Hola queridos y queridas!

Aquí sigo en Chiang Mai disfrutando de este hermoso país y dándole vida al blog.

Hace unas semanas tuve la oportunidad de participar con una plataforma que se llama Oaktrav. Esta web se dedica a fomentar la comunidad viajera en todas partes del mundo. En concreto, me hicieron una pequeña entrevista la cual, me encantó contestar y me trajo muy buenos recuerdos.

Aquí os dejo el enlace directo a la entrevista o si preferís, os la dejo compartida justo debajo. Ya sabes, cualquier duda, comentario, apunte, crítica ( no muchas :P) no dudes en contactar conmigo.

Empezamos!!!

What’s your favourite place travelled so far? And why.

Answering this question is like deciding what my favourite book, film or food is – impossible! I love all the places that I have been. That said, I have to say Venice is a breathtaking city.

I remember when I took the 2.5 hour train from Milan to Venice. When you walk outside the Santa Lucia Train Station, The Grand Canal immediately comes into view. It is like a dream to see the turquoise water under these majestic and palatial buildings.

To get to the city centre you have to take a ferry from the train station and some minutes later you pass under the Rialto Bridge. It’s truly beautiful and curiously, the oldest bridge across The Grand Canal. When I was there this bridge was decorated with placards that announced the Carnival of Venice (the one famous for its elaborate masks and costumes).

Like many tourists, I must confess I brought home those little magnets of venetian masks to put on the fridge (plus it was the only souvenir I could fit in my handbag).

Venice has something very particular called “acqua alta” in Italian or “high water” in English.

In short, this phenomenon happens when the high peaks of the Adriatic Sea cause partial flooding of the city in the low-lying areas such as the Piazza San Marco, the lowest point in Venice. Many times throughout the year the square is completely flooded so local authorities have to place wooden footbridges for locals and tourists to walk on.

Experiencing this phenomenon and crossing the Piazza San Marco over those pieces of timber is something that I will never forget. That, and it makes for a really good snapshot.

One thing to watch out for are people crossing your path. It can get quite narrow on the timber planks, and can be a real challenge not to fall over. I think that’s why some people were wearing rubber boots that day.

Obviously, something that makes this city special are the gondolas. You don’t need a partner to ride one, just make sure to have enough money in your pocket because it’s a little pricey. However, it’s a good choice if you want to enjoy the incredible architecture of the city. Otherwise, on the Gold Coast (Australia) they have some for rent as well so I guess you could go there instead and close your eyes and pretend you’re on The Grand Canal.

To walk through Venice is really diverting and unexpected. You will find yourself crossing little bridges and canals all the time. While strolling along its twisting streets you might stumble upon a fish market, or you’ll turn right and find a place full of restaurants and hidden cafes. Turn left and you will find even more local stores. Go straight you will not doubt find The Doge’s Palace – something truly marvellous to behold! All told, Venice is a big labyrinth and an adventurous traveller’s wonderland.

So, for the history, the art, the architecture, the maze of streets, the photography, the peculiarities, and of course the beauty, I choose Venecia!

What are your future travel plans?

My future travel plans are actually happening right now. I’m actually writing this on location in Chiang Mai. Currently I’m travelling in Thailand for a couple of months. So far, I have to say that I’m enjoying it and the food in particular is spectacular. I can not wait to take a cooking course in Chiang Mai (something that is apparently quite popular). I’m a pretty good cook so I think it will be worthwhile.

I have discovered two things so far in Thailand. Number one, Thai people are always smiling. Second, I’m still getting use to the spicey-ness of the food, mainly the curries which are, by the way, apparently very good for the health.

The most mind-blowing thing I have done so far is snorkeling with the little reef sharks on the Phi Phi Islands. Ever since watching “Jaws” I literally panic whenever I see a shark. On the day, after the first few minutes in the water we spotted the first one and I immediately wanted to swim back to the boat. Unfortunately for me, the boat was very far away at this point. However, within minutes I was lost amongst the abundance and beauty of sea life in the ocean and I just went with the flow. What marvelous clear waters, little colourful fish, stunning corals, and more species just in front of me. It was unforgettable! Next, I want to go diving with white sharks in a cage! No, just joking, no way!

What was your most embarrassing moment while travelling?

I was in two minds whether to tell this story or not but whatever, let’s do it! When I was younger, I went for holidays to Majorca with my friends when we finished school. Majorca is one of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and is very well known for its beaches, coves, coiled puff pastries, almonds, and more.

So, we were there for a week and one day we decided to go to a water park to battle the heat. We found this massive water slide like a rollercoaster and people sliding down in giant inflatable donuts. It seemed pretty awesome so we went.

After waiting in the predictably long queue, I was excited because I finally had only one person in front of me. Then it was my turn so I jumped in the donut enthusiastically.

Down the ride I went, until I reached a patch that was not as slippery as the beginning of the slide. This was apparently normal because of the heat so in the middle of the ride there was an attendant waiting who told me: jump out, I’m going to put more water on the donut and push you again. So I jumped out.

When the guy finished and told me to hop back in, I was pretty quick in case another donut was coming from behind. So I go to hop back in the donut. In my eagerness to launch myself my bikini stuck with the plastic of the donut and pulled down my pants. So I rode the donut a good half the way down with my butt uncovered, red faced and wishing to arrive at the pool already to be able to pull up my briefs! Of course my friends thought it was hilarious.

What’s the best piece of travel advice you’ve received?

Well, I have been given lots of practical advice over the years. Let’s see: roll your clothes to save space in your bag. Get your checked luggage wrapped in plastic. Take note of the number for the taxis in case you get lost. Ask for the taximeter to be turned on before getting a ride. Only drink bottled water. Split your money between cash and credit cards and even keep some in your luggage and at the place you are booked. Don’t use your personal passwords on public Wifi (I’m using an App called NordVPN to protect my data and info). Check if your handbag is closed always. However, the best piece of travel advice I have ever received is: wander.

What I mean is: turn off the main road and follow your nose. For most of us, during a trip we normally reach for a map, guides, lists of things to visit, lists of places to stay, the top 10 restaurants where to grab a bite according to Tripadvisor etc. Stop!

Is it not more inspiring to discover new things? Is it not more exciting to take alternative paths or cross another road instead the one that all tourists take? What about if just for one day you leave the hotel and just follow your feet and the impressions it gives you? If you do, I’m certain you will find yourself pleasantly surprised and maybe, it will be you recommending new places for your friends to visit.

Sometimes to get lost It is the best way to explore a city, as well as being surprised. And in the worse case, no worries, you have the number of the taxi!

Do you prefer hot or cold destinations?

Winter is coming… not just for Games of Thrones folks! For me too! I definitely prefer cold destinations. Unfortunately, my body does not respond very well to the heat. I get bloated and if I miss one day without sunscreen, the consequences are devastating. The only perfume in some destinations is bug spray and again, if I miss it one day the consequences are devastating as well.

In hot destinations it is more difficult to get dressed because you have to conceal the red marks of the sun on your back, chest, neck, and legs with clothes. This gets very boring very quickly. Not to mention the heavy two litre bottle of water you have to carry with you on a really sunny day.

I enjoy feeling the cool breeze and the wind in my hair. I love to cover myself up with a scarf and a coat. There is nothing like grabbing a hot chocolate with churros in a coffee shop in the centre of Madrid in winter, eating chestnuts in the middle of autumn on a cold Sunday in my hometown, warming yourself up with a hot cappuccino and wandering the streets of Paris in winter, visiting the Christmas Markets in Prague or seeing Central Park with fallen leaves in autumn in New York.

Strict schedule or go with the flow?

I would say fifty-fifty. In my opinion, it basically depends on the time that you are going to be travelling. For example, if I know that my trip is quite long, I prefer to have an idea about my trip but once I’m there, in situ, build my adventure daily.

It could happen that you meet a group of friendly travelers and after a cheerful conversation join their plan, or have to cancel one excursion because it starts to rain heavily and put it off, just to chill out in the facilities or take the day easy, to extend your days in a specific city because you really like it or even to repeat the same that you did the day before because it was an incredible time.

However, I also have travelled stricted scheduled trips when I had less days available for holidays especially in Europe. I guess we are known for our many museums, churches and castles. So from my point of view, the perfect combination is a little bit of both. To be organized and adventurous at the same time.

What do you get up to when you’re not travelling?

When I’m not travelling I’m dreaming about it. Once you start travelling it is like you enter a circle; waiting eagerly for your next trip to come, then before you realise you are saying goodbye to your family at the airport, and then all too quickly it’s over and you are planning the next one, once again finding yourself waiting for the next trip to come. I’m sure a lot of travellers can relate! I guess it’s like feeding your wanderlust.

Hmmm… what else? Looking for cheap flights in your break time, thinking about how to plan your leave (and how to tell your boss) to maximise your holidays, crossing out the days on your calendar at your desk before a big trip, googling cities, editing pictures in Photoshop of your last trip, posting pictures of your last adventure online, trying to save money, thinking about buying a lighter carry-on bag, learning some basic words and sentences in another language, commenting in travel groups on Facebook, starting a travel blog, not being able to stop talking about your adventures with you friends and family or whoever will listen…these are the patterns I find myself falling into when I’m not travelling and I’m sure this all sounds very familiar to you too!

Thanks!

Berta