Drop In is a foreign term that defines a casual visit or a brief stop. In surfing, the expression is used when you’re surfing a wave, and someone enters on it.
I thought this title fits perfectly into the new segment that starts today. Here, I’ll give the floor to other travelers like me. I’ll let them “get in my way” to tell you about their experiences, their life paths and share tips from their continuous travels.
Travel bloggers like me, professional travelers, or, just, travel aficionados, who can’t stand still and want to know this beautiful world. Everyone will pay a visit and leave their mark here.
Susana Ribeiro, author of Viaje Comigo
To launch this new segment, I invited Susana Ribeiro, author of the Portuguese travel blog Viaje Comigo, to tell us a little more about her professional career, what led her to enter the blogosphere, the joys and sorrows of this travel blogger life, but also some tips on destinations and for those who want to launch themselves in the world for the first time.
The wave is yours, Susana!
You're a journalist by profession. What led you to choose travel journalism? Was it your first choice?
I have been a journalist since 1998 when I finished the course at the School of Journalism in Porto [Portugal]. It was always what I wanted, and I didn’t give a chance to anything else. I wanted to be a journalist on international matters, to understand the world better… I think it’s only with the website that I have done so. That is, work on global issues. Understanding the world… not yet! Ehehe!
More than journalism, communication has always fascinated me. I think that’s why I’ve worked on radio, television, the press and now online.
I was already doing national tourism, for the magazines where I worked, and in 2013 with the website, I decided that I wanted to travel more and write about it. I said goodbye to the radio and magazine where I worked and dedicated myself 100 percent to the site (I keep collaborating with a TV show where I’m a reporter and voice-over).
What attracts you the most in this area?
What leads us all to travel?… Discover the world, the different cultures.
When I go to a new destination, I always feel those butterflies in my stomach, and there’s pure adrenaline in two situations: seeing with our own eyes places that we always wanted to know and live the atmosphere of different cultures.
When and why did you decide to create the Viaje Comigo blog?
I created the blog in 2013, but in the previous years, I was already dedicated to national tourism in magazines and newspapers where I worked, such as Evasões, Notícias Magazine, Sábado or Time Out Porto.
I created the blog when I was without one of the collaborations I had. Already had the idea to create a blog, but wrote for too many sites! That’s when I had this opening that I decided to move forward and create something professional. In 2013, there was almost no online content for destinations in Portuguese (from Portugal). João Leitão (also a blogger) had and was one of the people that most encouraged me and helped. I believe that I have already inspired others — especially women — to do the same and I have given tips to many people to do it.
Is it easy to be a travel blogger in Portugal?
I often say that it’s breaking stone every day. It’s difficult because we need to explain every day how a blogger’s job is, the benefits of working with us, etc.
In Brazil, they’re much more prepared to realize the importance of travel bloggers and the influence they have.
A blog requires a lot of work and dedication and… sweat and tears, as in any project where we are the face of it.
It’s not easy, but if it was easy it wasn’t so much fun, was it?
Do you like traveling alone or as a group?
I never enjoyed traveling alone… until I got the website. If you read previous interviews, I say that I don’t really like traveling alone. But when the site became my 100 percent job, I was forced to travel alone and learned to like it.
But, it all depends. I also enjoy traveling with friends, family, other bloggers, and journalists, and I began to realize that I could help make travel dreams possible if I organized groups… and that’s what I do along with a travel agency! This year we’re going to India, last year we went to Malaysia before that we went to Morocco and Turkey. There’s one trip a year that I dedicate to my readers, and it has been a lot of fun. Most people don’t like to travel in groups, but it’s a way to lose fears of some destinations. As a group, they feel more secure and supported and, of course, my group is mostly made up of women of all ages. And it’s good to see that more and more women venture around the world, alone or with others.
What's the destination that you have liked to visit more and why?
It’s the 1 million dólars question… which I can never answer! 🙂
All destinations score in a certain way, but those that I reckon I’ll be back one day are the most striking…
I love Brazil, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, I love Italy, India (I’m going for the third time and always in different places)… there are so many! It’s hard to choose…
And what did you like the least? Why?
I have no destination that I’ve liked less to the point out. Of course, some are below our expectations, but none were that bad… I can say that Vienna was a bit disappointing. I have to go back there to give it another chance.
Which one haven't you visited yet, but is at the top of your bucket list? What fascinates you so much about it?
The top of my bucket list is too big! 🙂 And there are countries like Chile, Peru, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. Every one of them is always at the top — for cultural reasons and wonders of nature — and they have stood aside… one day I’ll get there.
What's the weirdest travel question you've ever been asked about?
Since I started to travel more, I realize that there are no strange questions… everything is valid!
But the hardest ones to answer are always about my city, Porto. And about the weather… nowadays, we just have to guess.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Well… I’ve always changed jobs so much, I’ve never been around for many years. But with the website, it’s like you have a new job every day. Every day there’s a new challenge to overcome, and this keeps me motivated… and motivating others to travel more. Therefore, I’ll probably continue to be working with online, I don’t know if with Viaje Comigo or with other communication projects… I’m always ready for new challenges.
Any advice for those who want to become a full-time traveler?
I am a full-time travel blogger, but not a full-time traveler. For that, I would have to travel all the time, but no… I’m very much in Portugal, and I am also working on Portuguese tourism.
Like all professions, it has its good and bad side, as I wrote in a text that I have on the site, explaining how our blogger work is in everyday life.
There are a lot of stresses, there are many hours on the computer, many hours working on the website and social networks, many hours explaining what we do and creating partnerships. The good side is always being able to travel more, but let no one think it’s easy.
To be a full-time traveler, I think it’s best just to go and work and live for a few months in the places you want to meet. Being there you know the country better. And then it’s jumping from country to country.
Do you know Susana’s travel blog? Did you like the interview? Share your opinion in the comments box below.
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