Hi, I’m Perri from Seeking the Spanish Sun travel blog. As you’ve probably guessed from the name, I focus on travel within Spain. I decided to start blogging when I moved from London to Madrid just over a year ago. I have always enjoyed writing, researching and planning my travels and wanted to share what I learnt in Spain, so launched the blog in September 2017.
I have been lucky enough to travel quite extensively over the last 13 years and lived in many places around the world. I no longer wanted to be a nomad and live out of a backpack. So, I came to the decision that it was time to find somewhere to buy a house and settle down. I wasn’t too keen on the idea of conventional adult life and certainly didn’t want to live in the UK. After many holidays and a couple of months exploring Southern Spain, my boyfriend Brad and I felt that Spain might be the right country for us to live permanently.
It’s been a busy time, settling into life in a new country and setting up Seeking the Spanish Sun but I really enjoy it. Madrid is a great city to use as a base while we travel Spain and search for our perfect place.
I hope to do some more extensive road trips in Spain soon. I plan to explore some of the lesser known areas like Asturias and Extremadura as well as a boat trip around the Balearic Islands. The best thing about blogging about Spain is there seems to be no end to the wonderful things to write about. Whether it’s unusual local traditions, hidden beaches or historic sites, it’s certainly keeping me busy.
Does your blog cover anything else other than travel? If so what?
I also cover what life is like as an expat, sharing a little insight into what it’s like living as a Brit in Spain and some of my tips and advice for moving here.
What can our readers find on your website? (add website link)
At Seeking the Spanish Sun (wwww.seekingthespanishsun.com) readers will find tips, guides and info for all the amazing places in Spain. Some inspiration for their travels in Spain and helpful travel advice.
Do you have any travel tips or advice for our readers that might want to start a travel blog?
I would recommend writing about places that you have already visited. Dig out those travel diaries and photo albums and use your own experiences to get you started. Write some articles, do some research and read other blogs for motivation. Think about what you want your blog to cover, what you can offer people and how you can be different to other bloggers.
What are some of the highs and lows of travel blogging?
So far, the highs for me have been travelers reading my articles and saying how useful it will be for their trip and the support out there amongst fellow travel bloggers. The lows are the constant pressure to be “present” on social media, it can be quite time consuming and distract you from writing blog posts.
What type of traveler are you?
I work part-time currently, which is usually on the weekends and mostly in the summer. Allowing me longer stretches of travel during the winter time (when it’s less busy in Spain) and regular short breaks Monday-Thursday (which is usually cheaper). I’m very lucky that my work doesn’t interfere with my blogging and I live in the country that I blog about so always have inspiration around me.
What sites or other resources do you use to decide where and when you will go to a certain place or destination?
Instagram and Pinterest are my biggest travel inspiration resources. I like to travel on a budget, so will book quite far in advance to get the best price. Using GoEuro helps to compare my train, bus or flight options. Then for booking accommodation I mostly use Expedia or Booking.com.
Do you have any favourite travel books you have read or use?
We have a stack of Lonely Planets in our apartment and I really like the pocket size DK map books. My favourite travel book is a gift from my sister, The Best Things in Life are Free by Lonely Planet.
What’s been some of your favourite destinations & why?
My favourite destinations visited so far are India because of the friendly people, Cuba because of the vibrancy, Spain because of the variety and Fiji because of the idyllic beaches.
What equipment do you use to blog or for your blog?
I keep it pretty simple with a laptop, phone, camera and portable hard drive. I have minimal add-ons and plug-ins on my website and (so far) only pay for WordPress.com and Canva. I always have a notepad and pen with me with me to jot things down and remember blog articles ideas. I’d love to get a drone one day but I need to master using the camera I have first.
Do you have any photography or making travel videos tips?
No sorry, I really need to improve my photography skills and my video taking only goes as far as Instagram stories!
What’s the TOP blog posts on your page?
The most popular posts on my blog are “What you need to know before visiting Madrid”, “A weekend in Barcelona” and “The best cities to visit in Spain”… I guess people like getting Spanish city break info!
Do you have any tips or suggestions on how bloggers can earn an income from blogging?
I haven’t started making an income from my blog yet but I aim to set up some affiliates relationships this summer. I have joined some freelance writing platforms and would like to have Mediavine adverts in place by 2019.
Top 5 Bucket-list Destinations?
The Maldives, Menorca, New Zealand, New York and Mykonos,
Top 5 travel experiences you can’t wait to try out or do?
I’d love to walk the Camino del Rey in Malaga, go on a Safari in Africa, take a hot air balloon ride (anywhere), see the Northern lights and learn to paddle board in Lanzarote.
Do you have a money saving travel tips?
I think the best way to save money for travel is to cut back on anything you don’t really need. Stop buying that morning coffee and don’t look at online clothes stores. When you go out, try to be thrifty and look for special deals and discounts. I also try not to sign up for any monthly contracts so that when I go overseas I don’t have to worry about money coming out of my account that I’d forgotten about.
Do you have any funny or strange travel experiences to share? please state what happened.
One of the biggest coincidences happened when I backpacked through Thailand. My boyfriend Brad and I were heading to Koh Phangan and had agreed to meet some friends there. We stupidly timed our arrival for the day before New Years Eve so spent a whole afternoon walking around begging people to rent us a room. Every single accommodation was full, so we eventually gave up, thinking we would never find our friends (this was pre wifi and roaming on mobile phones) and we’d have to sleep on the beach. Sat in a bar having a beer and feeling sorry for ourselves, I looked out to sea and spotted one of our friends walking by! Turned out they were staying in the beach huts next door and the owner had a tent we could borrow to sleep in!
Was there a place you visited that did not live up to your expectations & why.
I didn’t really enjoy Hawaii, the beaches were nice but very crowded and the shops and restaurants were very commercial. I must admit we only stayed on Oahu but it just didn’t live up to expectations.
What’s in your travel bag? Name 5 travel essentials always in your bag?
I always carry sunscreen, lip balm, a book, scarf or jumper and a note pad & pen.
What travel apps do you use and why
I don’t really take advantage of travel apps to be honest. I have booking.com app to check my reservation details on the go and MyTaxi app so that I can hail a cab pretty much anywhere in Spain. Oh, and google translate app, which is a life saver in more remote places.
What are 3 things travelling has thought you?
Traveling has taught me to be brave and go exploring even if other people think you shouldn’t. It’s opened my eyes to so many wonderful places, different cultures and ways of living. Mostly, its taught me that material possessions are not that important, to have great experiences and be happy is what life is all about.
Have you encountered any travel mishaps or scary moments if so what happened?
Thankfully I have never encountered any scary moments of real danger while traveling. I’ve always been careful to avoid any known dodgy areas, skips places if other travelers tell me about horror stories and been aware of my surroundings. But little mishaps happen all the time. Some of my most fun travel memories are when thing go wrong.
One in particular was when I lost my passport in Vietnam. We were in the taxi on the way to Hanoi airport and I realised I didn’t have it, the driver sped back to our accommodation but it was nowhere to be found. I had to quickly think of where we had been in the past few days and try to retrace my steps. Remembering we had exchanged money in the nearby bank, we ran there. Thankfully as soon as we walked in the staff recognized me and got my passport out of their safe. I was so grateful and we just made it to the airport in time.
Do you have any recommendations for cities and beach places that you have visited and loved? What was good about these places?
I recently visited Granada in Southern Spain and it’s probably my favourite Spanish city. It’s got everything you could want from a city break, has lots to explore and is very fun and vibrant. There are magnificent historical buildings and stunning viewpoints. Lots of cool shops, bars and restaurants and everything is in walking distance.
My favourite beach is Corralejo in Fuerteventura, one of the Spanish Canary Islands. The water is crystal clear and is an awesome turquoise colour when the sun hits it. The sand is very soft and pure white with scattering’s of black rock that give an amazing contrast as you walk the shoreline.
Have you visited any off the beaten track places?
I backpacked from Belize to Mexico and decided not to take the usual Tulum & Cancun route but head along the South coast to Puerto Escondito & Oaxaca. Getting there took lots of local buses, we saw no other backpackers and had fun and games trying to buy tickets and get the correct bus. Often, we had no idea where we were or if we were going in the right direction. The rural Mexican buses are old US school buses painted bright colours and full of children going to school and old ladies doing their weekly shopping. We would be squeezed in amongst kids singing songs and crates of live chickens!
Best places you have visited or want to visit for cultural experiences.
My two best cultural experiences were in India and Spain.
India was my first big backpacking trip, I went with a group of friends and we had an amazing time. We literally had no clue what we were doing and no plans but moved from place to place, learning about interesting things too see in the next town and moving on. The trains, food, clothes, way of thinking and local life were all so eye opening. The people were so friendly, welcoming and helpful. Always happy to share information and teach us things.
In Spain I have been wowed by the vast cultural differences across the country. Every region of Spain is so different and I love that. I have also fallen in love with the work-life balance. There is a more social and outdoor lifestyle in Spain. People are always outside walking, talking, eating, drinking in the sunshine and enjoying it. There is no end to the historical sites and local heritage to learn about and explore plus all the wonderful beaches and natural parklands. That’s why I’ve decided to live here!
What are 5 things you wish you knew about blogging before you started?
To have a self-hosted site from day one. To not be so scared of the technical side of running a website. How much time I would need to spend on social media. To plan and schedule everything so that I can get some time to myself. To have a clear vision of what I want my brand to be in terms of design, colours, logo, website layout etc
Where do you see your travel blog in two years?
I hope to have a blog full of helpful guides and information about Spain that people enjoy reading and regularly come back to. To be going on press trips, doing sponsored posts and making an income from the blog.
Please share one travel quote you love
“Collect moments not things”
Seeking the Spanish Sun is a blog dedicated to travel in Spain. We share what we learn and experience while living in and traveling the country. Giving a little insight into life in Spain plus useful tips, guides and information for anyone planning to visit.