2015 was my second year on Instagram and looking back over the images is a very satisfying review of a fantastic year of travel, with lifelong bucket list items ticked off and loads of family and personal fun along the way. Here are my most popular Instagram travel posts from 2015, telling a tale of travels near and far:
The year started off with Christmas holidays in the Netherlands, where I visited the Unesco World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk, enjoyed a fabulous foodie tour of the Jordaan neighbourhood in Amsterdam and visited the Trappiste monastery and brewery of Konigshaven.
Next up in February was a brilliant ski trip to the resort of Pila, in the Aosta Valley (about 1.5 hrs from Milan). The stunning scenery of the Italian Alps was unsurprisingly popular.
The biggest trip of the year was a family visit to New Zealand. We had three weeks to enjoy the beautiful landscapes and catch up with friends and family. I achieved something most New Zealanders wish to do in their lifetimes by hiking the Milford Track.
I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Fiordland national park and excited by the successful birdlife conservation they have been carrying out in this precious wilderness area.
Staying in stunning Queenstown we experienced the last warm days of summer and the first snows of winter all in the same week!
Next I travelled to the Costa Brava in Catalunya for the annual travel bloggers conference TBEX. The sessions were interesting but my favourite thing was walking along the coastline, particularly to the lovely town of Palafrugell. I also managed to squeeze in a bit of time to explore the historic city of Girona.
By the time I got back Spring had sprung in England and I eagerly got out and about walking in the Hertfordshire countryside near where I live.
June saw the Wandering Kiwi family travel to the Chianti region of Italy for a wedding that was in the most gorgeous location over looking the Tuscan countryside.
We also made a side trip down memory lane to visit Orvieto in Umbria – where we got married eight years ago.
In July I embarked on a long-held goal, to hike the famous Tour du Mt Blanc route around the Mt Blanc massif passing through France, Switzerland and Italy. I was hiking solo and it proved to be an incredibly rewarding week. Needless to say the scenery was absolutely spectacular, with glacier after glacier leading me onwards through long and challenging hiking days.
Back in England it was a summer of rock climbing trips – with multiple weekends in Derbyshire’s Peak District and the Isle of Portland down on the Dorset coast.
There was also time for a summer trip to Amsterdam in August. Wandering Kiwi Jr and I loved the museums, the fountains and the great summer in Amsterdam vibe.
At the end of summer we went to the Isle of Wight, just off England’s south coast. What a wonderful weekend with good friends, good walks, good seafood and great beaches.
The autumn travel experience was on the island of Islay off the west coast of Scotland. It was a week of bracing winds, incredible beaches, kite flying and of course whisky drinking. We achieved the goal of visiting all eight of Islay’s whisky distilleries, as well as the one on the neighbouring isle of Jura.
I spent some days exploring east London, finally visiting the Queen Elisabeth Olympic Park. This evening photo of ‘the pringle’ aquatic centre proved popular.
While I enjoy the pre-Christmas fun in London and England and prepare for the upcoming trip to Sri Lanka, I have been finishing off the year with a series on my trip to Cuba from a few years back. This fascinating island has to be on everyone’s “travel there soon” list and the photo at the top of this post, which is of my sunset walk along the Malecon promenade in Havana, got lots of likes. In fact it got the most likes for the whole year for any image.
So there you have it, my most popular Instagram travel posts of 2015, and what a year of travel it was!
Wishing you all the merriest of Christmastimes and a happy new year with lots of travel in 2016.
With love from Natasha von Geldern
What was your travel highlight from 2015?