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It’s time for another travel blogger interview. Today, I’m happy to introduce you to Cristina from My Little World of Travelling!
Hi there! I’m Cristina, a Spanish expat living in the UK and the founder of My Little World of Travelling, a female travel blog featuring European travel guides, expat life and travel blogging tips.
How long have you been blogging for? Why’d you decide to start a travel blog?
I must admit I didn’t like travelling and moving to different cities at a young age, but this changed during my teenage years when I went to Canada with a friend and his family for a month.
That month in Canada completely changed my mind about travelling, and then I couldn’t stop thinking of where I could go once I was older enough to travel by myself or with friends, as my family has never been into travel.
As soon as I was 18, I started travelling again and I haven’t stopped since then. However, if you wonder why I started my blog, well… Since I was a kid, I have loved writing about my life and what was around me, but I never thought of writing online. Two and a half years ago, I wasn’t into social media or reading blogs, but I was taking pictures of my trips and saw other creators posting stunning pictures and linking their blog to their bio.
At that point, I discovered blogging and I was very excited to start one as well as improving my writing skills. This is how My Little World of Travelling started.
Do you have any tips for new travel bloggers/aspiring travel bloggers?
When I started blogging I had no idea about SEO, marketing and writing good blog posts, and these are things that I have been learning over the last two years.
You can be passionate about travelling and blogging, but see no success if you don’t spend time working on SEO or promoting your blog.
At the beginning of my blogging journey, I was also treating my blog as a diary, and believe me, you need to have a really strong audience and following for people to be interested in reading your diary entries.
Your content needs to be unique, and of course, you can write about a funny story in your post, but the key is to write about your audience and not only about you!
At the same time, learn about SEO basics at the start of your blogging journey because SEO is essential for people to find your blog, and therefore, get more page views and start monetizing your blog with ads and affiliate links.
I know SEO may sound super technical and scary, and that’s why many bloggers often ignore it and focus only on Pinterest. You won’t see immediate results from SEO, as it takes longer, but implementing the basics will help your blog grow.
I discovered SEO a bit late, so I had to go through many old blog posts and rewrite them to improve their ranking. Don’t make the same mistake!
What’s one thing you wish you knew before you started traveling?
Before I started travelling, I wish I knew how addictive it is. I used to think that I would go to some of the top places on my travel bucket list and that would be all. However, after travelling for the first time, I realised there were so many wonderful places to see. Since then, I can’t stop travelling and when I’m not travelling, I feel there’s something missing in my life.
Why do you love to travel?
There are so many reasons why I love to travel, but one of the main reasons is to learn about other cultures.
I don’t like to be a tourist wherever I go, and I prefer to immerse myself in the place by meeting the local people, trying to speak their language and eating traditional cuisine.
At the same time, I like to see main attractions, but I am more passionate about finding hidden gems that only locals know.
Food is also an important aspect of travelling too. Before I visit any place, I always check the traditional food and the best local restaurants to try these dishes.
What’s your best and worst travel experience?
My best travel experience was visiting New York City for the first time. I had dreamt of visiting NYC since I was a teenager, so just the fact of going there was special. It was amazing to wander around the big apple and explore all those places I had seen in films – tall buildings, busy atmosphere, impressive and famous spots, etc.
But if I have to choose a special moment from my trip to NYC, watching the sunset from the Top of the Rock was my highlight. Although it was busy, the sandy and pinky colours from the sunset and view to Central Park were absolutely beautiful.
My worst travel experience happened during my trip to Paphos. I booked a half day cruise to celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday. We missed the bus that was going to pick us up from the hotel, but actually this worked out well because another person took us to the place where the cruise was stopping first.
During the drive, she told us about Paphos and places to visit, so it was nice to hear the history and recommendations from a local point of view. Then a speedboat took us to the cruise and once we were in, there was a buffet with plenty of delicious food. We ate a lot and had the chance to jump into the sea to swim in one of the stops.
The water was cold but it was amazing to swim in the transparent blue sea. However, on our way back I started to feel sick like never before! I had to actually run to the toilet and skip a long queue of people that were waiting for it. I had to apologise and when I went up, my boyfriend was feeling the same way! We were both sick and we couldn’t wait for the cruise to end.
Do you prefer solo travel or traveling with other people? Why?
I have experienced solo travel and travel with other people, and they are two completely different experiences.
Solo travel is perfect to build your confidence and connect with yourself. It can be a bit scary the first time you do it, but it’s completely worth it. The first time I travelled solo, I had mixed feelings – I was excited but worried. However, by doing this I discovered I was more independent than I thought.
Although I love solo travel, now I often travel with my partner. It’s a great experience when you share your experiences with someone who loves travelling too, but you may need to compromise if you have different ways of travel. For example, I love to visit places and non stop whereas my partner likes to take it easy, so we plan our trip based on those.
I definitely encourage anyone to try both, but personally if I’m going to travel with people, I like it to be with 1 or 2 people who you know well.
Otherwise you can find yourself in a situation where everyone has different tastes, it’s difficult to agree on what to do and you won’t enjoy it as much because you’ll miss some of the things you wanted to do or see.
What’s your favorite place you’ve ever been to? Why?
My favourite place I have been is Paphos in Cyprus. I love warm weather and places where you can have different experiences. In Paphos you can see historic places like Tombs of the Kings, go on a day cruise to see the stunning coast of Coral Bay, hike in the Akamas peninsula and much more. Also, the food is delicious!
What’s your biggest travel tip?
I’m crazy about planning my trips, so one of my biggest travel tips is to do your research, especially if you like to experience places like a local. It’s definitely amazing to see main attractions, but discovering those places that only locals know is more special. I often do my research on Pinterest as you can find great blog posts telling you all about these hidden gems. For example, I type words like “hidden gems in X”, “local travel guide to X”, etc.
In addition to this, meeting local people who can show you these places or take you to the best restaurants and cafes is one of my favourite things to have richer and more authentic experiences. One of the best ways to find locals is using apps like Meet Up or go to Facebook groups about travel and ask if there’s anyone from the place you are planning to visit.
Is there one specific thing you like to do, see, or buy in every place that you visit?
One of my favourite things to do in every place I visit is to go to the best viewpoints or tall buildings to have a great sunset city view.
Apart from this, I love trying a traditional meal from the place! For me, there’s nothing better than getting to know the culture than trying the food.
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?
It’s difficult to say as I am a big foodie, but I loved pastel de nata when I travelled to Porto. If you have never heard of pastel de nata, it’s an egg tart pastry dusted with cinnamon.
Plane or train? Plane
Hotel or hostel? Hotel
City or nature? City
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 weather
All photos used throughout this post are courtesy of Cristina from My Little World of Travelling.