About me

This image features a traveler standing on the pathway leading through the ancient Karnak Temple complex in Luxor, Egypt. Flanking the path on both sides are rows of ram-headed sphinx statues, symbolizing the deity Amun. The towering walls of the temple, built of large blocks of stone, frame the scene, with the remains of pylons and columns hinting at the grandeur of the past. Visitors can be seen exploring the site, walking along the avenue of sphinxes, and in the background, the clear blue sky suggests it's a sunny day. The traveler in the foreground is dressed casually for a day of exploration, with sunglasses and a camera, ready to capture the memories of this historical place.
Karnak Temple

Let me tell you a bit about me and why you should trust me when I share with you my experience, tips, and photos from around the world.

My name is Maria Doldgeva and I am a travel and photography addict. Since my name is a bit long and hard to pronounce, I often shorten it to Maria Dol.

Why you should trust me?

Because I am only sharing my own experience and my own photos.

I’ve been traveling since 2000 and have visited more than 30 countries. Many of them more than once. I’m going to share with you my first-hand experiences in the places I’ve visited, my tested itineraries and some tips I consider useful.

Not a fan of organized travel, I prefer to make my own itineraries. Preparing for my next trip means a lot of reading and research. I find it entertaining and rewarding. When it comes to accommodations and transportation, I always try to find the perfect balance between budget and comfort. Here are my practical tips and recommendations.

Visiting a new place also means lots of photographic opportunities. Wherever I go, I always try to find the best places to take pictures or to photograph well-known attractions from a different perspective. All the photos you see here are mine. I will give you some hints about the best viewpoints or lesser known photo spots that I have found myself.

In 2008 I started writing reviews for TripAdvisor and answering questions on the forums. I am a level 6 contributor with hundreds of posts, over 30% of which readers have found helpful.

After a few years of sharing my photos, stories, itineraries and tips on my Facebook page, I decided to take it to the next level and create a blog. Here you will find inspiration as well as useful information and tips based on my first-hand experience.

How did it all start?

I remember when I was a little kid, my father brought home a huge world atlas. It was the most colorful book I had ever seen. And it weighed a ton. I remember lying on the floor and flipping through the pages. Still learning to read, I tried my best to pronounce all the unfamiliar words. Fascinated by the flags, I tried to imagine what life would be like in those countries. I promised myself that one day I would visit as many of them as possible.

I had to wait quite a long time before I began to fulfill that promise, but I am doing my best. I have visited almost all the countries in Europe and have also set foot in Africa, Asia and South America.

Once again, my father is to blame for my addiction to photography. To make a long story short, he let me use his most valuable possession – a Zorki-C camera (the one on the cover) – on a school trip. The pictures I took were a disaster. However, the lack of decent results didn’t discourage me and I started to learn.

And what better way to combine my favorite pastimes than to travel and photograph all the beautiful places I visit.

As a full-time professional and mother of two (already grown) boys, I plan to travel and post as often as I can. However, I enjoy spending my free time planning my next trip, reviewing photos from my last trip, or writing about it. If you don’t want to miss a post, subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on Instagram and Facebook. Or check out my Pinterest boards for ideas for your next trip. And please feel free to comment or ask as many questions as you like. And why not meet in person on one of my next trips?

My 50 cents in other media

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