Last year we opened our last newsletter of 2021 with the words: “Though it was clearly a challenging year for everybody, it was also one where the travel community returned to considerable movement, with a number of achievements overall.”
On that note, we can confirm that 2022 was clearly even more challenging than 2021, to everyone’s surprise. But it was also the year in which the travelling community returned to its almost pre-pandemic movement levels and has reached some new milestones. It was also a year of two great celebrations in NomadMania, two amazing trips and many travel meet-ups which brought us closer together after two years of waiting.
We now proudly count 18 new UN masters in 2022 which is very close to the 2017 and 2018 levels. We will dedicate more space to them further below and also recall all new updates and social gatherings that marked this year. We will try to stay on the positive side, but if we are to make a fair review of the year, some dark spots are inevitable.
As each year starts with some updates and expansion, so did 2022 start with TCC introducing one new territory (the island of Nevis) and MTP rising to 1013 new regions, which we included in our maps and stats of course.
We will get to our 10-year anniversary in a moment, but first, let’s mention our first travel meet-up after 2 years of the pandemic. On February 17th, somewhat ironically, the first travellers meeting was held in Shanghai, organised by our member Eugenio Bregolat.
This was followed up by another 9 meetings and we are truly thankful to everyone who contributed and gathered around with their fellow travellers. You can apply at any moment to host a meeting like this in any corner of the world. All you need to do is message us here and please, plan ahead! In our experience, at least 3 weeks ahead gives us just about enough time to notify everyone.
Here is a full list of NomadMania’s travellers’ meetings of 2022 with a collage photo above of some of the travellers who met up:
- Shanghai, February 17th, by Eugenio Bregolat;
- Brussels, June 7, by Aurelien de Saint Blancard;
- Paris, June 28, by Aurelien de Saint Blancard;
- Warsaw, July 9, by our manager Milana, our IT’s head and tail Daniel and our Executive Committee member and Vice-Minister of Internal Relations Wojtek;
- San Francisco, August 21, by Andrina Ong;
- Perth, August 26, by Mikhail Zarubin;
- New York, August 28, by Joey Shurtleff;
- VIENNAMANIA, September 17, by Sylvia Alfery and Geri Winkler (this is an event on its own that will be further explained below);
- Bergen, September 25, by our founder, Harry Mitsidis;
- Melbourne, November 27, by Dondon Bales of PGE.
If you wish to be on this list next year, don’t forget to message us and set up a meeting with other travellers!
This year was special for us because of the main three gatherings where we got the chance to meet new people, connect faces with names and create friendships.
It started with a trip to Azerbaijan in February. Following the first trip organised by ETIC in September 2021, NomadMania got a chance to gather around 25 travellers and so we did. The big bonus was celebrating our founder’s 50th birthday with one of the biggest music stars of Azerbaijan. You can even see how it all looked in a video down below.
While the spring and summer passed in the shadow of the war in Ukraine, we were looking forward to the autumn. In September we participated in the 3rd edition of ViennaMania organised by our members Sylvia Alfery and Geri Winkler. They really did an exquisite job and this event now has a cult status amongst the travellers. Keep an eye on our Meetings section to see when the next round will happen. They start with the preparations quite early!
After that, in October, we attended the Extraordinary Travel Festival in Yerevan, organised by our friend Ric Gazarian. This is where our founder Harry hosted another trip with about 10 other travellers. The trip was done in cooperation with the ETF and one of the highlights, apart from the amazing Armenian food and scenery, was celebrating NomadMania’s 10th birthday while there. Thank you Shushanik!
Right after the trip, our manager Milana took over at the festival itself to represent NomadMania. She presented our “What is a visit” poll’s results in a very lively and popular presentation. Seems like much of the community is interested in this topic. Luckily, you are not too late and you have a chance to share your opinions in our second poll – still live on NomadMania. Just log in and you will be guided there! Given that Christmas time is a time of giving, we truly ask for a few minutes of your time, as though this poll we will reach final policy decisions on ‘what is a visit’ – and your vote really does count. Note that if you use the app, you will need to go to the desktop version to access the poll.
We did many great things this year, but not all of it was easy. After the aggressive start of the war in Ukraine, NomadMania broke its neutrality for the first time and declared its political opinion.
Though not everyone agreed with everything that we had to say, we continued our efforts to actually support the cause that we felt had to be supported – Ukraine and its people. So we gave some space to Orest for a live stream on our YouTube channel to help him spread his voice. We reached out to our scholarship recipients in Ukraine to see if they were doing well and we ended up employing two of them throughout most of the year.
Serhii, stuck in Lviv in western Ukraine, has been helping us with a number of small projects and you may have heard from him via email. He may have even interviewed you! Yevhen, on the other hand, managed to escape from Donbas through Russia to Georgia. It is truly a story that gave us goosebumps; he has managed to settle in Belgium for now and while he was on all that, he helped us with creating some new designs of which many still wait to be fully implemented.
Finally, the issue of our neutrality was solved by our NomadMania referendum. Following that, on November 5 and November 21, we published two interviews – the two conflicted sides – to tell the whole story. We hope that we have learned from this experience and be an example of how to solve conflicts, help others and stay true to ourselves.
Sometime in August, our founder announced his definite retirement from NomadMania, though no one believed him with that. Four months in and we can definitely confirm – that we still don’t believe him or his intention to truly retire. Don’t worry, NomadMania was never to be abandoned and we are continuing our business as usual.
After all – we have just concluded our second and most successful NomadMania Travel Awards. The main difference from last year was that we introduced two new awards – Best Fixer (chosen internally) and the Biggest LPI Traveller (chosen by your vote). Also, we changed the form of the award and we offered our winners to choose between a physical and a digital award. The digital award means also that the funds that would otherwise be spent on an actual trophy and the delivery will be donated to a Ukrainian charity. After spending an entire year with two of the 2021 awards trophies sitting in her basement, our manager Milana thought this was the only logical solution.
All in all, this year we released a total of 10 new videos, including two brand-new ones that we are presenting to you here today. We sent you a total of 23 regular, monthly newsletters, marking this one our 24th.
In those newsletters we brought you over 30 interviews, thus presenting you with stories of 34 travellers in total. And all that was managed, prepared and even done by our tiny team.