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2018: Instagram Travel Round Up

Now that we’ve welcomed 2019 with open arms, who knows what the next twelve months has in store for us? 2018 was quite the year for the Curious Pixie in the realm of travel, so I want to bring you a travel round up via my love/hate social media platform Instagram.

My travel round up of 2018

Love it or loathe it, it’s the platform du jour (for the moment) and it’s where I naturally showcase my best travel photography. Through my feed you’ll have seen me clock up approximately 36,920 travel miles, visit 7 countries and board 19 flights.

So if you’re on the hunt for inspiration to quench your own wanderlust tendencies, here are my 2018 travel highlights through the squares of Instagram.

January in the Cotswolds, England

We started 2018 on high with a New Year’s stay at the luxury family hotel, Calcot Manor in the Cotswolds. The 14th century farmhouse is the perfect antidote for exhausted parents and child’s playground. Especially when you spy a sign as you drive in stating ‘Free Range Children’.

>>> Calcot Manor: A Family Friendly Luxury Retreat

February in Trentino, Italy

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Today the Pixie chicks hit the Paganella ski resort nursery slopes and had a fantastic time. The girls took the no fear factor to the limit and were snowploughing and turning well by the end of the lesson. • Mama Pixie discovered skiing is like riding a bike, and was beaming ear to ear when her ski instructor said she skied like a pro after 25 years away from the slopes. • Mr S immediately hit the red slopes with his snowboarding instructor and we didn’t seem him for dust🏂 • What an incredible day! @visittrentino @visitdolomitipaganella #trentinowow #thecuriouspixiewanders #presstrip . . . . . . #visittrentino #trentinolife #iloveitaly #travelwithaninsider #travelwriter #nothingisordinary #guardiantravelsnaps #exploretocreate #lpfanphoto #rgphoto #bbctravel #beautifuldestinations #icelollyloves #lppathfinders #ongooglemaps #littlestoriesofmylife #takeyourkidseverywhere #topdreamdestinations #lifewelltravelled #welltraveledkids #gofurther #wearetravelmums #curiouslittleexplorers #littlemomentsofmylife #seekmoments #familytravel #childhoodunplugged #ongooglemaps

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Our first family press trip took us skiing to the Italian Dolomites in the region of Trentino. We explored all the mountain village of Andalo had to offer. The girls found there is more than just skiing to enjoy on a wintery mountain break.

>>> Winter Family Break in Andalo, Trentino

March in Paris, France

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You never disappoint Paris. This time I introduced you to my girls. The start of their very own love affair with you. • Au revoir mon cheri…Until we meet again ❤️ #thecuriouspixiewanders . . . . . #jadoreparis #igersparis #parisjetaime #loves_paris #littlestoriesofmylife #travelblogger #travelwriter #nothingisordinary #prettylittletrips #athomeintheworld #ig_architecture #wearetravelmums #whereitravel #beautifuldestinations #culturetrip #suitcasetravels #postcardsfromtheworld #darlingescapes #girlsthatwander #lpfanphoto #travelwithaninsider #lifewelltravelled #aroundtheworld_nio #takeyourkidseverywhere #curiouslittleexplorers #welltravelledkids #traveldeeper #photosofeurope #jj_forum_2466

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Like the saying goes Paris is always a good idea! The time was right to introduce the girls to one of my favourite European cities. We covered all the iconic Parisian landmarks and even enjoyed a private family scavenger treasure hunt in The Louvre.

Mr S and I even managed to take advantage of being in the city of love with a date night with an extravagant meal at the three Michelin star restaurant Le Cinq.

>>> 11 Unmissable Experiences in Paris

April in the Brecon Beacons, South Wales

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Heading back to the rural countryside for a couple days. This time to Somerset for the #thebloggersretreat hosted by @twins_that_travel and @thetravelhack 🙌🏽😊 Cannot wait to immerse myself in all things blogging! Follow along on stories to see what we get up to. • This shot was taken at the impressive ruins of Llanthony Priory near Abergavenny in Wales. It dates back to the year 1100 – Say what! 😮 @visitwales #thecuriouspixiewanders (📸: @nayan26.2) . . . . . #igerswales #beautifulwales #discoverwales #littlestoriesofmylife #travelblogger #travelwriter #nothingisordinary #prettylittletrips #athomeintheworld #wearetravelmums #whereitravel #beautifuldestinations #culturetrip #suitcasetravels #citizenfemme #girlsthatwander #sheisnotlost #dametraveler #topeuropephoto #postcardsfromtheworld #ukpotd #darlingescapes #travelwithaninsider #photosofeurope #digitalnomad #lovegreatbritain #capturingbritain #fyp_124_country

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Quality time with extended family is so important. Finding a destination which suits all generations is imperative to ensure everyone’s needs are met. A staycation in the Brecon Beacons near the town of Abergavenny saw us visiting priories, riding mountain railways and exploring ruined castles. It rained a lot, but that didn’t stop the fun or the making of happy memories.

>>> Multi-generational Breaks: Abergavenny, South Wales

May in Marseille, France

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Marseille, thank you for a wonderful weekend. Where grit and grandeur exist side-by-by, giving the vibrant port city an edgy presence I completely fell for. • Totally lucked out with the weather too on our short weekend jaunt. My linen notch neck dress in a rosehip daisy chain print from @boden_clothing perfect in the summery temperatures #bodenbyme #ad • Get ready for the Marseille spam peeps…it’s coming #thecuriouspixiewanders (📸: @hamerjo) . . . . . #choosemarseille #igersmarseille #marseillejetaime #travelblogger #nothingisordinary #travelwithaninsider #prettylittletrips #passionpassport #lpfanphoto #bbctravel #beautifuldestinations #culturetrip #suitcasetravels #postcardsfromtheworld #darlingescapes #traveldeeper #tlpicks #topeuropephoto #dametraveler #sheisnotlost #explorerbabes #girlsthatwander #guardiancities #ongooglemaps #mycityloves #facelessweek_nio

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The yearly European short break with my ex BBC chums took us to the Mediterranean French coast of Marseille. France’s second and oldest city completely surpassed our expectations. There’s so much to see, incredible architecture, stunning coastlines and lots of bouillabaisse! We left as real fans of the vibrant and edgy port city.

>>> Why You Should Visit Marseille

June in Berlin, Germany

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Berlin you completely blew my mind! From the food (a vegetarian’s dream), culture, streetart, your immense coolness, edgy style, hip neighbourhoods, moving architecture and history which everyone should see and learn from. Thank you for a wonderful few days (📸: @nayan26.2) #thecuriouspixiewanders . . . . . #visitberlin #igersberlin #topberlinphoto #travelwithaninsider #lpfanphoto #rgphoto #bbctravel #icelollyloves #tlpicks #girlsthatwander #iamtb #citizenfemme #dametraveler #sheisnotlost #culturetrip #guardiancities #globelletravels #passionpassport #traveldeeper #topeuropephoto #postcardsfromtheworld #ongooglemaps #hello_worldpics #worldpicsmagazine #jj_streetshots #rsa_streetview #ihavethisthingwithbikes #mycityloves #jj_forum_2451

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This was my first visit to Germany! And it could only be Berlin for this adults only trip. It took me to reach my 40s to experience a city I’ve watched to explore for so long. Boy, was it worth the wait I completely fell in love with the the food (a vegetarian and vegan dream), culture, street art, edgy style, hip neighbourhoods, moving architecture and history. I can’t wait to plan another trip!

>>> 8 Ways Berlin Will Take Your Breath Away

June in Verbier, Switzerland

Now this short break can only be described as a dream trip. Binny from Binny’s Food and Travel Diaries and I were invited to stay at £156,000 a week luxury chalet in Verbier. Owned by none other than Sir Richard Branson it was as epic as is sounds! We indulged in gourmet cuisine everyday, hiked through lush green mountain pastures and revelled in the most incredible hospitality at The Lodge.

>>> Swiss Bliss at Sir Richard Branson’s The Lodge in Verbier

August in Abu Dhabi, UAE

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Ok, so I’m going to give you guys a little respite from my Maldives spam. • Today I’m whisking you off to Abu Dhabi and the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque 🕌 • The sheer size and intricate craftsmanship will take your breathe away at first glance. • Completed in 2007 at a cost of $545 million by 3000 construction workers, it’s the third largest mosque in the world. It was a world of tranquilty walking around and a must see for anyone visiting the UAE #thecuriouspixiewanders . . . . . #sheikhzayedmosque #inabudhabi #loveabudhabi #unitedarabemirates #travelblogger #prettylittletrips #culturetrip #suitcasetravels #postcardsfromtheworld #darlingescapes #girlsthatwander #ngtuk #lpfanphoto #tlpicks #bbctravel #travelwithaninsider #ongooglemaps #wearetravelmums #fodorsonthego #traveldeeper #guardiantravelsnaps #ig_architecture #passionpassport #welivetoexplore #exploremore #theglobewanderer #stayandwander #amazingabudhabi #jj_forum_2653

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The Emirati capital was another city which exceeded our expectations over our three day stopover. Our visit in the heat of the scorching summer, considered by many as crazy but I’m here to tell you different. For a family it’s surprisingly beneficial to visit over the summer months due to all the low season discounts from luxury hotels to attractions. And anyway what does it matter what the mercury levels read outside when most places are all indoors, right?

>>> Why Abu Dhabi in Summer is a Great Idea

August in Iru Fushi, The Maldives

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All the gear, but absolutely NO idea! • On our recent trip to paradise, my girls were far more adventurous than me when it came to snorkelling. • I’m much happier on terra firma. How about you? Are you a beach bunny or water baby? #thecuriouspixiewanders . . . . . #maldives #visitmaldives #lovemaldives #beautifulmaldives #thesunsiyamirufushi #luxurytravel #travelblogger #prettylittletrips #culturetrip #suitcasetravels #citizenfemme #postcardsfromtheworld #darlingescapes #girlsthatwander #ngtuk #lpfanphoto #tlpicks #bbctravel #dametraveler #travelwithaninsider #ongooglemaps #wearetravelmums #parentswhowander #guardiantravelsnaps #theglobewanderer #stayandwander #topdreamdestinations #jj_forum_2359

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The Maldives really don’t need an introduction. A destination once only associated with couples and honeymoons, is fast turning into a family friendly destination. I felt like I work up everyday in travel brochure over our seven day stay. An utterly stunning, relaxing and memorable family holiday.

>>> Why the Maldives is an Unforgettable Family Destination

September in Rome, Italy

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Roming Rome. The Collosseum, Pantheon, Trevi fountain and the Spanish Steps in glorious sunshine. Pretty epic Friday. • This is my second visit so tomorrow it’s all about alternative Rome. I have some exciting things planned. So stay tuned to stories #thecuriouspixiewanders . . . . . #igersrome #visitrome #topromephoto #iIikeitaly #ilikerome #iloveitaly #travelblogger #travelwithaninsider #prettylittletrips #passionpassport #lpfanphoto #bbctravel #beautifuldestinations #culturetrip #suitcasetravels #postcardsfromtheworld #darlingescapes #traveldeeper #tlpicks #topeuropephoto #dametraveler #ongooglemaps #mycityloves #iamtraveler #ngtuk #theglobewanderer #ig_architecture #beautifuldestinations #guardiancities #welivetoexplore

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My second visit to the capital of Italy led me to see an alternative side to this Eternal City on my weekend girly break. From dining like a Roman on a Secret Food Tour to having my very own Roman Holiday moment on a back of a Vespa discovering all the cool street art in the city.

>>> Vespa Street Art Tour in Rome

November in Salzburg, Austria

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SALZBURG | This compact city is perfect for a city break with kids in winter. The Christmas markets will fill their eyes with festive joy and most of the must-see tourist attractions are mostly a 10-15 minute walk from each other. • The city is divided by the Salzach River, with medieval and baroque buildings of the pedestrian Altstadt (Old City) on its left bank, facing the 19th-century Neustadt (New City) on its right • This view is from the 900 year old Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg’s most visible iconic landmark #thecuriouspixiewanders . . . . . #visitsalzburg #visitaustria #feelaustria #prettylittletrips #culturetrip #suitcasetravels #postcardsfromtheworld #darlingescapes #ngtuk #lpfanphoto #tlpicks #bbctravel #travelwithaninsider #ongooglemaps #guardiantravelsnaps #theglobewanderer #stayandwander #beautifuldestinations #guardiancities #iamtraveler #welivetoexplore #traveldeeper #passionpassport #popyacolour #nothingisordinary #earthfocus #forbestravelguide #topaustriaphoto #landscape2_nio

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I think I have a thing for Austria, I’ve been to Innsbruck twice and also to  Vienna. For the girls’ first European Christmas Market experience it had to be Salzburg. It involved a lot of christmas decoration shopping, copious mugs of hot chocolate and glüwhein, following the footsteps of the son of Salzburg – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Do-Re-Mi-ing through the filmic locations of the Sound of Music. Perfectly festive!

>>> 9 Essential Tips for Visiting the Salzburg Christmas Markets

December in Kerala, India

Travel Round Up | Kerala, India

I’ve literally just landed from my Keralan adventures. From relaxing on Marari Beach, a homestay on a farm in Kottayam, an overnight on a houseboat on the Keralan backwaters, to the major port city of Kochi. The whole experience blew my mind, I can’t wait to share it with you soon through my posts.

What’s ahead in 2019?

Travel Round Up | Kerala, India

2018 was the year I also made some significant life changes. I’m still on my sabbatical year from work so there are plenty of exciting plans afoot for this year.

We are still undecided on our big family holiday, who knows where we may end up. Will it be Tanzania? I’ve a dreamed of seeing where my mum was born and lived as a child and meet Welu a child we’ve sponsored for the last ten years. Or perhaps New Orleans? Mr S and I have been longing to experience the Louisiana city on the Mississippi River. Combined with the girls love for music growing, the Big Easy is definitely a contender. And finally there’s Cuba, with its white palm-fringed beaches, exotic rhythms and those colourful vintage cars! It’s actually quite exciting not knowing which far-flung destination it will be. 

One thing I do know is I’ll be planning a lot more staycations this year. I love stepping on board a jet plane, but I want to discover more of what our little Isles can offer this year.

Thanks so much for following another year of my adventures, I really do appreciate every like and comment. Looking forward to seeing where 2019 takes me, make sure you’re following me on Instagram to follow the next chapter @thecuriouspixie



  • Angie 7th January 2019 at 9:59 am

    Such a wonderful year, I really enjoyed following it!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 7th January 2019 at 10:02 am

      Ahh thanks Angie. Look forward to what 2019 has in store for you too x

  • binita 7th January 2019 at 10:13 am

    What an incredible year for travel!! Obv getting to go on a trip together was also super!!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 8th January 2019 at 9:25 am

      One of my best! And yes, travelling together to an epic destination was a major highlight! x

  • Keri | Ladies What Travel 7th January 2019 at 11:15 am

    You managed to fit in so many trips! This has inspired me to look to do more short getaways this year… 🙂 #Travellinkup

    • Sima Sthanakiya 8th January 2019 at 9:24 am

      It did end up being quite jam packed! Look forward to seeing what you get up to.

  • Laura 7th January 2019 at 1:45 pm

    So many amazing adventures! I really loved following you Abu Dhabi, Maldives and India adventures! Its made me want to visit them even more!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 8th January 2019 at 9:24 am

      Thanks so much for all your support Laura. I love reading all your comments. Maybe you add one of those destinations to this years travel list 😉

  • Emma @ Adventures of a London Kiwi 7th January 2019 at 10:23 pm

    What a year Sima! I can’t wait to see what you get up to in 2019.
    Oh, and I vote New Orleans!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 8th January 2019 at 9:22 am

      Thanks Ems! It’s winning on the Mr S front too.

  • Harpreet 8th January 2019 at 7:47 am

    How awesome Sima! Looking forward to seeing what 2019 holds for you and following along on your adventures!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 8th January 2019 at 9:21 am

      Thanks lovely. Exciting to see how it unfolds.

  • Seetal (SavlaFaire) 8th January 2019 at 9:41 am

    Wow, what an adventure-filled 2018 you had! Was fun to follow along, and hoping to see a few new places myself this year, so thanks for the inspo.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 8th January 2019 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks Seetal! Can’t wait to see where 2019 takes you x

  • Bejal 10th January 2019 at 4:02 pm

    You have had an incredible travel filled year in 2018. I can’t wait to see where you’ll end up this year but I know you will love New Orleans and Cuba as I did! Wishing you a happy year of travels my insta-twin and will obvs be following!!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 13th January 2019 at 10:58 pm

      2018 turned into quite a whopper! At the moment it’s proving difficult to do either due to the blasted school holidays!

  • Louise 11th January 2019 at 9:02 pm

    Oh wow Sima…
    I am so jaloux! Most of all because you went to the Maldives! It is one of my biggest dreams to go there!
    Verbier also looked amazing! I love Switzerland . I hope you get to go to Tanzania – another dream of mine!
    Happy New Year
    Louise x

    • Sima Sthanakiya 13th January 2019 at 10:59 pm

      Ahh thanks Louise.
      I know you’ll make to the Maldives too, it’s an amazing place for families too. Fingers crossed with this years travel in the midst of organising x

  • Emma | Luxurybackpacking 12th January 2019 at 11:22 am

    Wow you’ve been to some incredible places in 2018! I hope 2019 will bring you even more adventure packed trips! 🙂

    • Sima Sthanakiya 13th January 2019 at 11:00 pm

      Thanks Emma. Fingers crossed.

  • Sarah (CosmopoliClan) 12th January 2019 at 1:34 pm

    You had some amazing trips this year, Sima. And so much variation in destinations, too! We haven’t decided on most of our 2019 destinations either. At times I find myself considering so many options that it makes my head spin. The Big Easy sounds like so much fun and Tanzania very intriguing. Can’t wait to find out which one you’ll end up choosing!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 13th January 2019 at 11:00 pm

      Thanks so much Sarah. Love following your adventures too x

  • Louise 12th January 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Looks like you had had a Fabulous year! Bet jealous of your trip to the Maldives! That’s somewhere I really want to visit! Here’s to some fun adventures in 2019!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 13th January 2019 at 11:01 pm

      Thanks lovely, it was an amazing travel year. Hopefully you too will get to experience the Maldives soon x

  • Thediaryofrebecca 24th February 2019 at 10:54 pm

    Hey I’ve just discovered your blog, loved reading about your trips from last year, sounds like you visited some lovely places! I have just got back from Paris and completely understand your love affair with the place. It’s amazing and so beautiful!

    Love Rebecca |

    • the Curious Pixie 25th February 2019 at 11:05 am

      Hey Rebecca, thank you! So lovely to hear. We enjoyed some pretty epic trips last year. Once you’ve been to Paris, you’ll always want to go back for more. Glad you had an amazing time x

  • Elen Mai 10th March 2019 at 10:13 pm

    Wow what a year! I hate to admit that I’m ridiculously jealous. Your photographs are stunning and I hope your 2019 travel plans are just as incredible. x
    El |

    • the Curious Pixie 11th March 2019 at 9:03 am

      Oh thank you so much Elen. I hope there are some travels in your 2019 where near or far xx

  • Victoria Rutwind 16th March 2019 at 8:17 pm

    I love this round up! it has so many places on my bucket list. Especially South Wales, I’ve only been to north wales to visit my father in law!

    • the Curious Pixie 17th March 2019 at 10:58 pm

      Thank you Victoria. South Wales has so many pretty parts. Hope you make it there soon.

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    About Me

    About Me

    I'm Sima, join me as I explore, experience and eat my way around the globe. Inspiring you to escape the everyday through my adventures... Read More


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    November 2019 – Hamburg | Seville | Grenada

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