Welcome to another installment of my travel blogger interview series! Today, I’m happy to introduce you to Yina from My Nomad Tips!
My name is Yinaira Reyes Gutierrez, but almost everyone calls me Yina (Gina). I’m from the Westside of Puerto Rico and I’m currently living in Valencia. I first moved to Spain in 2016 with a student exchange program and fell in love with it. Since then, I’ve lived in Spain on and off but now I’m officially settled in Valencia. Recently, I created My Nomad Tips where I write mostly about travel tips to Spain, Puerto Rico, and living abroad.
How long have you been blogging for? Why’d you decide to start a travel blog?
I’ve been blogging just for 6 months on My Nomad Tips, I had a blog before but back then I had no clue what I was doing and Hurricane Maria came and made it very difficult to write back in Puerto Rico.
Then in July, I moved to Valencia and people started asking me how was I able to move again to Spain how was I earning money and the questions kept coming. That’s when finally I decided to get back to blogging and help others who were interested in moving abroad, traveling, and working remotely.
Do you have any tips for new travel bloggers/aspiring travel bloggers?
Invest a little bit. If you want to really create a good and informative blog learn from others, read about blogging and SEO. It really makes a difference if you learn from other’s mistakes and it saves you a lot of time.
What’s one thing you wish you knew before you started traveling?
One thing I’ve learned is that not everyone who is your friend is a good travel buddy. I’ve been on some trips that were a disaster and even ruined friendships. Now I know that, if from the beginning you know you don’t have the same travel interest as your friends or family it is better to travel solo or look for a different companion. It’s better this than have a bad experience abroad or like I said damage your relationship with others.
On the other hand, after some bad travel experiences, I finally learned who to travel with and it has formed long-lasting relationships.
Why do you love to travel?
I always loved it since I was a little girl but then in college, I studied anthropology and did a major in sociology. This changed my view of the world and cultures in many ways. Ultimately it piqued my interest to see in real life what I read. And I love that every time I travel I learn how other people live, what they eat and then I like to take some of the things I learn and improve my own ways.
What’s your best and worst travel experience?
I think one of the best was in Firenze, Italy. I went on my own because nobody else wanted to go but again, I had read about its history back in college and I just had to go. It was the perfect trip because I was able to visit the places I had at my own pace. I enjoyed every moment of it, from sitting in centuries-old stairs while indulging in gelato to awing at the majestic sculptures in each corner.
Sadly, the worst I’d have to say Morocco only because it snowed in the middle of April, we got stuck in a bus for about 16 hours and on top of that, I got sick and couldn’t eat anything. But I still think it is a beautiful place and I definitely want to go back.
Do you prefer solo travel or traveling with other people? Why?
In the past, I have enjoyed both. But I’m starting to enjoy traveling with people because it exposes me to see things I might not choose on my own. Again, the trick is choosing the right people for the right kind of trip.
What’s your favorite place you’ve ever been to? Why?
This really is a tough question and I think every time I change my answer because I have so many places on my favorite list. But one that always makes it in my list is Copenhague, Denmark. I had very high hopes and it didn’t disappoint. The city is beautiful, clean, and fresh. Also, the Nyhavn, the iconic place with the colorful houses and boats, was even better than I had imagined.
I also had a lot of fun with my friends and this adds to the whole experience. We were 3 girls running around the city and always felt safe so this too makes it one of my favorite places to go to.
What’s your biggest travel tip?
Wake up early! If you are traveling to a touristy place then get disappointed when you only see a crowd you can only change your walking hour. This will guaranty you will enjoy a less crowded view.
Of course, if your planning on a relaxing vacation it is different. But who goes to another country just to sleep?
Is there one specific thing you like to do, see, or buy in every place that you visit?
One thing I always like to do is at least one proper meal where I try a traditional meal, dessert or drink, or all of the above. Even if then I survive on sandwiches!
Is there one particular food that you’ve tried while traveling that you loved? What food was it and why do you love it so much?
I’ve tried so many delicious things that it is hard to choose. But one thing that I recently tried and fell in love with was an Italian dessert from Bari, the Southeast side. It is called tette della monaca. They are small morbid and filled with different creams from pistachio, orange, chocolate, and the traditional pastry cream. If you visit this region you must try them.
Plane or train? Train.
Hotel or hostel? Hotel or actually Airbnb.
City or nature? Nature.
Popular site or off the beaten path? Off the beaten path.
Suitcase or backpack? Suitcase.
Fast travel or slow travel? Slow travel.
Professional camera or iPhone photography? Professional camera.
Warm or cold weather? Warm all the way!
All photos used throughout this post are courtesy of Yina from My Nomad Tips.