This week we would like to introduce Angela of Angela Travels. Angela is a small town girl with a travel bug to explore the world. Trying to make the most of her vacation days, she is a travel blogger sharing her local and world travel adventures. From local weekend hiking to full vacations, her blog shares how she gets out of the city. She has traveled to places like New Zealand, South America, Iceland, and other European countries.
1. What inspires you to travel, and how would you define the word ‘traveler’?
Experiencing different landscapes and scenery inspires me to travel. I would define a traveler as someone experiencing new cultures, destinations, and outlooks from what they are used to.
2. How do you afford your travels?
Even though I work full-time, I try to be as frugal as possible. I pack my lunches most days, along with drink free coffee and water to save money. I try not to shop unless I need something and try to live simply when possible.
3. Where was your first international trip and how old were you?
My first international trip (not counting Niagara Falls) was Venezuela when I was 15.
4. Where has been your favorite destination?
My favorite destination is a tossup. I really enjoyed New Zealand and Iceland for the same reason: many microclimates and landscapes within a small island. If I had to pick one, I would have to choose New Zealand’s South Island.
5. Where has been your least favorite?
Cozumel, Mexico. I stopped here on a cruise ship and did not experience the local culture. It was very touristy for where we were, which I normally avoid on my travels.
6. Have you ever had high hopes for a destination, tour, etc., only to be disappointed in the end? Or any travel mishaps?
I was extremely excited to hike to Cochamó, a rural destination in Chile. However, when we got to the airport to pick up our rental car in Puerto Montt, they said they did not have a car for us even though we had a reservation. Instead, we changed our cabin reservations and went to Puerto Varas, a nearby town.
7. What’s the funniest or weirdest cultural idiosyncrasy you’ve either witnessed or experienced?
I arrived via bus in a Chilean town, where we drove through a main plaza. There was a kid (around 12 to 15) blasting music through speakers in front of a church. Without any indication what was happening, we were stopped in traffic right next to this “DJ” playing music. It was baffling that he was just sitting there playing music in the middle of the day. Then a school of children dressed up in costumes come walking through the square. It did not seem to be related, but they were excited to dance and perform on their walk.
8. What keepsake do you have to get at all your destinations?
I am a sucker for postcards because they are small and easy to pack home. I try to collect them from each town I visit or stay in. I never send them but might in the future.
9. How about the one thing you cannot travel without?
I am a visual person, so I have to have my camera. I love to document my travels and go through them when blogging or writing in my journal. Also, it is easy to use photos to tell stories of my trips to friends and family.
I began blogging to document my travels. At first, I did not expect anyone to read them except maybe family members. It was more of an online journal for me to back up my written journals. If you read some of my early posts, you will notice the progression of my writing.
11. You work while you travel, what’s your biggest secret for making your vacation days go even further?
I have a whole post on using vacation days wisely. My number one tip is use vacation days for vacation and not to stay at home. It is easy to want a day to relax after trips, but I have to convince myself that I can rest after I return.
12. What’s next for 2014?
I want to get back into budget travel that I was forced to do when in college. With that being said, my 2014 trip will most likely be a spur-of-the-moment flight deal being booked. However, I do have a ski trip planned for a long weekend around St. Patty’s Day in Whistler, BC.
Backpack or suitcase? I love the mobility of a backpack.
Window or aisle? Window seat, so I can see aerial views of the departure and landing destinations.
Solo or group? This one is hard. I do not like large groups but almost always travel with my significant other.
Tapas or sushi? Tapas.
Beach or mountains? Mountains.
Be sure to follow along in all of Angela’s travels: