Every few weeks we interview some of the best and most interesting travel bloggers from around the world.
In the latest in our series we’re talking to Pauline from Pauline’s Travels. Find out what she has to say about traveling with allergies as well as how to take the best photography and more!
You’ve written about traveling with an allergy before, which is something that not a lot of people think about. What advice would you have for someone going with an allergy that isn’t so common?
First of all, prepare yourself for the destination going, how will the new destination affect your allergy and daily life routine?
For example with my nut allergy, I always have to be aware of the risk for nuts in my food. I make sure to have the sentence of my allergy in the native language; I also sometimes have food allergy pictures for better understanding.
I always tell people that I’m having dinner with my epi-pen, which is in my bag in case of an emergency. I know it sounds much, but it is not fun to run around in Cusco Peru looking for a taxi to get to the nearest hospital, because the waiter did not listen when you said the allergy is REAL.
If you are not sure if the food contains your allergy, well it’s better to be hungry then die!
He will never joke about that again after seeing me choking for air in the restaurant. I love Oreo cookies because it is the only cookie I can eat worldwide without being afraid of nuts.
If you know you can get to a hospital reasonably comfortable you can be less careful, but if you are at sea far away from the hospital, be more then careful.
Always have travel insurance! It is a lifesaver!
I see that photography is a huge part of your travels, with extensive pictures of Cartagena de Indias and Patagonia. What would you say was your favorite place to photograph in South America?
Do I have to choose? I love them all, and they are all very different. I love Cartagena de Indias for the vibrant colors and the grand colonial architectures that can transport you back in time.
Then again Patagonia is spectacular and magic, being there in fall when 50 shades of red and yellow surround the trees is therapeutic for the soul.
I’m not a professional photographer, I do love capturing different lights and angels, and I love how the daylight change regarding temperature, humidity and hour. P.S another favorite place photographing was Iguazu Waterfalls in Argentina and Brazil.
Your visit to La Recoleta Cemetery sounds amazing and is certainly a very different kind of tourist activity. How did you find it when you visited? Is it a place that you saw a lot of tourists investigating?
It is a strange thing to visit a Cemetery for a tourist thing to do. La Recoleta is a must, and I like how the Cemetery tells stories about different important lives in Argentina.
I went with my Argentinean friend that is a Porteno (A Local from Buenos Aires), and he had all the facts about significant people in the Cemetery, including Evita Peron the iconic first lady of Argentina, which makes the visit even more fascinating.
The Cemetery is a small art exhibition there are many architectural styles from Baroque cathedrals to Greek temples, it is an excellent place to be wanderlust.
I see that you took the bus from Mendoza to Santiago, which actually sounds like it’s a great way to travel. Have you had any other similarly pleasing experiences with long bus journeys in South America? Is it something that you would encourage people to do?
Traveling by bus in South America is sometimes like flying business class, just you are doing it by the road.
They have very good seats, entertainments and sometimes food service on the bus. It is all depending on the company you are using. I mostly had great experiences traveling with buses in South America.
I highly recommend doing so, if having the time. When going by bus, you have another way of getting to know the country and seeing more of the local culture that moves along the roads.
You’ve mentioned that some countries can be a tad more expensive, such as Argentina, what advice would you have for people traveling on a budget?
I more or less always travel on a budget, because I want to experience more, I have to be wise about money.
My recommendation for that is to find your preference sheet on where you are willing to sacrifice the money?
I don’t mind sleeping in dorms if only staying for a couple of days, and it means more money for good food and fun experience.
I try to reduce my accommodation cost when I can. Sometimes I do splurge on a couple of night in a private room to recharge batteries and to get ready for the dorms again.
Also, you always ask two or three people for the price if there is one activity you want to do. Find the right deal, that gives you value for money and time.
Try to look for places with FREE breakfast, and it just makes it one less meal to think about in the day, even do a banana on the street is cheap. Do have enough money for the things that you want to do!
Do not go to Galapagos and regret that you did not scuba dive more with hammerhead sharks, or that you didn’t go horseback riding in Patagonia.
You took some time to visit Getsemani, which is a vibrant and wonderful place. If there were one thing that you would recommend to do there, what would it be?
Getsemani is my neighborhood, and you can find my blog post on top of Google for this lovely corner of Cartagena de Indias. If there is one thing I recommend people to do, is to spend time in the neighborhood.
Walk around! Drink fresh juice and eat food on the street. Be an hour or two at Plaza Trinidad and watch people and the day moving along.
If there is one more important thing to do, it is to explore the street-art on the walls that tell important stories about Getsemani and the people living there.
It should be heard and understood. Getsemani is my happy place in the world, if you visit Getsemani, enjoy it and be kind to it.