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Travel Blogger

Inspiration, Lifestyle

Requiem of a Burned Out Travel Blogger

July 6, 2014 • By

You know how it feels when you’re walking down the street and you catch a glimpse of something familiar. Something that you know without a shadow of a doubt, who or what it is. Your pace quickens as you get closer, so sure that once you’ve caught up with whatever you’re chasing, you will be greeted warmly by sturdy hands embracing you because your presence was missed too.

running

I feel that way about writing. As you can see from my utter lack of recent posts, I took a long break from it in order to pursue another dream that I felt was calling me. I am so happy to have done so because I don’t ever want to live with even more regrets. I will continue with it, but I am most certain and harbor no doubt that writing is where I am meant to be.

Writing has been a part of my life for almost as long as I have been breathing. It has allowed me to encapsulate my deepest fears and most hopeful dreams safely within the realm of a collection of bound pages throughout the years.

writing

It gave life to words that I dared not utter for fear of judgment or ridicule. It was my sacred place to store all of the feelings that both haunted and elated me and I could come back to revisit them at my own choosing.

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Inspiration, Interviews

The Inspired Traveler # 18 – Michael Figueiredo

June 17, 2011 • By

Today is my final installment in the Inspired Traveler series. I appreciate all the support from the readers and the participation of some really great travel bloggers who generously shared their wit and wisdom in their interviews. Helping the fat lady sing is one of my faves, Mike Figueiredo, who quite by accident has found himself blogging about traveling in between his day job in La La Land. Mike shares his adventures in his travel blog Strux Travel and as the local guide/contributor to the Los Angeles Examiner.

Standing on a dolphin’s head in Punta del Este, Uruguay!  (not really)

1. What is it about traveling that makes you smile?

Just sitting at an outdoor café, sipping a cappuccino and watching the people go by. It doesn’t really matter what part of the world I’m in—it could be Paris or Istanbul, Buenos Aires or New York City. I really enjoy seeing how people go about their day-to-day lives.

2. What is your favorite place in the world?

That’s a hard one! If I had to narrow it down I’d say Barcelona, Spain. I love the lifestyle there—tapas bars, afternoon siestas, eating dinner at 10 p.m. Plus, the people are so friendly and the city is teeming with spectacular art and architecture. I love that it’s a very cosmopolitan city but at the same time it enjoys a relaxed Mediterranean vibe.

3. What place would have to pay you to come back and even then you’d have to think about it?

I have yet to go to a place that I disliked so much that I’d never want to return. I hope I never have an answer to this question!

4. What is the best piece of advice that you’ve been given about traveling?

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Inspiration, Interviews

The Inspired Traveler # 16 – Lynda Galea

June 10, 2011 • By

Today, we continue our series where we sit down to interview fellow Travel Bloggers and get them to give up some of their best travel tips for you, dear reader. Next up, we will meet the vivacious Lynda Galea who is the founder of Live.Travel.Blog.

 

1.  What is it about traveling that makes you smile?The  sense of freedom and independence when traveling is what gets a smile  on my dial. When I’m traveling, I feel like I can be whoever I want to  be without a worry in the world! Oh, and possibly the thought of not  having to wake up at 6:20am every morning to get the train into work…  that’s a pretty darn good feeling!

2.  What is your favorite place in the world?

Tough  question – I mean, there were so many cities throughout Europe that I  loved but when push comes to shove, I’m going to have to say the USA,  more specifically, Orlando, Florida. I spent 14 months of my life  interning at Disney World in 2009-2010 and just fell in love with it all  – the lifestyle, the people, the friends, my job! There is not a single  day that goes by where I do not think about my time there and how I’d  give anything to move back!

3.  What place would have to pay you to come back and even then you’d have to think about it?

Albania…  Lets just say I had a not so great hole-in-the-ground bathroom  encounter in the middle of no where off a beaten track in 45 degree  Celsius heat. Gross.READ MORE


Inspiration, Interviews

The Inspired Traveler # 15 – Jay Jackson

June 3, 2011 • By

Today, we continue our series where we sit down to interview fellow Travel Bloggers and get them to give up some of their best travel tips for you, dear reader. Next up, we get to discuss the wonders of travel with Jay Jackson whose tagline is one of my favorite quotes “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain. Jay is on a mission to see as much of this old planet that he can and he shares his exploits in his popular travel blog Jay Travel.
 

1)   What is it about traveling that makes you smile?

Learning new things, meeting new people and crossing something off of my Bucket List.

2)    What is your favorite place in the world?

Not sure I have a favorite place, the experiences I’ve enjoyed the most have been the most diverse.  The one that comes to mind was my trip to South Africa.  The big city-concrete jungle feel of Johannesburg felt drastically different than the safari environment of Kruger National Park which also felt a world apart from Cape Town’s laid back nature and extremely beautiful vistas.

3)   What place would have to pay you to come back and even then you’d have to think about it?

None really, every experience is valuable and gives you something – no trip is completely awful.  That said, my least enjoyable trip was to Rome, Italy.  Overall, I was fairly underwhelmed by the city due to the general filth and the so-so attractions.READ MORE


Inspiration, Interviews

The Inspired Traveler # 14 – Jeremy Branham

May 26, 2011 • By

Today, we continue our series where we sit down to interview fellow Travel Bloggers and get them to give up some of their best travel tips for you, dear reader. Next up, we get to discuss the wonders of travel with Jeremy Branham, who does double duty as the featured budget traveler blogger for the Sacramento Examiner and his own popular travel blog, Budget Travel Adventures.

 

Jeremy and his wife standing in front of the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC

1) What is it about traveling that makes you smile?

The answer to this question varies by age. When I was young, a trip to Disney World or my first baseball game to see the Atlanta Braves. In college, it was that first trip to Estonia as a wide-eyed kid from the South had his eyes opened to the world and his passion stirred.

As an adult, my perspective is different because my life has changed. Now, it’s a beautiful sunset on a deserted beach or a cabin in the mountains surrounded by trees, peace, and quiet. As a dad, it’s seeing things in this world that we often take for granted through my kid’s eyes and words. It’s those simple moments that you realize what a great opportunity we have to see the world and experience it with other people.

2) What is your favorite place in the world?

You want an honest answer or want me to mention some great place that I have visited and loved?

I am going to seriously cheat on this one and name a few. In my travels abroad, I have two places for two very different reasons. The first is Estonia because it was my first trip overseas and it had a huge impact on me. I can honestly say that I am not the same person now because of that trip. While those who have visited Estonia tend to visit Tallinn, my favorite place is Tartu – a college town a few hours from Tallinn in the southeast part of Estonia. My other answer to this is Portugal because I really loved my time in Lisbon. Maybe it was being there at the right place and time but I really enjoyed the city.

However, my honest answer to this question is home. When I am not traveling, there is no place I would rather be than home with my family. My kids are at a great age right now and although being a parent of two kids under 3 can be tough, it is rewarding as well. There aren’t three people on earth I would rather hang out with than my family. I am very much a homebody and just enjoy the simple things in life. It’s ironic that I even say this now – I’ve changed so much.

For me, it’s all about the relationships and quality time with my family. It’s probably the same reason why I value my experiences with people when I travel more than the places or sights that I have seen.READ MORE


Inspiration, Interviews

The Inspired Traveler # 13 – Laurel Robbins

May 20, 2011 • By

Today, we continue our series where we sit down to interview fellow Travel Bloggers and get them to give up some of their best travel tips for you, dear reader. Next up, we get to discuss the wonders of travel with Laurel Robbins, who runs the popular travel blog, Ex-pat in Germany.

Laurel after a dive with hundreds of hammerhead sharks at Darwin’s Arch in the Galapagos.

1. What is it about traveling that makes you smile?

I love meeting new people, experiencing different cultures and discovering new places and landscapes. I also love seeing wildlife in their natural surroundings and learning where and how to spot local wildlife. All of these aspects of travel make me smile.

2.  What is your favorite place in the world?

This is a tough one, but I love the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. I didn’t know much about them before my volunteer trip and I had no idea that besides the main islands, there are hundreds of small uninhabited islands. Besides the people on our boat we only saw a handful of other people in ten days. I loved the remoteness and peacefulness of it. Laos, Guatemala, Cocos Island off the coast of Costa Rica, Galapagos and the Canadian Rockies are also some of my favourite places in the world.

3.  What place would have to pay you to come back and even then you’d have to think about it?READ MORE


Inspiration, Interviews

The Inspired Traveler # 12 – Monica Gonzalez

May 13, 2011 • By

Today, we continue our series where we sit down to interview fellow Travel Bloggers and get them to give up some of their best travel tips for you, dear reader. Next up, we get to discuss the wonders of travel with the very busy Monica Gonzalez, who created the Globe Diva Travels blog and runs the booking agency of the same name.

brussels, belgium

These vibrant colors are secondary to none! Way to go, Brussels!

1) What is it about traveling that makes you smile?

This is the question that really took me the longest to answer. I don’t want it to sound like a cop-out answer but EVERYTHING about travel makes me smile! When I get a great deal on a flight, I smile. When I think about the places I’m going to be seeing, I smile. When I think about the food I’m going to be tasting, I smile. When I get home and think about the places I’ve been and the people I’ve been fortunate enough to have met, I smile. It’s hard not to smile when I think about any aspect of travel.

2) What is your favorite place in the world?

Italy. I haven’t done vast traveling all over the world like some people but I know in my heart that no place will ever compare with Italy. I can’t, or maybe I don’t want to, narrow it down to any particular region. I just have a feeling of “home” when I get there that I haven’t found anywhere else I’ve visited.

3) What place would have to pay you to come back and even then you’d have to think about it?

At this point in my travels, I can honestly say that there isn’t any place that I would not visit again. I will say there are some cities I don’t have to visit again and London would be one of those. Even though I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to see and even though the trip was very enjoyable, there was nothing about London that struck a chord in me.

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Inspiration, Interviews

The Inspired Traveler – # 10 – April D. Thompson

May 6, 2011 • By

Today, we continue our series where we sit down to interview fellow Travel Bloggers and (hopefully) get them to give up some of their best travel tips for you, dear reader. Next up, we get to discuss the wonders of travel with April D. Thompson, who is the founding editor of The Absolute Travel Addict website.

1)  What is it about traveling that makes you smile?
One of the best things about travel is meeting new people. Despite language, cultural and geographical differences, making connections with people really makes my heart smile.

2)  What is your favorite place in the world?
I like so many places, but I would have to say South Africa, particularly Durban is my favorite to date.  I’m not really sure what it was, but I really felt at home.  It’s just a laid back and friendly beach town with a unique mix of Indian and African culture.

3)  What place would have to pay you to come back and even then you’d have to think about it?
Luckily, I don’t really have any place that I wouldn’t go back to, especially if someone paid me.  My only hesitation would be that there are so many places I haven’t seen yet that I would like to see before repeating some of the places I have already visited.


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Interviews, Travel Advice

A Conversation with Gray Cargill of SoloFriendly.com

April 10, 2011 • By

For the first time ever, I will be taking my first solo trip later this year.  My daughter has other obligations and will not be able to accompany me on this journey.  It will be a change for me since she has been my road partner all of these years.   One thing that became glaringly obvious in planning this trip is how the travel industry is set up to accommodate couples and groups.  Of course, this is something that you don’t notice when you are a part of said couple or group.  I know that there are plenty of folks who would love to travel but may be reticent to go it alone.

But I am up for the challenge and quite excited at the prospect of venturing out on my own!  Still, this is something new to me so I thought that I would contact someone who had a bit more knowledge about what I (and others in a similar situation) was in for.  Gray Cargill is an experienced solo travel blogger and would be the perfect person to discuss what, if anything, I should expect as a newly vetted solo traveler myself.

SoloFriendly

Standing near the Alexander bridge along the Seine in Paris

Ok, Gray, you’ve become quite an expert on traveling solo.  How did you get started?

I guess you could call me an expert by now, though I prefer the word “enthusiast.” I got started the same way many solo travelers get started–I wanted to travel, but none of my friends or family were in the same situation. Either they had no interest, no time, or no money. It was either don’t travel at all or travel alone. I decided to try traveling alone. As it turned out, I liked it. People often talk about going on vacation to “get away from it all,” but if you’re traveling with someone else, you’re not getting away from it all. You’re bringing some of it with you. Solo travel is really getting away from it all.READ MORE


Inspiration, Interviews

The Inspired Traveler # 5 – Jeremy Jones

March 25, 2011 • By

Today, we continue our series where we sit down to interview fellow Travel Bloggers and (hopefully) get them to give up some of their best travel tips for you, dear reader.  Next up, Jeremy Jones with Living The Dream RTW shares his views about traveling around the world.

Jeremy Jones

I give it two snaps up in a rock formation…Petra Jordan

1)      What is it about traveling that makes you smile?

Traveling is great because it is something new.  Whether it is exploring a new city, beach, or mountain it is always refreshing to take in something new and wonderful that this world has to offer.

2)      What is your favorite place in the world?

Ouch, tough question.  I spent 6 weeks in Thailand and could easily go back right now for another 6, so I guess I’d say that Thailand is my favorite thus far.  Apart from the beaches, Chiang Mai is just a wonderful city in its own right and I absolutely love it there.  If I had to go somewhere else, I’d say Switzerland because the mountains are absolutely stunning and my kind of summer weather – chilly but not cold.

3)      What place would have to pay you to come back and even then you’d have to think about it?

I can’t say there are many places that I disliked enough to never want to go back.  There are several that I have seen my share of and have no desire to see again, just from doing the items I wanted to see, but I think if I was offered money I’d go back to almost everywhere unless it was competing for some vacation time or something. This is especially true now that my fiancee is going to travel with me, and she hasn’t been anywhere.  So even if I have been somewhere and got my fill, I’ll still go for her to see it.READ MORE