What is the single most essential item you can't be without on your travels? This was just one of three questions I put to seven influential and inspiring travel bloggers.
“A good camera”, “An open mind” and “Smiling eyes” were just a few of the well thought answers that came back.
Here are the three questions I asked the experts:
[color-box] 1. What is the single most essential item you can’t be without on your travels? (Besides the obvious passport, money, phone etc)
2. An amazing place that most travelers don’t know about?
3. What’s been the best food you've experienced whilst travelling?
[/color-box] The responses I received were brilliant and had the exact effect I was hoping for, making me want to travel further, eat more & pack wisely.
Matthew, previously a sports journalist in the UK now spends his days living in the somewhat sunnier climes of Gran Canaria. Here he works as a travel writer for The Independent whilst also updating his own personal insiders guide to The Canary Islands.
- A book. Life goes at a slow pace in Spain, especially when red tape is involved. To make sure I don't fall asleep, I always bring literature with me.
- The north coast of Gran Canaria. Such a contrast to the touristy south. There are stony beaches for a start.
- Patatas bravas (fried potatoes served in spicy tomatoe sauce) just shades Papas arrugadas, although it's a struggle to find quality versions of the former on the Canary Islands.
One of life's simplest pleasures has to be whiling away a couple of hours under the Mediterranean sun with a good book, i'm definitely with you there Matthew.
Eddy Lara Brito
Eddy is by his own admission a compulsive traveler, he is from Barcelona and writes passionately about his native Spain as well as many other interesting places he has visited around the world.
- Sunglasses of course. The sun always shines in Spain 🙂
- El Soplao caves in Cantabria. Maybe one of the marvelous natural monument that travelers must visit: http://www.elsoplao.es
- Definitively Fideuà. Is similar like Paella, but instead of rice they use noodles. Soooo good!
I'm ashamed to say I am yet to try Eddy's personal favorite ‘Fideua', next time I feel like Paella, I will definitely give this a try instead.
Caz and Craig Makepeace
Caz and Craig from Australia have been traveling on and off for the last 16 years, and have been to no less than 52 countries and still counting. Now along with their 2 daughters they are currently road tripping around Australia and blogging their every move, if the Makepeace's don't inspire you to travel I'm not sure what will.
- An open mind. Without it you won't last long on your trip and it won't be as exciting and life changing.
- The Kimberley region in Western Australia. It's one of my favourite places in the world. It has an ancient mysticism for those who want to travel a little off the beaten path to explore. Gorges, waterfalls, escarpments, rivers, crocodiles, red earth, turquoise ocean, tropical heat, and the coolest town in Australia.
- Thai food always reigns supreme for me.
I love that this family consider the most essential thing to take on their travels is an ‘open mind', forget about the material things, an open mind will definitely help you get the most out of your trip and the people you meet.
Marbella Family fun is an essential guide for any parent living or visiting the Marbella area. Full of useful resources to keep the kids entertained and parents sane ranging from family friendly restaurants to the best excursions in the region.
- Can’t live without a small, wooden set of Jenga toys that we take with us everywhere with the little ones. Keeps them occupied while we enjoy Andalucia!
- My personal favorite is San Sebastian. Outstanding scenery, unparalleled cuisine and warm, friendly people.
- Gambas al Ajillo!
San Sebastian in the north of Spain lies just 20km from the French border, as Robert says one of the most famous things the city is known for is the outstanding cuisine and Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp sauteed in olive oil with lots of fresh garlic) is a very popular and delicious tapas famous in Spain.
Tom is a travel writer and investigative journalist working for local English newspaper, The Olive Press. Tom writes mainly about his local area of Andalucia for the Olive Press and has an impressive background in travel around Africa, South America and Europe.
- A good camera – Around almost every corner is an incredible vista or a charming glimpse of Andalucian life… if I didn't have my camera I would feel pretty useless, and frustrated!
- There are so many but if I had to choose something that stands out in Malaga it would be the lakes at El Chorro (Malaga's lake district). Beautifully blue, the water is perfect for cooling off after tackling the Caminito del Rey!
- Morcilla, chorizo… all the sausages.
Tom has hit the nail on the head with the amazing place travelers don't know about, the Lakes at El Chorro are quite breathtaking, just 50km inland from Malaga yet few holiday makers know or visit about this unique Andalucian gem. The famous Caminito del Rey (The King's path) which has been closed to walkers for some time now due to it's crumbling pathways is actually being restored and due to re-open early 2015.
Lisa and her family moved from England to beautiful little Mijas Pueblo, a traditional Spanish village perched high on the hillside above Fuengirola. Lisa offers an excellent resource guide covering everything from buying property in Spain to how families can get the best out of Spain.
- Smiling eyes… the Malagueños are such open, friendly people. A simple smile, shared with a passer-by, can open so many doors to Malaga, its culture and its people. Being open, friendly and approachable is the easiest way to be welcomed by and to learn from the locals.
- Hmmm… that’s a hard question for us to answer as we are still to discover so many places in Spain. We feel that Malaga Capital, although more in the limelight than in previous years, is still underrated and is yet to receive the acclaim it truly deserves. The Montes de Malaga and Embalses de Guadalhorce are hidden gems.We love the province of Cadiz, particularly the region of Vejer, El Palmar, Conil de la Frontera and Roche. Having visited Tarifa and Bolonia for over 20 years, it is these new areas that we now frequent for weekends and family holidays
- Oooh. Too many to mention. We love the fact that the best Spanish food is a simple elaboration of tasty, quality ingredients. We can be found enjoying anything from a simple plate of jamon iberico with queso manchego, a fritura malagueña (fried fish)with fresh seafood on the beach, and of course a scrummy arroz. Our children have grown up eating Spanish food and the more home cooked and authentic the better.
Love that Lisa has put so much thought into her answers, it shows she is really passionate about Spain. I have to agree too that although Malaga city has come along way, it still doesn't get the credit it truly deserves.
Lisa and I also share a love of Tarifa, located in the province of Cadiz Tarifa stands out as one of the coolest places I've been to in Spain, the most fantastic beaches, great water sports and a laid back funky vibe.
Malaga29640 is a bar, nightlife and lifestyle blog and mobile app covering Nerja to Estepona.
- Pashmina for a cover up from the sun and for wrapping up in the cool winds the Costa del Sol is famous for.
- Hotel Atlántico Zahara (Nr Cadiz) Fantastic spot to get away from it all with the most stunning beaches and a real secret or it was until we just told you.
- (Winter) Fabada Asturiana the famous Spanish bean stew, (Summer) Fritura Malagueña & Ensalada de Casa the fried fish platter with salad, particularly traditional to this region.
I definitely agree about the Pashmina being a great investment, summer and winter and the best thing is that you can pick the up for as little as 3 Euros from the local weekly markets in Spain.