I always admired people who love traveling. I believe you need to have a strong will and be bold, and Maria is certainly a bold travel blogger. In her blog, Travelstories from my world, she talks about her trips, the memories she created in every one of them and she gives all the information that only a good traveler knows. She conveys this love about traveling and you feel as if she also encourages you to dare to travel around the world and meet new places and people. I’m happy to introduce you to Maria through her interview below!!
1) Stylishly Beautiful Team (from now on SBT): Tell us a few things about yourself.
My name is Maria, I’m a travel blogger and I hope I become a full time traveler in the near future. I have studied Journalism in Panteio University and later on I moved to Italy to work and attend a Master program in Communication and Digital Media. I lived in Milan & Brescia for three years, but now I’m living permanently in Athens. I’m traveling most of the year (11 out of 12 months) and I’m working as a digital marketer & community manager.
2) SBT: How did you decide to create your own blog?
Since I was a kid, I loved writing and expressing my thoughts on a paper. I particularly loved writing stories while I was on any means of transportation. My greater source of inspiration was certainly trains and thanks to that, I came up with stories about the route and the passengers. I actually wrote my first story when I was traveling with the Intercity train to Thessaloniki.
The Travelstoriesfromyworld was originally called Trainstories and started in August 2012 while I was in a train traveling to northern Italy. It was the natural evolution from paper to digital environment. I had already been living outside of Milan for 2 years and I was having a 2 hour-travel by train on a daily basis in order to go to my work. One day in the middle of the summer, I thought it was time to gather all these stories and I created a blog so I could have them online. When I came back to Greece, I wasn’t traveling by train so much anymore, so I decided to change the name from Train to Travelstories from my world as I realized that I had to tell more stories about travels than I thought.
3) SBT: How did your love of traveling first began?
I think that my first impulse was when we started taking the plane with my family very often, to visit my grandfather in Istanbul. The first time, I was only 2 years old and then even as a student; I was visiting him in the summer all by myself. The biggest stimulus was my participation in an Erasmus program in Spain. I was on my 3rd year of studies and I had just moved to a small town near Valencia. I suddenly realized how many beautiful things there are outside Greece and how many different and interesting people, too. It was at that time when I realized that I could not miss all these beautiful places all around the world.
4) SBT: Which was your favorite trip so far?
You realize that I can’t choose only one, right? It’s like asking a mother, which child she loves the most. Can she make such a choice? I don’t think so, haha. So I will tell you about 2 of them.
My two favorite and special travels (until today) were when I traveled to Kerala, South India for two weeks along with another 29 travel bloggers from around the world and my solo trip with the Trans-Siberian from Russia to China through Mongolia.
5) SBT: Which piece of clothing is the first one you take with you while traveling, no matter the destination?
I usually take with me my favorite pair of jeans and black leggings, because they are comfortable and easy to combine with. I also take a scarf which can be used in many different ways. I can put it on when I feel cold, I can wear it as an accessory on my walks, or I can use it as a pillow when I’m traveling.
6) SBT: Which is the beauty product you cannot live without, even during your trips?
I really love Messinian Spa’s products, especially their body lotion which is great. I use it for hydration when I need to take a better care of my skin because of the climate changes I run into during my trips. I have them all in travel sizes (100ml). For a distant, more complicated trip, I have always a dry shampoo from Batiste with me. Last but not least, I always take with me the True match foundation by L’oreal, as it has been a faithful companion in my trips, all of these years.
7) SBT: Give us 3 tips for someone who is going to travel for the first time?
Take with you as many outfits as the days you are planning to travel for. It’s better to buy something there, than taking a stuffed suitcase with you.
Avoid touristy places for lunch. They are expensive and most of the times the quality isn’t good. Search for places and areas where there are more local people than tourists.
Don’t use a map but instead ask the people around you for information. You don’t have to worry whether they will understand you or if you’ll understand them. Sometimes, you will find out about places that there aren’t in any travel guide.
8) SBT: What’s the best advice you can give to a girl who is about to travel alone?
Don’t let anyone know that you are traveling alone. If you have to ask for directions, just say that your friends are waiting for you at that place.
Don’t walk around alone after 9 p.m. Unless you have made some new friends and they are going to walk you back to your hotel after your night out.
Don’t take fancy clothes and special accessories or jewelry with you. You better not take something colorful that is going to catch everybody’s attention easily. When you travel alone, you don’t want to stand out from the crowd. So choose earthy colors, a few favorite accessories and a comfortable bag for your walks in the city.
9) SBT: What are your future plans/dreams?
I quited my full time job in December so I can travel more often. My plans from now on are to be able to travel and work from wherever I am. I’m getting my new website ready, and at the same time I’m dreaming about my next great trip in 2017 which has been one of my dreams for the past few years… To travel around Latin America, carrying just a backpack.
10) SBT: Our final question is: Tell us a few things we may not know about you.
I have written poems and fairy tales for children. The manuscripts are buried in a drawer. Maybe one day they will come out “from the dark”. I am also a hypochondriac and excessive about cleanliness. It’s quite odd for a girl backpacker who travels frequently.