The Traveling Tulip
Hello please introduce yourself and your blog to our readers.
I am a quality assurance auditor in clinical research who likes to travel a lot. My job takes me to all kinds of places and, in addition, I also like to explore new cultures, meet new people and experience new things. I have started putting down in words my stories last year, when both my mother and my sister started complaining that they never get to see the photos that I take during my travels or hear the stories. The name of the blog is related to a boy, from whom I received a bunch of tulips in the middle of December. I could not enjoy them, as I was traveling the following day, so I took one with me – that one has become the traveling tulip and I still have it with me all the time ?
What plans do you have in the future for your blog?
I want to continue writing my stories, as I did so far, in the same funny and out of the box manner. I hope my blog will grow, get more readers, maybe some paid projects as well. However, the most important part would be that I hope people will continue to read my posts with the same delight with which they are doing now. I plan to visit the world, one country at a time and write about everything I do, on the blog.
Does your blog cover anything else other than travel?
The blog covers my three major interests in life: travel, wine and coffee. For the moment, I focus more on the travel stories, but I have big plans for the other two topics.
What can our readers find on your website?
On www.thetravelingtulip.eu your readers can find funny stories, guides on what to visit and what to avoid in various places, honest opinions of how it was like for me – they can find links to places I visit, things I liked, apps I use or locations they need to avoid.
Do you have any travel tips or advice for our readers that might want to start a travel blog?
They just need to try it out. I was so afraid when I first started, but I “conquered” my fears and just started typing. If this does not work for them, at least they can say they tried it! It’s the same with traveling. You don’t know what a place is really like, until you’ve experienced it for yourself.
What are some of the highs and lows of travel blogging?
The high would definitely need to be that moment when readers identify with what you are writing and let you know that. It is such a great experience. My low is that I never write when I travel, so, sometimes, I lose ideas that I get while traveling. I have started taking some notes, lately. Let’s see how that turns out ?
What type of traveler are you?
I am a frequent traveler, mostly due to my job. Some of the trips I take are related to the job, some are purely holidays.
As someone (if this relates to you) who works full time (9-5) how do you fit in travelling around your work schedule?
Although, technically, I have a 9-5 job, I do travel for work a lot, so I am lucky. I sometimes take a few extra days and explore the places where the company sent me. In other circumstances, I take vacation days or “work from home” days and explore places after my working hours.
What sites or other resources do you use to decide where and when you will go to a certain place or destination?
I usually decide on a whim where I want to travel (if the travel is not work related). I might read about a destination and then just start looking for airplane tickets. The timing depends a lot on my job, my financial resources at the time and whether there are things to see in that location in a certain period (e.g. you have to go to Iceland in winter, to see the lights)
What’s been some of your favourite destinations & why?
My fav destinations so far:
Maramures, Romania – it is a piece of my heart, a wonderful location in my own country, full with culture, traditions and warm hearted people
Istanbul, Turkey – I am fascinated about how Oriental and European cultures clash in a perfect mix
Lisbon, Portugal – I love how relaxed and friendly people are
San Francisco, USA – somehow, the city and I connected instantly. I cannot tell you exactly the reason, but it was something ?
Armenia – an unlikely tourist destination, with great people and excellent food
What equipment do you use to blog or for your blog?
I use a standard laptop, nothing fancy and wordpress as my blog platform. Some of my photos are taken with a phone, but recently I started to pay more attention to this aspect and started using my Canon 500D camera.
Do you have any photography or making travel videos tips?
In my opinion, no photo is a bad photo. Each photo you take means a little bit of experience gained. Keep taking shots of things you see and experience and, with time, you will get to know by yourself what settings to use, what apps to use for editing and so on. I haven’t started making travel videos yet, but they are in the plan.
What’s the TOP blog post TOPIC’s on your page?
All the posts on my blog have a common feature – they are “my stories”, therefore, this is my top blog post topic (category).
Do you have any tips or suggestions one how bloggers can earn an income from blogging?
At the moment, I am not earning anything with my blog, but I plan to start working on this in the near future. I would say, even if it seems I am repeating myself… just try it! Whatever little money you’ll earn, it will be a win.
Top 5 Bucket-list Destinations and why?
New York – it has been a dream for both me and my sister for a long time now
Iceland – I need to see those Northern Lights
Chile – nothing beats a good Chilean wine
Ireland – drive on those Irish country roads and fall in love
Cuba – walk the streets of Havana and other Cuban cities and learn to dance
Top 5 travel experiences you can’t wait to try out or do?
I haven’t really thought about the experiences. I think it has more to do with the destination. The experiences come by themselves. But, if you see my answers to the previous questions, I choose the destinations based on things I’d like to try out in those places.
Do you have a money saving travel tips?
I am not the best person to give financial tips ? I rarely save up money for trips. I just use whatever I have in my account at that time and that’s that. I am lucky, because I am very independent, financially speaking.
Do you have any funny or strange travel experiences to share?
Together with three of my friends, we were on a road trip through Georgia. In one of the evenings, we reached a fishermen’s village really late at night and we had nowhere to eat, as everything had already closed down. The only place open was a truck parking yard, run by Turkish people. Since I know a bit of Turkish, I entered the small building and asked for food. Since there were only men there, they were a bit shocked about this redhead appearance.
Now, my Turkish is not exactly the best, so I had to use sign language to explain what we wanted. In the end, the poor cook ended up taking out everything he had in the kitchen. We had one of the best meals in that parking lot, together with all the truck drivers. The curiosity was, for the men, that I was the one driving the car, I was the one deciding what to eat and I was the one leading the conversation (despite the fact that there were 2 men in our group). Although the culture differences appeared quickly, they were very happy to serve us and talk to us!
Was there a place you visited that did not live up to your expectations & why.
I don’t think this ever happened to me. I tend to take things as they come, not make any expectations. I just enjoy whatever comes my way, when it comes to places I visit.
Please share the link to your fav photos on your Instagram page.
One of the things I absolutely love to do is drive and I do it whenever I can, whether for work or for fun ?? . . . I took this shot while driving to a business meeting ?, back in Dec to 2016… It is an oldie but goldie, snapped as I was heading to Craiova, a city in my country. I remember leaving Bucharest very early, catching the sunrise and shortly after, this view… ?? . . . #memories #throwback #roads #driving #lovedriving #theroadahead #winterwonderland #winterscene #myview #thisview #roadtrip #roadready #roadtrippin #roadtrees #sky #skyporn #exploreromania #experienceromania #discoverromania #mybeautifulcountry #myromania #beautifulromania #iamatraveler #travelerinromania #iamtb #travel #explore #experience #enjoy #thetravelingtulip
What’s in your travel bag? Name 5 travel essentials always in your bag?
I always pack much more than I use, when I travel. I like to keep my options, so I don’t use most of the things in my travel bag. I never leave home without my toothbrush, phone charger, minimum make up (lipstick, concealer, powder, eye brow pencil and mascara), face cream and anti-perspirant deodorant.
What travel apps do you use?
I use Trip Case to organise my travels – it allows me to have all the info I need about my flights, hotels and things like that. www.tripcase.com
I use Lonely Planet travel guides, for those times when I need to find out what touristic places there are to visit in that location www.lonelyplanet.com
I use travel groups on FB, to get a feeling of the place before I go there. It also connects me to locals sometimes, so I get to experience the location through their eyes.
I use Viator or Trip Advisor, if I don’t have time to organize tours myself. www.viator.com www.tripadvisor.com
All of the above can be used both as website and as apps.
What are 3 things travelling has taught you?
Be gentle – you never know what the other person has been through.
Be open – learn to experience things not only when they are positive, but also when they are negative. You can also enjoy a negative experience, if you look at it the right way.
Be proud of who you are and where you come from – you are like a business card for your country, so try to represent it as best as possible.
Have you encountered any travel mishaps or scary moments if so what happened?
I think these are part of the frequent traveler’s life. Just two weeks ago, upon returning home from a business trip, my flight got cancelled. I had to spend an extra night in a city I knew nothing about, far away from home. I used that extra time to walk around the hotel for a bit and see a little of the city and of its people.
Do you have any recommendations for cities and beach places that you have visited and loved? What was good about these places?
I highly recommend Istanbul and Lisbon. Both are cities you can get lost into, experience extraordinary food. You can walk throughout both cities and just marvel at everything that surrounds you. You will find something to visit at each step.
Where do you see your travel blog in two years (any goals?)
Oh… that’s a good question. I just hope that my readers will be reading this with the same delight as until now, that I will have enough “material” to put on there and I will enjoy writing on the blog as much as I do now.
Please share 1 travel quote you love.
“This heart of mine was meant to travel the world”
I do not know who said it, I found it online, but I identify myself with it a lot.