Tag: Travel

Interview with travel blogger Gamintraveler

Friends, I feel honoured to interview my travel blogger friends, Ruben and Rachel at Gamin Traveler.

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. He believes in travel without money. Recently, he finished a bicycle trip, 9500 km, from Madrid to North Cape. He and Rachel blog at Gamin Traveler. Here is an interview with them.

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Me:  When did you start blogging? What made you start a blog?

Rachel/Ruben: We started blogging 4 months ago. We decided to work together in something. I have been traveling a lot, so I can share my experiences and tips about traveling. Rachel works with social media and digital marketing online, so we can pair up and work together. So that´s it! The blog is a mix of our strengths.

Me:   What are your favourite destinations?

Ruben: South America, I spent a few months traveling around the continent.  And the experience was amazing. I met interesting people. I made many friends and visited amazing places. Speaking the same language is very helpful. You can communicate 100% with everybody.

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Me:  If you had to choose one of your favourite destinations, which would that be?

Ruben:    Colombia is one of my favorite destinations. I spent two months there. Colombia has   amazing beaches, mountains and cities. People are very friendly. I felt great visiting  the country and I had amazing experiences.

Me:   Name three hardest things/setbacks that you experienced through your blog?

  • I would say the most challenging thing is the time in handling the blog. We want the blog to grow super fast, and we want to accomplish so many things at the same time, but really you accomplish more when you focus and simplify, so you really have to prioritize, and pick which of your goals should have attention first.
  • It took us time and a lot of effort to put a lot of social media channels in a good engagement level. Again, we had to prioritize and start with one, and we are lucky to have a good start with Facebook, which was able to support a lot of social media outreach in the beginning. We now spread our efforts with a lot of channels, however, we each have our focus. Since we are a team of two, we do our best with what we can, and try not to be too crazy and perfectionist with the others that we cannot really handle 100%.
  • The tech side of things consume a lot of time and effort too. Rachel had to focus a lot of her time in design work in the beginning so we can launch the blog properly, and that takes her time away from the content. We also have to control our efforts with much more technical things like SEO and site optimization. All our content are optimized, but not to the level that we obsess about it, since SEO is a challenging field, and really very few in the world are real specialists. We follow the best guidelines and we focus our attention in engaging with the readers.

Me:   How did you overcome obstacles?

Rachel/Ruben:  The good thing about the blog is that we really like it. At least for me, I am so into travel, that when I write the guides, it’s about me recollecting all my experiences and that is always fun. The thing is passion is not enough to fuel a blog growth, especially if you want to turn it into a business. That is where Rachel and I’s work personalities enter. We are very different. Rachel is more of the creative type and kind of big sponge who can digest so many new things. She can handle all the tech side of the blog, and builds the personality. I handle the time, the discipline and the scheduling behind all the work, plus all the content.

Me:  Any tools you can suggest that bloggers could use in their first year?

Rachel/Ruben: We laid out all the tools we used for our blog in our 2nd monthly report which you can find here. We suggest to stay lean, not just because of money, but also because obsessing with a lot of details and work will hamper you from really launching something. And things will definitely evolve and change at one point, so we suggest launching early and minimally. The report is detailed, but here are some tools we mentioned:

– Using WordPress, powered by Genesis and Siteground — Freaking excellent customer service and tech support. Really. They have been our saviour a lot of times. We have a small team, and Siteground has helped us do a lot of the site maintenance, which is to be honest, pretty rad of them.

– Using Mailchimp and Appsumo for lead generation

– Using Canva for design – Rachel does Magic with Canva (she wrote that. ha!)

– Buffer – To manage our social media accounts better

Lean operation. 😉

Me:  Well, this is for Rachel, what is your experience like travelling solo as a woman?

Rachel: Traveling solo for a woman was not an issue for me, although I don’t really travel extensively the way Ruben does. If I go out-of-town alone, it’s really great because I meet a lot of new people and as a big social person, that pumps me up. I’m more into people than travel. Which means, I don’t usually care if a place is not majestically amazing, if I am with new people or people I want to spend time with, I will have the time of my life.

Things have changed now since having a son. (I have a cute, little toddler) I would say I am less daring in going to crazy travels and Ruben has been helping me manage those fears.

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Me: Would you like to say something to women out there about travelling solo or hitchhiking?

Rachel: It’s amazing, and you have to try it, at least once. It will build up your character, and discover things about yourself. You will also love meeting new people (sometimes you meet amazing people on the streets who will help you like truck drivers), and sometimes it could be a little sad that they will not be your permanent friends, but there’s a magic knowing there are other amazing people in the world out there ready to help someone in need, and a stranger at that. I have experienced running to tell trucks I need a ride, and them helping me and even buying me food, so that was really a nice experience!

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Me: What would you like to say about budget travel?

Ruben: Traveling on a budget is really a change in perspective. I had seen people in Africa with lesser things, and that changed how I look at travel and life, drastically. If you want luxurious things, I guess you can balance. Budget and slash things you don’t necessarily need so you can spend on the things you want later. If you are on a super tight budget which I have done, there’s a lot left for you to enjoy — company of new and amazing people (can’t stress this enough), the new territories you’re visiting, which is let’s be honest, beautiful already, and spending time appreciating your life and these new things.


Me:  Finally, do you have something to say about my blog ‘Best Places of Interest’?

Rachel/ Ruben: We love the variety of your love, but especially like the areas where you talk about food and travel. We are so happy to meet you (e-meet, but still :)) and that it fuels our passion more, seeing more bloggers like you who are ready to talk about their passions and interests online and put up the work so other people can get inspired to follow their passions too. We hope to meet you Kash one day, and we hope you continue writing a lot! x

Me: I am keeping my fingers crossed, we shall meet someday, somewhere. 🙂

6 Places to Visit in Pune

Pune, referred as the cultural capital of Maharashtra, is situated around 560m above sea level on the western margin of Deccan Plateau. A hilly city, with its highest hill, Vetal Hill at around 800m above sea level. It is located at the confluence of Mula and Mutha rivers. It has many pilgrimage centres, heritage towns and leisure destinations. Pune being culturally active, there are programs of classical Indian or Western Music or dance and shows of Marathi Theatre at Bal Gandharva Auditorium.

Pune railway station
Pune railway station (Image source -Wikipedia)

How to reach Pune?

Pune is well-connected by air, rail and road to major cities of India.

By Rail– Pune being a major junction is linked well with major cities of the country. If you are in Mumbai and you wish to board a train, then you have many options to choose. Deccan Queen, Deccan Express, Indrayani, Pragati and Shatabdi are regular trains that run between Pune and Mumbai every day.

By Bus/Cab– Government and private buses regularly ply between Mumbai and Pune. Buses can be taken from Pune junction bus stand or at Shivajinagar station/bus stand.Taxis/cabs can also be hired. Some other cities near Pune are Ahmednagar (115km), Aurangabad (215km), Nashik (210km), and Kolhapur (233km) which are accessible by road.

By Flight– Pune airport is located in Lohagaon area around 10kms. From the heart of the city. You can take a cab or a bus service to reach the city.

Pune airport (Image source- Wikipedia)

Tourist attractions in Pune

Empress Garden– located near Pune Race Course at Wanawadi, near Camp, Pune. History states that in the British era, it was known as ‘Garden of Dr.Don’ under the possession of Sir Charles Napier. Later, this botanical park was named ‘Empress Garden’ in the honour of Queen Victoria after she won the title of ‘Empress of India’. This garden became famous among British soldiers as they came for recreation purpose. In 1892, Empress Garden was bought by the Bombay Government. It was then handed over to Agri-Horticultural society of Western India.

Empress Garden in Pune
Common Indian myna ((Acridotheres tristis) at Empress Garden in Pune
by Amritadikpati- Wikimedia Commons

In contemporary times, it has become a favourite amongst locals and tourists who throng this garden for peace and serenity.  The garden is open from 9.30am-6.30pm.

Bund Garden in Pune
Bund garden in pune (Image source Babloo180- Wikimedia Commons)

The Bund Garden is among the most admired gardens of Pune. It is a strong symbol of Maharashtrian culture and lifestyle. The park is clean and has many flower beds and bushes. The tall coconut trees adjoining the centre of this place make the garden, attractive and stunning. The plants are exquisite and the bushes are well-trimmed.

Osho Ashram

If you are in Pune, do not miss out on a walk through the Ashram garden. It won’t require much time but worth an experience. The ashram is maintained very well, especially the garden. There is also a statue of Osho and artificial waterfalls to add a mystic touch to the place.

Osho Garden- Pune
(WT-shared) Sanyambahga at wts wikivoyage -Wikimedia)

A very peaceful place… long stretches of green… great to walk around… no one to bother… peace and tranquillity!

Aga Khan Palace-This palace has five halls and large verandahs. The architecture is Islamic with hints of Italian art in its arches. It was built by Sultan Mohammed Shah, Aga Khan II.

Aga Khan Palace, Pune
AgaKhan Palace in Pune. Kasturbha Gandhi, wife of Mahatma Gandhi, died here (Image source http://www.djoh.netv- wikimedia)

It served as a prison to leaders like Mahatma Gandhi during Quit India Movement in 1942 and is therefore also known as Gandhi National Museum. It serves as a memorial of Mahatma Gandhi’s wife.

National War museum The museum built-in 1997 serves as a memorial for Indian soldiers who were martyrs of the nation. It is situated in Pune Cantonment. The museum has on display arms, uniforms and personal mementos.

Shinde Chhatri, Pune
Shinde Chhatri (Marathi : शिंदे छत्री), located in Wanawadi, a well known place in Pune, India, is a memorial dedicated to the 18th century military leader Mahadji Shinde who served as the commander-in-chief of the Maratha army under the Peshwas from 1760 to 1780. It is one of the most significant landmarks in the city and is reminiscent of the Maratha rule. It is a hall that marks the spot of Mahadji Shinde’s cremation on 12 February 1794. The three storied memorial bestows a daunting look of past splendour, representing the rich heritage of that era beautifully. The regal entrance gate made out of iron shines till date. The exterior is captivating and has intricate and detailed carvings
(Image credit- Bikashrd-Wikimedia Commons)

Shinde Chhatri– The Chhatri or hall has carvings and painting along with a gallery in it. There are paintings and photos of Scindia family. It is a memorial for Maratha leader, Mahadji Shinde.

While in Pune, you could also travel to the heights and hues of Western Ghats to Khandala, Mahabaleshwar and Lonavala.

You may also like to read 

Foodies Paradise – Best Places of Interest

You can find this article on GPSmycity.com

Paragliding from around the world

Paragliding is a simple form of human flight and also an adventure sport that people all over the world compete or participate in for high-flying fun. Much like an eagle, paragliders can soar in flights which last several hours and cover many hundreds of miles. The longest paragliding duration is 11 hours and covered more than 310 miles! Since paragliders are light, some adventurers choose to hike way up in the mountains; meaning paragliders have flown off of nearly every major peak in the United States and Europe, including Mt. Everest. By taking advantage of thermal lifts, paraglider pilots can stay aloft for 3 or more hours, climb to elevations of 15,000 feet, and go cross-country.

Woot! As Leonardo da Vinci said, “For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.”

[bctt tweet=”Paragliding from around the world”]

Paragliders are easy to transport, easy to launch, and easy to land. And it offers humans a dream come true, the ability to fly and soar like an eagle. The glider is made of rip-stop nylon wing. The pilot sits in a harness which can be a comfortable as a lounge chair and actually uses the glider to fly like a bird like this photo of paragliding at Muriwai Beach, New Zealand. Photo #1 by Travis Wiens

Takeoff Sequence. Photo #31 by Mikel Ortega
iPhone capture – Paragliding on the beach. Photo #32 by Maurice
Takeoff Peak District National Park. Photo #33 by Dom Crossley
At Torrey Pines, San Diego. Photo #35 by Akshay
Indonesian world record paragliding attempt at Timbis in Bali. Photo #37 by Mj 1903
Paraglider jumping off a ramp at Tegelberg (1720 m), Schwangau, Germany. Photo #36 by Greg O’Beirne
Paraglider on air, above Neustift, Stubai Tal, Tirol, Austria. Photo #40 by Glg
Don Cesar, St Pete Beach sunset. Photo #41 by Andre Bulber

Source: Paragliding: When Humans Soar like Eagles (42 PICS)


Bora Bora Island – a Dreamy Affair

Located in the Leeward group of Society Islands of French Polynesia, Bora Bora Islands is in close proximity to another famous destination Tahiti Islands. Known for the aqua centric luxury destination that are developed as a part of eco tourism to allure newlyweds from around the globe. The iconic over water bungalows webbed on the vast stretches of lagoon gives a feeling of fantasy come true.  With many choices of activities such as water sports, treks, helicopter ride or just read your favorite author to choose from Bora Bora has something for everyone.

Your dream journey to Bora Bora starts right from the moment you enter the air space of this beautiful archipelago on board your flight. The picturesque views of Mount Otemanu on the little islet of Bora along with the blue lagoon and the white sand beach are breathtaking. If a traveler wishes to visit Bora Bora by the sea, they can arrive in style by the luxury cruise that will pamper you to your soul with their compassionate and courteous services on the cruise.

The locals have built a web of these beautiful small over water bungalows that provide all types of luxuries and amenities possibly available any tourist destination. The best part of some of this accommodations is they have glass bottoms where you can witness the crystal clear water and the rich marine life that Bora Bora is famous for.

The island is full of surprises when it comes to natural beauty and reserved habitats. Since this place of the earth is known to be explored the last on earth, the stunning landscapes are mostly untouched. Twin mountains of Mount Otemanu and Pahia are formed out of volcanic caldera and are best for treks and mountain safari on jeeps

A perfect lagoon destination, Bora Bora offers some of the most exotic and resplendent experiences of water sport. Snorkeling, Scuba diving and swimming in and around lagoons of Bora Bora are the must do activities. Many local operators can help you with the unique experiences of diving with manta rays and sharks that are easily found in this part of the world.

There are some other experiences like Aqua Safari, Aqua Biking and Keishi Lagoon tour that travelers can opt for to make most of your stay at Bora Bora.

It is one of the rare destination that is sure to make a huge dent on your pocket. No matter how hard you try to save you will be quick to realize that Bora Bora is either expensive or indescribably expensive. But this pricey destination makes sure to repay you with all of its heart. The perfect combination of ambiance and service will be hard to match in any other destination of the world and will stay in your conscience for a lifetime.

The best time to visit Bora Bora is during the dry season that runs from May to October.  The rains in these islands are unpredictable and can go on for long hours. During the dry season which is also the peak season, the water stays mildly warm which is perfect for swimming. Since this is a French Polynesian country, the main language here is French, and the other language that has great influence of Bora Bora is Tahitian although most locals have a good understanding of English.


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