Welcome to the first Travel Blogger Interview Series where once a month, I will put the spotlight back on my favorite travel bloggers!
Once a month, I want to start putting the spotlight on some of my favorite travel bloggers who inspire me to continue to travel the world and to be a better travel blogger! Each month, I will choose one blogger and interview them with a set of questions and introduce you to them! Please help support them by sharing their favorite post and following them on SM!
First up: Vlad from Eff It, I’m On Holiday!
I first discovered Vlad’s blog when he was co-hosting #TheWeeklyPostcard and quickly became enthralled with his posts on his home country of Romania! There are two sides of Eff It, I’m on Holiday; Vlad who covers the travel inspiration on the blog while Paul is responsible for the mouth-watering foodie posts! Vlad and I soon grew to become Facebook buddies and are even planning a meet up in London in March! Come find out more about Vlad and his travel blog!
Introduce yourself: Who are you? Where is home?/ Where are you now?
Hello, I’m Vlad and I live in Bucharest, Romania, that country in Eastern Europe known for its vampires 😉 I’m currently at home for a whole month, while planning my next big trip.
What makes yourblog unique and why should people read it?
Because I’m funny and charming and a hard worker and a perfectionist? Oh wait, this is neither a date, nor a job interview (which I’m both terrible at, to be honest) My blog focuses on part time travel, combining our full time love for travel with our full time jobs and I’d like to think that what distinguishes it is my photography (and insider tips on Romania).
Do you travel for work or for pleasure?
Mostly for pleasure, but when I do travel for work, I like to take some time to visit the city I’m staying in or its surrounding area (that’s how I visited Cologne and Heidelberg last year)
What was you most recent trip?
My last trip was a weekend in Madrid with my family, which turned out to be way too little time to see the city, I’d love to go back, preferably when it’s warmer.
Which country do you keep returning to the most?
Spain is definitely my favorite country, I keep going there every year. No matter where I am, I just love wandering on its streets, eating delicious food and enjoying the warm sun, no matter the season.
What is the most stunning place that you have ever visited?
This may sound like a cliché, but Iceland is truly breathtaking, you’ll find something amazing at every corner. There are way more waterfalls than I can count, impressive mountains, glaciers, gorgeous beaches. It’s truly a place that should be visited by everyone.
Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
I always try to find the best in every place I visit, no matter how bad it is so there rarely is a place I can say I hated and never want to see again. However, Chisinau, Moldova comes close to it. It was fun thanks to the friends I was with, but it’s a city that doesn’t have much to offer and it reminds me of all the things I’m hoping Romania leave in its past.
Do you feel that blogging takes time away from your social or family life?
Had you asked me this a year ago, I would have said that yes, it does. Lately though, I’ve focused more on travel and social life, so the blog took a step back (and social media took even more steps back). This year I’m hoping to find a way to balance the two.
What is the one thing that is too large or impractical to travel with that you wish you could take with you when you travel?
Different outfits for each day of the trip. I’d love not having to worry about mixing and matching clothes or wearing the same thing twice. But it would result in a luggage that’s twice as big, so I often need to make compromises 🙂
Are there any countries that you would not consider visiting and why?
I’ve always said that I want to go everywhere, which is still true. However, some are further down the list, because of war, political situation, terrorism, LGBT rights or women’s rights. It’s not a perfect world so we have to live with it the way it is. Of all the countries in the world, I probably won’t visit Syria or North Korea in this lifetime.
Do you have any funny travel stories?
I visited Israel last December, for everything but its religious sites, which I wasn’t interested in at all. This is why I didn’t like Jerusalem, because it was full of pilgrims (a lot of them from Romania), some of them being ridiculous (like pretending to carry a cross, like Jesus, while wearing tight leopard pants) or hypocritical (praying in church, but then cutting lines or gossiping behind your back). On the return flight, I had a huge surprise. There I was, an atheist, surrounded by about a hundred pilgrims brought by the Patriarch of Romania….and a couple of priests. It was everything I hated from Israel and everything I hated when I fly to and from Romania: “religious” people. All very chatty. One priest said jokes about priests during the entire flight, while people around him laughed loudly. All while I was trying to sleep because it was a night flight and I had work in the morning. It was extremely annoying at the time, but I can laugh about it now.
What is the most spontaneous thing you have ever done?
Usually I think a lot before booking a flight, but last year I made some spontaneous flight purchases, which resulted in a lot of weekends spent away from home. I often wish I could just book a flight to London one morning, because I missed my favorite coffee house, but for better or for worse, that’s not who I am.
What is your favorite mean of transportation (plane, train, car, ship)?
I love traveling by car or train, road trips are the best, but since it’s at least a 12 hours drive just to exit the country going west, plane has definitely become my favorite mean of transportation, especially since I travel part time and often need to get to a place a lot faster.
What sort of traveler are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
As I’ve mentioned a couple of times by now, I am a part time traveler. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m a budget traveler, more like budget-conscious, I have a budget in mind for each trip, and I’m willing to cut unnecessary costs to afford other experiences, but the truth is I often find myself splurging on hotels with views or charming eateries.
Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
For a long time, Iceland, Morocco and Thailand have been at the top of my wish list, and every other country in the world was in no significant order after the third position. But now that I’ve visited the first two, I’ve been looking for their replacements. Thailand is at the top, followed by Norway (I’ve been to Oslo, but I’m dying to see Bergen, Alesund, The Lofoten Islands and Tromso) and Hawaii, followed closely by Peru.
Do you feel burnt out by constant traveling? If yes, how to you handle it? If no, then how to you go about it?
Last year I did a lot of weekend trips, with a couple of months being gone someplace else every weekend. This didn’t feel tiring at first, I usually caught up with sleep after a couple of days. By the end of last year, it has started to take its toll on me and the peak was when I had to come from London on Sunday and leave to Frankfurt on a work trip on Monday, but due to delays, I ended up just leaving a plane and boarding another after a couple of hours. After that, I was glad not to see another plane (it lasted only a month, though).
Do you have a travel post you are most proud of and why?
Fun fact: I’m my own worst enemy critic. I second guess everything I write and I end up hitting “Publish” with my eyes closed (kidding on that last one. Kind of). My favorite posts to write are the travel stories, where I don’t need to worry about sounding too formal or making sure I have enough facts and numbers in my post. Like the post about my weekend spent in Koln, written on multiple train rides. However, my most favorite posts are the ones I wrote about Iceland, because it’s been my dream to visit for almost ten years and even now, when I read them, I feel like they take me right back to that cold but gorgeous island.
What is one travel hack tip you could give readers?
In the words of Chandler Bing, “I’m not great at the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?” There isn’t anything I can say that hasn’t been said way too many times by others before me (maybe even better than I could), but there is one thing I keep seeing over and over again: people who don’t know that travel doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s not only business class flying and five star hotels, sometimes a low cost flight doesn’t cost more than a night out and affordable accommodation is everywhere (except, well, Iceland). So “I don’t have enough money” is never an excuse for not traveling.
Do you have one ultimate favorite picture from your travels? Why?
Uh oh, you really went there! I’ve been searching for 30 minutes until I realized I won’t give into your treacherous request! (Kidding :P) I could never pick just one, I can’t even pick one favorite photo from each trip, all of them make me remember good times from every place I visit.
Where are you headed next?
California, with a quick stop in Stockholm before and one in London after. Only a few weeks left! 😀