If 2017 was an extraordinary year, 2018 surpassed all my expectations. It’s been a hell of a ride!
2018 has been filled with moments I couldn’t believe were real. And when I thought it couldn’t get any better, something even more incredible happened.
- Highlights of 2018
- Let’s break this 2018 down!
- The numbers
- Travel dreams come true
- Month by month
- Favorite hotels
- The good, the bad, the ugly
- Goals for 2019
Highlights of 2018
2018 has been the year I’ve traveled the most. It’s been full of incredible experiences like traveling in India on a luxury train, going on an African safari for the first time and swimming with dolphins in the wild in the Red Sea.
Many of the trips and experiences were unexpected, like being part of an online film for Avis and Mercedes in the French Riviera (seriously, what the actual? I never imagined I could do something like this).
Let’s break this 2018 down!
- Visited countries: 14
- Visited cities: 30
- Flights taken: 61
- Instagram followers: from 36k to 57k
Travel dreams come true
- An African safari
- A scuba diving trip in the Red Sea
- Swimming with dolphins in the wild
- Sleeping in the desert
- Visited Taj Mahal
- Visited Chichen Itza
- Visited Disneyland
Month by month
I started the year visiting a handful of beautiful cities: starting with a week in Paris to get reunited with my friends Frank and Victoria, followed by a couple of short trips to Madrid and Barcelona.
I started February back in one of my favorite countries in the world: India.
I got the chance to visit Rajasthan on a luxury train on a press trip with Incredible India. After that, I visited again Jaipur and Agra in a race against time to get a few more pictures. Then I flew back to Kerala where I was reunited with my friend Nuthan for a yoga retreat in Windermere and with my friend Jub in Mumbai right before flying back home.
In March I visited Mexico for my very first time: I loved it! I was staying at an amazing property where I was totally spoiled – I miss those days a lot.
In April, I traveled to Italy for the Blogger Week in Montecatini (Tuscany), an ideal location to visit neighbor cities like Pisa, Lucca and Firenze. Once the event finished I traveled to Rome, Procida and Naples. Italy is one of my favorite countries and I hope to keep visiting it at least once a year!
My 3rd visit to Romania was in May, one year after my first visit to this country. This time we explored Bucharest but also the mesmerizing Danube Delta and the Black Sea area in a fun 7-day trip with more bloggers and instagrammers.
In June I traveled again to Barcelona and Mexico. In Barcelona I discovered the city by the sea and in Mexico I got to travel Yucatan but also Campeche, that stole my heart.
In July I went back to one of my favorite islands: Ibiza! Yes I know it’s very touristy and all, but I really love the Mediterranean. This island is beyond beautiful, sunsets are unforgettable and it’s always great fun!
I couldn’t believe it when I got invited to a safari like no other: a safari in Tanzania getting to remote locations (Katavi National Park and Mahale Mountains) in charter flights and staying at Mbali Mbali luxury properties. A trip of a lifetime!
My most beloved memory from this trip was the day the elephants went walking past us early in the morning.
After this epic experience, I traveled to Zanzibar!
September was such a lovely surprise with a scuba diving trip to the Red Sea in Egypt! This is seriously one of my biggest travel dreams and it was pretty special.
My most beloved memory from this trip was swimming with dolphins in the wild. I have no photos, you’ll have to trust me on this!
I was also selected to join an online film for Mercedes Benz and Avis in the French Riviera. I still have no words for this experience!
I traveled to Morocco a few years ago with a friend, but that time it was just a weekend break and I wanted to come back and visit more ever since. This time I visited Marrakech and the Agafay desert, and even when I stayed in Marrakech for almost 1 week, I feel I left so many things to do: that’s why I’m planning to come back!
From Morocco I flew to El Puerto de Santa María for the #TravelBloggerForum where we explored ways to travel in a sustainable way.
Once again I traveled to London for WTM. A very good chance to network and meet blogger friends from all around the world.
I didn’t have the time to fully explore the city but I could fit a short visit to Notting Hill on my agenda.
Next to WTM I flew to French Guiana for an incredible trip to the Amazon forest and the history of this land.
I traveled from Cayenne to Paris where I got to stay a couple of nights to catch up with my friend Victoria (she was my roomie in Kerala last year, remember?). It was also the first time I visited the Louvre museum on a 3-hour guided tour to make the most of our visit. After 3 visits to Paris, it was about time to meet the Mona Lisa in person!
November ended with a quick visit to Havana to visit the brand new hotel Iberostar Grand Packard. I had the best days reunited with my friend Frank. We woke up to enjoy every sunrise together and we took thousands of photos in this city like no other!
I was not ready to say goodbye to summer after my days in Central America so I accepted an invitation for a press trip in Ceará, Brazil. I still need to share the photos with you guys!
And right before Christmas I traveled to Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital city to see its lights and what this fairytale city has to offer in Christmas time.
- Scarabeo Camp
- Riad Tarabel
- TRS Yucatán
- Windermere Resort
- Green Village Resort
- Aguas de Ibiza
- Es Saadi Marrakech
- Hotel H10 Cubik
- Hotel Belloy Saint Germain
- Iberostar Grand Packard
- Sea Cliff Zanzibar
- Wapa Lodge
The good, the bad, the ugly
In case you needed a reminder, the life of a traveler is not always as easy as it may appear on Instagram. It’s filled with non so-glamorous moments, long waits at airports or even ugly surprises or unexpected events. As I’m a very positive person I always tend to focus on the bright side of life but of course there have been a few not so good moments during 2018.
I was food poisoned in Mexico and Cuba, forcing me to stay in bed for almost 2 days each time. I also got the flu in Brazil.
I never travel without travel insurance anymore. Someone broke his leg in our trip to Egypt and needed urgent surgery – something like that is totally unpredictable and travel insurance is 100% necessary.
I booked the annual travel insurance with Mondo and it worked perfectly for me everytime I used it.
We were traveling from Jaipur to Agra at night when we asked our driver to stop somewhere to have something for dinner. He took us to a sketchy restaurant in the middle of nowhere, where we were the only guests but we were hungry so we ordered our meal – it looked like the only option. As the food started coming a bunch of rats started to come too! Of course we went crazy shouting and trying to escape as quickly as we could – however this turned into a fun memory: the guys from the restaurant were saying all the time “there’s no problem, they (the rats) are always here” and we could not help but lol and joke about it for the rest of the trip.
An epic fail!
My idea was simple. Picture this: me, setting the timer on my DSLR camera in a cheap gorilla pod by the swimming pool. I’ve done this a million times with my tripod! As soon as I started walking away from the camera fell in the water… and I cried a lot for my loss. Thankfully I was in a yoga retreat so I couldn’t be more positive at the whole situation!
I’ll sleep when I die
Sunrises are magical, aren’t they? Truth is, it’s the quieter time of the day and the light is just beautiful. It’s the best moment to get the most magical photos so it’s totally worth it, but it means I’m sleepy and with a lack of energy during most of my trips.
I was stopped by airport Custom officers in Brazil to check my luggage and they made me go COMPLETELY naked – just because. Probably the worst travel experience I have ever had.
My flight from Naples to Madrid was cancelled due to an strike and the airline (Iberia Express) didn’t covered our transfers to the hotel, even when they’re meant to. They also covered just one of the hotel nights and food when my flight was rescheduled for 2 days later. It was a horrible experience!
Goals for 2019
My main goal in 2019 isn’t to travel more, but travel better. This means traveling slower, in a more sustainable and conscious way. Because of that I want to travel more off the beaten path – mass tourism is not my cup of tea.
My focus will be still on instagram – despite all the fakeness in the community I still enjoy the experience and love to be inspired by the pictures from creators that are worth it. However, I aim to focus more and more on this blog.
I’m excited and open to 2019 to come. Can’t wait to see what it’s yet to come!