My favorite travel moments from 2015

2015 In Pictures: My Favorite Travel Moments

The time has come. No, not for Santa, but for travel bloggers to share their favorite travel moments from 2015. I’ve been wondering how to organize this post, but since I was named “the photographer” by Checkin on their 16 bloggers to watch in 2016 article, I decided to share my favorite photos from this year. Although I wasn’t expecting it, 2015 has been an amazing year for travel. I’ve been to 7 countries (6 of which being completely new for me) and since it was one of my resolutions for 2015 to travel more in Romania, I’ve revisited 6 places I love and hadn’t seen in a while. I’ve seen gorgeous places all over Europe, made memories to remember for a lifetime, made new friends and took a million photos. Well, not really a million, but close to it so choosing just 20 wasn’t easy. Before I change my mind for the 10th time, here they are.

favorite travel moments from 2015 (1)

favorite travel moments from 2015 (2)

Istanbul was the first city I visited this year and also the first time I was in both Europe and Asia on the same day. Although it wasn’t love at first sight, I realized it’s a very beautiful city and I’d like to return. Even if only for the great food and ice cream! Next year maybe? ๐Ÿ˜‰

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting Sinaia and the Peles Castle

While I stayed put from February to April, I did satisfied my wanderlust by planning some epic trips for later in the year. However, in April I took a day trip to Sinaia, a city that was interesting to revisit and see through the eyes of a travel blogger.

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting Malta

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting Malta

By now I’m sure everyone knows how much I loved Malta, as it’s one of my top travel moments ever. In fact, I’m sure everyone’s friends know how much I loved Malta. What do you mean not everyone goes around saying there’s a guy in Romania who fell in love with Malta’s picture perfect scenery? Well that’s quite rude. Anyway, I wrote quite a few posts on Malta this year so if you’re considering a trip there, check them out.

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: driving on the Transfagarasan

At the beginning of June, I went on a weekend trip to the Vidraru lake and drove on the most beautiful road in the world, the Transfagarasan, ignoring the sign that said the road was partially closed due to snow until it was impossible to go any further. Yes, there’s snow up there even in June!

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: revisiting Bran and Brasov

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting Rasnov

Luckily my farmer’s tan from Malta had disappeared by June when I went to Brasov to meet John from Continental Breakfast Travel. We spent a fun weekend visiting Brasov and the nearby towns of Bran (he couldn’t leave without checking if Dracula is home) and Rasnov, where I wanted to see the dinosaurs. And since John liked his time in Romania so much, I forced him he decided to come back next year and see Bucharest, so this will be fun. ๐Ÿ˜€

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting Riga

July was the month I’ve been waiting for all year because I went on an epic trip around Northern Europe. While initially it was supposed to be Helsinki – Stockholm – Copenhagen – Malmo, a rescheduled flight made me book a night in Riga and fall in love with Latvia’s capital. I definitely need to go back and explore more parts of the Baltics because I had a blast on my short time there.

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting Helsinki

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting the Nuuksio National Park

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting Helsinki

While I didn’t know much about Helsinki, it pleasantly surprised me. I’ve seen its iconic landmarks, ate delicious food, went to the beach and even took a day trip to the gorgeous Nuuksio National Park where I hiked and ate more berries than I can remember.

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting Stockholm

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting Stockholm

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting Stockholm

After a long night on a cruise ship (cheapest cabins – not ideal), I’ve arrived in Stockholm and it was love at first sight. Hands down, the most beautiful city I’ve seen all year. From the picnic in the park with Swedish friends to visiting the stunning subway stations on the last night, I only wish I had more time because I could wander on the streets of Stockholm for days. I’ll definitely go back as soon as possible.

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting Copenhagen

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting Copenhagen

I’ll be the first to say that Copenhagen is a gorgeous city. From the colorful Nyhavn to the Amsterdam-looking neighborhood of Christianshavn, I enjoyed visiting and photographing the city. But something felt off – perhaps it’s because it was the end of the trip or maybe it was due to a misunderstanding about the hotel or the long string of bad restaurants. Either way, I feel it’s justified to go back and see the city properly.

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting Malmo

Malmo was a nice surprise. I knew I wanted to see it ever since the Eurovision contest was held there in 2013 and The Amazing Race had a few scenes in the city. I only had an afternoon, but it was enough to get lost in the old town, celebrate a friend’s birthday, have a delicious meal, all on an atypical hot afternoon.

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting Barcelona

One of my favorite travel moments from 2015: visiting Barcelona

The last trip abroad of the year saw me celebrating my birthday in the city that has the biggest part of my heart – Barcelona. There were a few days filled with…..I’d like to say sightseeing, but since it was my third time in Barcelona, we spent most of the time drinking cava and eating at some of the city’s best restaurants. And that was fine by me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What were your favorite travel moments from 2015? Where is 2016 taking you?

This is going to be the last post for 2015, so I’d like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year. See you all in 2016! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  • I can see why you were named as “the photographer.” Great shots! I can’t believe how much our paths crossed this year and yet we never met! Hopefully when you plan your return trip to Riga… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I was thinking about that too! I loved Riga so I don’t doubt that I’ll return soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • John Pilkington

    Some lovely photos. I agree – I think 2015 has been a very good year for you and I’ve enjoyed reading all about it. Looking forward to keeping up with your adventures in 2016!

    • Thanks John! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Kate @Vagrants Of The World

    We had the good fortune to visit both Istanbul and Riga this year. Two of the most wonderful places you could ever go to and your pics make them look just as they are … brilliant.

    • Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I like end-of-year recaps so much! ๐Ÿ˜€ it’s often so inspiring to travel more. You are from Romania and wanted to see your own country more and that’s exactly my plan for 2016 – see more of Poland. First trips are planned, luckily, but it was so difficult NOT to buy plane tickets somewhere else! Istanbul wasn’t love at first sight for me either. I like big cities, but Istanbul blew my mind and I almost went crazy. I think I need to give it another chance. ๐Ÿ˜› Btw, I don’t want to make self-promotion here, so won’t include any link (heaven forbid) but in my collaboration post with best sunsets of Europe, Transalpina was included and the photo is amazing.

    • There are so many places I want to visit in Poland that I wouldn’t even know where to start. When I’ll go, I’ll definitely ask you for tips ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Kate-Frankie Brennan

    I recently went to Istanbul and its such a rich city full of paradoxes. From the European side to the Asian side, there is so much to explore. I love Barcelona and still need to visit Romania. You are my new Romanian information place! No pressure haha. It looks like you had an amazing time this year and saw some incredible places

    • Well whenever you visit Romania, I’ll be happy to help! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Megan Claire

    Looks like you had a fabulous 2015 – I would love to get to Istanbul in 2016; Ive heard from a lot of other travelers too that it’s a city which does have to grow on you, but everyone seems to leave with an infeverent vow to return! And happy birthday! What a way to end a crazy year in Barcelona.

    Happy 2016 – hope the new year is full of as much adventure as this last ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Istanbul did grow on me and looking at the photos I took makes it very hard to resist not buying a plane ticket. Hope you can visit this year as well ๐Ÿ™‚

  • BEAUTIFUL photos Vlad! You’re such a talented photographer. Seems like you had a very fully year of travel, can’t wait to see where the next year takes you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you, that’s very kind of you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Elaine J Masters

    You’ve made me realize how much I need to see Europe. The pictures are so compelling and fun!

    • Thank you, Hope you can visit Europe soon!

  • Vlad, some fabulous images. The shots of Copenhagen really brought back memories of our time there.

    • Copenhagen is a very beautiful city. Glad you liked my photos! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • You had some beautiful travel moments this year, Vlad. I’d love to visit Malta too, it looks very beautiful. Also, I haven’t been on the Transfagarasan for 30 years and your post reminded me of how beautiful it is.

    • I hadn’t been on the Transfagarasan for more than 10 years, that’s why we ignored the warnings and kept driving until the road was fully blocked by snow, haha.

  • Lili’s travel plans

    Looks like you had a fantastic year! Istanbul is still high on my list too! I hope you’ll have plenty of great adventures in 2016 too! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you, hope you can visit Istanbul soon!

  • Oh these photos are so amazing! <3 I've really built up an appetite for the Scandinavian region after this post.. <3

    • Glad you liked them, I’m sure you’ll love Scandinavia ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Lucy Dodsworth

    Great shots โ€“ and a fantastic year of travel! Loved the Malta ones especially, and look forward to seeing where 2016 will take you.

    • Thanks Lucy, I’m sure you would love Malta if you visited ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Great way to review your year, Vlad. No wonder you had a hard time choosing which shots to include. Where will 2016 take you?

    • Thanks, Linda! I have Vienna and Italy booked for now, the second half of the year is wide open. Where will you be headed?

  • I was blown away by the Romanian countryside, and your photos of Malta are incredible. Your Northern European trip, particularly hiking in Finland, got me to consider a one week Stockholm-Helsinki-countryside itinerary for this year.

    • I’m sure you’d love Stockholm and Helsinki (especially the countryside), hope you get to go so I can see your beautiful pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thank you, hope your holidays were great! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Looks like you had an amazing year. May 2016 bring you as much great travel adventures as 2015, if not more. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Great photos, btw. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • You really had an amazing year Vlad! 6 new countries in 1 year, this is awesome!!
    I love all the photos and I can only imagine how hard it was to pick only a few ๐Ÿ˜€
    For 2016 I really hope we finally meet in person, in Germany, Romania, Turkey or England ahhaha we have 4 options to make that happen ๐Ÿ˜€ fingers crossed!

  • Can’t stop looking at the pictures from Romania. I should definitely go there (I know, I keep saying it all the time. :P)