About us

Ilona and Daniel at Rovaniemi

Hello there! We are Daniel and Ilona and we travel the world together looking for adventures.

Welcome to our blog! We love swimming in waterfalls, riding camels and talking to the locals to find out about their lives and local culture. Food is a huge part of travelling and we enjoy trying out all the new and weird dishes the world has to offer. Photography is another of our passions, we can spend hours taking pictures!

Before meeting each other we already had our fair share of adventures, but we met for the first time in Turkmenistan, one of the least visited countries in the world! We separated and reunited multiple times before settling down in Frankfurt (for now). But just because we have a proper home doesn’t mean that we don’t travel anymore. Europe is at our doorstep and we take advantage of it! We also don’t shy away from far destinations like Japan.

On this blog, we want to share our passion for adventures with you. We want for your trips to be as amazing as ours so we provide you with all the resources you need, from general travel advice and help with planning your trip to travel guides. We also like writing about food (there are so many amazing dishes out there) and helping you get to know a place better through photo stories and interviews with locals.

Our story

The first time we met each other was in Turkmenistan, in a hotel breakfast room in Ashgabat. Daniel had started his trip in Istanbul and had just crossed over from Iran, while Ilona had just started in Ashgabat. From there, we travelled together along the Silk Road. We crossed through Central Asia, taking in the blue-mosaic buildings in Uzbekistan and hiking through mountains in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. After exploring Xinjiang and western China, crossing the country west to east, we split up in Xian. It was a sad goodbye, but we both had different plans, with Daniel going south to Laos and Ilona north to Beijing, and South Korea later.

However, travel rarely goes as planned! While exploring Beijing, Ilona realised that she’d rather continue to South East Asia with Daniel than travel through South Korea alone. Daniel got a nice surprise when she suddenly knocked on his hotel room door a few days later while he was on his way to Laos.

Ilona and Daniel at the Chinese Opera
Dressing up at the Chinese Opera

From there we travelled together for a few more months and explored South East Asia. We had a wonderful time there, but we had another bitter-sweet farewell when we had to part ways yet again! Ilona had to meet an old friend to travel South America, and Daniel already had plans to hike to Everest Base Camp.

We got another chance to travel together a few months later. This time the roles were reversed, and Daniel surprised Ilona by joining her in Colombia. We explored Central America for about a month before Daniel had to go back to Europe to work. It took a while more until we finally got together for real, when we both settled down (for now!) in Frankfurt, Germany. Now we use it as a base to explore the world together.

Ilona in Japan

Meet Ilona

I am from Germany and for as long as I can remember, I have loved travelling. When I was a child, my parents took me on trips to the North Sea and to the Alps. Then, as I grew older I had the chance to participate in a student exchange and lived in Canada for a year. Two summers later, I was back on my first backpacking trip, crossing the country from East to West and back again.

Ever since then, I have travelled as much as possible. I still use the same backpack I got for that very first trip, but I like to think that I am now a lot wiser. For example, I learned how to calculate a budget so I don’t have to spend a month eating bagels with peanut butter because they are the only food I can afford.

When I don’t travel, I work in clinical research. I absolutely love my job! After finishing university, I worked as a doctor in a hospital for six years. In 2017, I had enough of long working hours and never seeing friends and family, so I quit my job and went on a year-long trip. And I haven’t looked back since then. I now have an amazing job and enough time off to keep seeing the world.

Meet Daniel

I was born and raised in Spain, in a small village just outside Madrid. When I was a teenager I had the chance to go on a high school exchange in Slovenia, and I fell in love with travelling. Ever since then I have tried to get out of my country and my comfort zone. I first explored my home continent, Europe, and then the rest of the World.

Throughout my life, I have always tried to balance my two biggest passions: travelling, of course, and videogame development. Recently I have also added photography into the mix. I have worked as a videogame developer for many years, for both big and small companies, and independently. However, every time I have a few days off or I’m in between jobs I take the chance to see the world. Sometimes for a short weekend trip, sometimes for a life-changing year-around-the-world adventure. And no matter the trip I always spend countless hours trying to take the perfect photo to make one of our photo stories. I can be a bit obsessive about it, but it’s part of the fun!

What I love the most about travelling is feeling that sense of wonder that comes from exploring new places, discovering fascinating cultures or trying weird dishes. I’m also a bit of a history buff, so witnessing in first person the landmarks of old people, kingdoms and events that shaped our world is another thing I love.

Daniel in Japan

The story behind the blog

This blog is far from our first attempt at starting one. We started Top Travel Sights while travelling together through Vietnam, in the beautiful city of Hoi An. In the beginning, it was just Ilona. Daniel had his own blog, completely in Spanish, but he was still eager to help setting up Top Travel Sights. Someone had to take care of the technical aspects after all! The initial days were crazy. We were on a year-long trip and Ilona was writing up to one post a day!

Fast forward a few months later, while this blog was growing, Daniel migrated his own to an English version. We both took care of our own blogs for a while (although Daniel was still helping with all the technical stuff). However, at some point, we came to the conclusion that it would be better to focus our efforts on a single blog.

Our first step was to choose a new theme. Have you ever tried picking one? That took weeks alone! And we still haven’t finished moving all of Daniel’s blog posts from his previous website to this one. But we’re on it and we are pretty happy with the results we got so far. As we do most of our trips together, it is so much more fun to write about them together as well.

In this blog, we concentrate on our personal highlights from our travels. We want to leave you with travel guides that give you enough inspiration to plan your own trip. Head over to our destinations page if you want to see all the countries we’ve written about. As we’re travelling very often, that list keeps getting longer and longer. And talking about lists. Recently, we have added our bucket list, so make sure to check it out!

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