonderful 2024 as well and as always, looking forward to continue exploring Jamaica (and the world) through your eyes!

  3. Wow, what a year 2023 was for you! I certainly didn’t see your December highlight coming. I’m so happy for you and look forward to reading all about your adventures.

    For 2024, I plan to explore the rest of Southwest Nigeria, Benin City, and maybe Abuja.

    I also plan to take international trips this year, God willing. I have Kenya and Lebanon high up on my list, and was exploring the possibility of including Uganda and Rwanda on the list for when I visit Kenya. All of these sound like daydreaming but that was how I daydreamed last year and visited 2 countries!

    Please, come and share tips cos Kenya will most certainly not pass me by this year!

    Happy New Year, Amarachi🎉

    P.S: You’ve just inspired me to write my own year in review. It was really a good travel year for me.

    • Happy New Year, Favour! I’m glad to read you had a wonderful travel year as well! I followed some of your adventures on your blog/IG and it was fun to do so!

      Your travel plans for 2024 looks fantastic – all the destinations, both local and international are certainly worth visiting. I love a good country combo and your international destination planned countries are great candidates, considering that each country has a direct flight from Nigeria + road connections to each other. I am looking forward to exploring them through your eyes this year.

      I hope to see you in Kenya soon too!