Instatraveller: A Trio of Travelling Russian Nesting Dolls

25 Sep 2017

Toothbrush, passport, underwear… Russian nesting dolls? When it comes to packing for your travels, the latter doesn’t usually make it to the list – unless you’re Janna, that is. For this month’s Instatraveller we take a closer look at the Instagram account @Matryoshkitravels and find out what it’s like to take three dolls around the globe…

How did it all begin? Where did the dolls come from?

It all began with my round the world trip. I was already travelling and living in different countries, but one day I decided to go around the world and, to make it a bit more fun and interesting, I took three nesting dolls with me which I bought from a market in St Petersburg. I believe they are the only nesting dolls to have made a round the world trip!

How many countries have they travelled to?

Between September 2013 and June 2014 they accompanied me from Russia to the UK, and from there we went to:

  • France – Nice
  • Monaco
  • Germany – The Rhine, Dusseldorf, Cologne
  • USA – New York, Florida, California
  • Canada – Toronto, Niagara Falls, Montréal, Québec
  • Australia – Sydney, Port Macquarie, Hanging Rock (Victoria), Great Ocean Road, 12 Apostles, Mount Gambier, Melbourne, Darwin
  • New Zealand – Whanganui River, Moeraki Boulders, Picton, Wellington
  • Bali
  • Singapore
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Thailand – Bangkok
  • Cambodia
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan – Tokyo

...and then back to the UK.

During the trip we visited a total of 16 countries (including Russia and UK) and made 20 flights. Afterwards, I took them to Israel, Portugal, Turkey, Gibraltar and Spain, so a total of 21 countries so far.

What’s your favourite image and why?

To be honest I don't have a favourite – I like all my Matryoshki photos. I just do it for fun and to show that travelling can be done a bit differently.

Which was the trickiest image to capture?

In Kuala Lumpur I was trying to get the Matryoshki and three towers into one photo (see main image - top), which was tricky, but I managed to get a shot of the KL Tower in the background and the Petronas Twin Towers are reflected in the ball.

What’s the reaction been like to your photographs and the Instagram account?

Many people said that it was cool and cute!

What’s your next adventure?

We are staying in Spain and Gibraltar at the moment so I'll take some photos there, but I have no idea where we will be next. I would love to go almost anywhere I haven't visited yet. My travel decisions are usually spontaneous, but South America has been on my list for a while now.

Where is home?

Planet Earth :) I am from Russia originally.


Inspired by Janna's travels around the globe? Make an appointment with one of our Travel Experts to start planning your next adventure.


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Tessa Watkins

Formerly a local news editor and reporter covering court cases and crime stories, I’m obsessed with all things travel. Often found exploring a new city and seeking out the world’s best beaches, there are a plethora of destinations I remain desperate to discover. Tweet me @tess1977