Traveling for many is a luxury, for others, it is their greatest pleasure! There is nothing better than meeting a real traveler and finding out what travel means to them! This week we are meeting Emanuela Oliveira
1. Please tell us a little about yourself
– I’m Emanuela Oliveira, an airport assistant from Póvoa de Varzim, a small seafront paradise in the North of Portugal.
I´m an avid traveler, I love nothing more than discovering new places, new cultures, new food. I love hiking in the mountains and enjoying nature and new landscapes.
When I´m not traveling, I´ll be in my hometown, usually socializing with friends over good food or keeping active, doing different sports.
2. How did it all begin? Where does your passion for the unknown come from?
It came from an early age, since my geography and history lessons at school, maybe that was the start of it. I also traveled a lot around Portugal when I was a child, with my family.
3. What countries have you visited? Could you imagine living in any of these countries? If so, which?
I have visited 23 countries. Portugal, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Dominican Republic, France, Cuba, Thailand, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, United States of America, Bahamas, Cape Verde, United Arab Emirates, Maldives, Netherlands, Sao Tome and Principe, Italy, Croatia, Greece and Mauritius. Each one has inspired me in different ways.
I can imagine living in Miami (USA) because of the beaches, and the general vibe of the city.
4. Do you consider yourself a traveler or a tourist?
– Many people think that a tourist and a traveler are the same. However, the difference is important.
Tourists travel to observe, but travelers prefer to explore and to experience things different to what they are used to. They aren´t afraid to try different food, or to get lost and experience the unexpected. A tourist is there to see the sights, see what is considered important, take a picture and tick it off a list.
A tourist goes on vacation, a traveler travels.
5. What is your biggest motivation to travel so much?
– To feel homesick, and appreciate the things in MY life and to learn the history and culture of OTHER people’s lives. I think travel is the greatest way to do this. To experience life in another person’s shoes.
Travel abroad allows us to feel the distance, to realize that we are so small, yet so absurdly large because we have the capability to adapt. To feel that this world is vast, delimited and different, but that it is also OUR world.
6. What have been the biggest challenges you have encountered so far on your travels?
– The clash of cultures. The shock of experiencing different cultures and experiencing things that we don’t consider ‘normal’ for ourselves. Although, any contact with a different culture can provide a huge change in the way we see the world and open our mind to different ways of living.
Travel takes us out of our comfort zone but once you know what you’re up against, things get easier.
7. When you return from a trip, do you feel that something has changed in you?
The journey, even after it is finished, remains in us, we will always have photos, stories and experiences that fill us with joy every time we remember them.
Travel gives us anability to find a new world in every destination that maybe we did not even know existed. Traveling has changed my way of seeing the world and how I relate to it. And it definitely inspires me to better and teaches me to understand life in different ways.
I get so much out of traveling, that I live to plan and dream of the next destination.
8. How do you usually plan your trips?
I plan in detail, I research a lot before I travel. I use the internet and different forums. I use travel books and magazines. I try to prepare myself so I can understand everything I need to know about the country which I´m visiting.
9. Do you travel in your own country? Which places do you recommend?
I travel a lot in Portugal. We have many amazing places to see in Portugal such as Douro Valley, which is World Heritage site classified by UNESCO, the Schist Villages, the Azores, the Peneda-Gerês National Park, the big cities like Porto and Lisbon, there is an endless list of places to visit in Portugal.
10. Would you like to have a remote job that allows you the freedom to work from anyway? Or would you rather have a steady job and travel when possible?
I prefer to have the reins in my hands, to plan the strides and let unforeseen things happen on the way.
The digital nomad life is full of adventure, but maybe it comes with it´s own disadvantages. I love where I live but I would not say NEVER to the option of being able to combine work and travel.
- When I spend a lot of time without traveling … I feel bored and restless. I have itchy feet – I need to plan my next trip!
- My favorite destination so far , Thailand
- What I never forget to carry in the suitcase … toothbrush and cameras
- The most amazing thing that ever happened to me on a trip was getting a flight upgrade. I ended up flying business class on the world’s largest commercial airplane, Emirates A380, on the second floor of the plane.
- In 5 years, I want to have traveled to Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, the Norwegian Fjords, the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland and I´d love to go back to Thailand.
Thank you, Emanuela, for sharing your great story with us.As you see traveling is not as impossible or as expensive as many people think. You can travel a lot but you also need to have priorities and a plan !! The one thing we know for sure is that traveling will bring so much joy and hapiness that no money can buy.As they say : “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
If you’re curious about Emanuela travels find her on Instagram.
More interviews coming soon…would you like to be next? Do you also have an inspiring story or do you know someone who does? Please let us know.