Hey there and welcome to my Travelers Interviews project.
Here you can read stories from travelers. How they survive long/short term travels, their tips etc.
I’m Maria. I’m 24 years old. Born and raised in NYC. I currently am a full time student in University and I am a full time waitress at a restaurant in Downtown Manhattan. Working in the restaurant industry makes it very easy for me to travel because of their extreme flexibility. I also have amazing coworkers who take my shifts whenever I get the travel bug.
1.”When did you start traveling and did you plan that long travel from the beginning?”
I’ve always had wanderlust ever since I was a child. I always told my mother that I was going to travel the world one day. She never once discouraged me. When I was 22, my best friend moved to Scotland for a year for school. We were texting and 20 minutes later I booked my round trip ticket to Ireland on December 18 (day after my 23rd birtbday). We backpacked for a month. From September-December we planned every part of our trip abroad.
2. “How did you travel for so long(IF)? Did you work in the meantime or you saved all the money before you started traveling?”
I work at a restaurant in NYC so I saved 3,000 from September-December. I still had my bills to be paid so I worked extra hard. It took a lot of discipline to not buy that cute tshirt from express or that $4 macchiato from Starbucks but it was so worth it.
3. “Traveling alone or with company?”
Traveled with my best friend.
4. “How You came to be a female/male solo traveler?”
I would travel alone but I have my designated travel bestie always down to come with.
5. “Do you ever get lonely or bored traveling alone?”
6. “What if you come home early because of homesickness or if You run out of money?”
I got homesick in London because it was during Christmas and that was my first trip outside of the country. It was hard but I pulled through.
7. “Have you ever had any bad experience on the road? If yes where, and what happened?”
Yes I had. In London I experienced a lot of hatred towards Americans. I wasn’t allowed access into a club because of my NYS ID. In Rome, my best friend got her phone stolen by the colosseo, and in Naples, my best friend almost got her bag stolen when we were sleeping in our hostel.
8. “What’s your favorite place so far?”
Rome, a little town where my family is from an hour outside of Naples, Barcelona and Belize.
9. “What home comfort do you miss the most?”
My mothers cooking lol
10. “Who is the most interesting person you’ve met so far?”
I’ve met so many amazing and interesting people during my travels.
11. “Toilets: squat or Western?”
12. “What was your most embarrassing moment while traveling?”
Not knowing how to count the UK currency while in London and holding up the line.
13. “What have you brought on the way, that you haven’t used?”
Definitely articles of clothing. I feel like girls always pack for the “what if” moments but when you’re backpacking you really just have to bring what’s necessary.
14. “What has been the most useful item you’ve brought on the way?”
I feel like mostly everything I brought abroad was useful.
15. “What’s the best piece of travel advice you’ve received?”
Eat at “Hole in the wall” restaurants to get the cheapest/best foods. And mostly, go with the flow.
16. “What’s the worst piece of travel advice you’ve received?”
“Don’t stay in hostels” – I love hostels and I’ve met AMAZING people while staying there. I feel as though Americans have this opinion about hostels because of all the movies they see. It’s not like that AT ALL lol
17. “What’s your top travel tip?”
Always bring a pair of trusty sneakers, don’t walk around with your passport and don’t be afraid to talk to locals/ other people around you. Most importantly, have an open mind.
18. “How did your relatives felt about your trip?”
We are a huge Italian family so me going away for the month gave my mom and dad huge anxiety but they weren’t going to tell me no. They were proud of me. They knew I’ve always dreamed of this day.
19. “What’s the longest you’ve been away from home?”
One month abroad
20. “What’s your dream job?”
My dream job would be to travel the world.
21. “How are you documenting your trip?”
22. “What’s been the weirdest thing you’ve seen?”
In Belize, we got a taxi and his 1 year old son was sitting in the front seat with no seatbelt hahaha
23. “What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learnt?”
24. “What has surprised you about yourself?”
How much I can handle. I never thought I’d be able to handle certain situations that I’ve come across while being abroad. I surprised myself a lot!
25. “Dorm or private room?”
Honestly, either works but Dorm is usually first option if private is too expensive. Why? – it’s cheaper and you get to meet awesome people.
26. “Do you call yourself traveller or backpacker?”
I can be considered both.
27. “What can’t you travel without and why?”
My facial products (cleansers) and undergarments (obviously lol)
28. “What home comfort do you miss the most?”
Just family comfort.
29. “How many gadgets are you carrying? Which is your favorite?”
I just carried one while abroad, my phone.
30. “Strict schedule or go with the flow?”
Because we were on a tight schedule while backpacking, it was a strict schedule with our time there but usually during the day we went with the flow.
31. “Beer or wine?”
32. “Street food or restaurant?”
Street food, for sure!
33. “What is your favorite street food so far?”
I had chicken tacos in Belize for $5 belizian dollars, which is $2.50 US lol. They were the best tacos I’ve had
34. “How often do you try the local food?”
35. “What’s the most challenging thing you’ve done so far?”
I feel like going abroad and leaving for a month was challenging at first. I wasn’t used to the culture/being away from family.
36. “City or countryside?”
37. “Do you prefer to walk, take a public transport or private transport?”
Walk or public transportation. I love to take public transportation in different cities to see how they operate/look because I’m from NYC so it’s nice to see how other cities operate.
38. “What destination(s) have you found to be overrated?”
39. “Do you read on the way or rather watch movies? Your last book/movie?”
40. “How much stuff have you lost?”
Nothing / my friend lost her phone.
41. “How much stuff have you left on the way cos of the overweight of your luggage?”
Just my sneakers that literally broke in half while I was walking in Rome.
42. “Have you ever been scammed? How and where?”
43. “What do you wish you’d brought to travel, that you haven’t?”
44. “How do you stay safe on the road?”
Keep an open mind, and keep my eyes open at all times. Ears on alert and always put my Phone away.
45. “Have you met someone on the road, that you’ve “clicked” with so good, to start traveling together?” (as a friend, new boyfriend/girlfriend, or a group of people)?
My best friend and I just got back from Belize and are planning a trip to South America to meet one of the guys we stayed with in our hostel who’s also backpacking through South America!
46. “Is it hard for you to get along with other travelers? If YES, why? If NOT, briefly write how do you do that?”
47. “How do you communicate with locals, if they do not speak English?”
I try to pick up their language. If not, google translate lol
48. “Is there anything, that you would change about your travel/s, if you could start from the beginning and having all this traveling experience?”
I don’t think I would change anything because the minute I boarded the plane in JFK my entire life changed and I knew from that second nothing will be the same and I was going to take every experience/memory I made and hold it closely and learn from everything.
49. “How would you describe yourself in 3 words?”
Spontaneous, adventurous, personable
50. “Who would win in a fight: a polar bear with a rifle, or a Barbie with a laser gun?”
Wanna see more? Go, read, enjoy!
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Did you learn anything from those travelers? Questions? Comment your feelings/worries about traveling.