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If you’re open and willing, travel will make you a more well-rounded human being.

If you don’t know where to start, check out this interview with a real traveler and be inspired!

This week we are meeting Teresa Ribas

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself

I’m a natural blonde, mustache-less Portuguese, who speaks English, Spanish and, obviously, Portuguese.

I was born and raised in Porto, Portugal and lived there until the age of 17. I went on to study photography in Venice, arts in Birmingham and Art Direction in Barcelona which is where I´ve lived for the past 9 years, working in advertising and communication.

I’ve always considered myself a potpourri of everyone I’ve ever met. I´m always trying to learn from what I see, feel, experience and hear.

All in all, I’m not any different from anyone else, just maybe a little bit more curious. 

2. How did it all begin? Where does your passion for the unknown come from?

I’ve travelled a lot since I was a little girl. My sister, who is 15 years older than myself, left to study in London when I was only 5. I’d travel with my parents quite often to visit her. And the first time I crossed the pond (aka The Atlantic Ocean) was when she got married to a Canadian, I was 12 at the time.

I kind of got into this “catching planes”, “packing bags” scene and wanted to experience more of it. I also studied at an international school, that made it easier for me to communicate too, and maybe even a bit more curious about the outside world.

My life was pretty much as anyone would expect. After a couple of months in Venice and a year in Birmingham I moved to Barcelona to continue my studies. I then went straight into employment.

My career was going pretty smoothly, and I even managed to go abroad once or twice a year, too. As well as fitting in some long weekends around Europe when I had chance.

At a certain point, my career was stable, my life was stable and I was right in the middle of my comfort zone – I started thinking I wanted more than that.

Travelling felt so good, I felt so happy, so fulfilled, I met so many people, and I had so many new experiences: I wanted more.

I met my boyfriend round about that time and, guess what, he wanted the same! After careful consideration, we decided it was time to go and follow an old dream before it was too late or we got too scared.

3. What countries have you visited? Could you imagine living in any of these countries? If so, which?

Quick checklist:

Portugal, Spain, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Cyprus, Turkey, Philippines, Canada, Brasil and most recently Cuba, Mexico, Belize and i’m now in Guatemala. 

Barcelona definitely still has my heart – that city saw me grow from a teenager into the woman I am today; I learnt so much about myself there. I miss it (and its people) every day.

4. Do you consider yourself a traveler or a tourist?

This is actually something I’m very conscious about every time I travel. When I lived in Barcelona, I saw the negative impacts of tourism. I hated the way some visitors disrespected the locals, the culture, the city and its streets. I’ve made a promise to myself that I’d always be a traveler, not a tourist.

As much as possible, I get off the beaten path, and I think that might make me more of a traveler, rather than an “all-inclusive” or “tour pack” kind of tourist.

Read more about the difference between a traveler and a tourist

5. What is your biggest motivation to travel so much?

Culture and beauty.

As mentioned above, I love people; I love their stories, their culture, their past. 

Travelling the world allows me to meet and talk to so many different people, with so many different beliefs and lifestyles.

Travelling allows me to enjoy diversity and multiculturalism. It allows me to learn, embrace, tolerate and love.

6. What have been the biggest challenges you have encountered so far on your travels??

Escaping massified tourist attractions. It’s not easy being different, it takes time planning a trip on your own, without falling into the easy packs from one place to another.

Not only is it hard (even exhausting and frustrating sometimes), but it could also be dangerous, even more expensive or time-consuming.

7. When you return from a trip, do you feel that something has changed in you?

 Everytime! I try to live every experience to the fullest. Cliché but true: “if you want something you never had, do something you’ve never done” so, with travelling, come these amazing new feelings. 

I believe that if you’re happy inside, you have this sort of “happy circle” around you that attracts good things, and that’s what I feel every time I travel, and every time I come back.

8. How do you usually plan your trips?

Before I decided to leave everything behind, I followed some key steps:

  1. Understand how much money I had and was willing to spend.
  2. Know how long I could stay away for.
  3. Buy a bottle of wine and some cheese or Jamón Serrano.
  4. Check out skyscanner, fill in the “from” section and add “anywhere” to the “to” section. 
  5. Choose the destination according to points 1 and 2.

Read Now about the Ultimate 3 tips to Find The Cheapest Flights in 2019 HERE

Now that I’m a full-time traveler things are a bit different.

As for planning it, right now, we don’t have any date or time constraints so when we decide we want to move, we look for options on the spot; ask around and look it all up on the internet to make sure it’s trustworthy.

9. Do you travel in your own country? Which places do you recommend?

 That’s actually something on my bucket-list! My parents used to take me all around Portugal so I have visited quite a few places, but I’m planning to make it one of my stops before “planting any roots” again.

We really want to go to Gerês National Park, and road-trip down Costa Vicentina, which is the Alentejo region in Portugal.

For anyone who is traveling in Portugal, I’d definitely recommend:

  1. Porto (not only because It’s my hometow)

2. Viana do Castelo in August is one of my favorite cities of all time. Why? Not only is it filled with an amazing culture and local “romarias” (local festivities) but it’s a very laid back and beautiful city.

3. Moledo do minho. This is a tiny town on the northern coast, I’d spend my holidays there every year. There’s this positive vibe to it and its beach is said to be one of the best in Portugal (It does get very windy though). 

4. Cascais. This is where my sister lives now, so I go there quite often to visit. It´s a very picturesque city close to Lisbon.

Did you know that Portugal won the won the World’s Best Destination award?? Read about

10.Would you like to have a remote job that allows you the freedom to work from anyway?

 It’s on my mind.

However, before leaving for this trip, I worked full-time and would travel on my holidays and that worked fine for me.

Quick Round

When I spend a lot of time without traveling

I generally don’t. But when I do, I start looking for quick getaways if I can’t afford a longer trip.


My favorite destination

so far, the Philippines


I never forget to pack …

Underwear

The most amazing thing that ever happened to me on a trip was …

Hard one. I’m actually writing a travel diary with all the perks and anecdotes from my trip. I don’t think I can pick just one amazing experience but my diary will be a good way to remember everything that happens!

In 5 years, I want to have traveled to

At least 60 countries.

Thank you Teresa for your inspiring story and for showing us all the many benefits traveling can bring. Thank you for highlighting the challenges you have faced as a traveler, and your tips for doing it the right way.

If you’re curious about Teresa travels find her on Instagram.

Like US on Facebook  or  Instagram 

Read another true traveler story here

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 me us know.

Nominal Nomad

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48 thoughts on “Meet Real Traveler, Teresa Ribas”

  1. As I sit in my home office looking at my window at the snow, I realize yet again I don’t travel enough. Teresa looks like she leads an exciting life full of adventure and she’s visited so many great places I only dream about.60 countries, WOW! And yes always remember to pack underwear. 🙂

  2. What a great guest with a great interview. I love her saying” I love catching planes and picking up flights..” It’s nice to start travelling in early age. wonderful questions to ask. Great job with overall post. It’s nice to know people around the globe with their unique experience. A lot to learn.

    1. Thanks for your kind comment. I agree, it’s really interesting to hear other people’s stories . It really gives us some motivation and useful advice!

    1. Thank you! Haha, I know, right? To be honest with you, I usually have a glass of wine in my hand when I’m booking flights and planning adventures too!

  3. Oh my, I am just a wee bit envious here – all those countries. I live in Scotland, and I love it, but it would have been nice to see more of the world. Traveller or tourist? Nice question, I think I’d also want to be a traveller.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Scotland is a beautiful country, so not a bad place to be!! Maybe a little chilly right now though?

  4. I think it’s really important to foster curiousity about other countries from a young age like Teresa was.

  5. That’s a great story! I can very well relate to Teresa’s motivation to quit the comfort of her job and starting traveling instead. That’ exactly what I did as well 🙂 There are just too many beautiful places to explore and too little time for that. Great interview! Looking forward to reading more in there series!

    1. Completely agree with you! It’s way too easy to get stuck in our routine and comfort zone. Thanks for your kind comment 🙂

  6. Oh wow! This is awesome. I’m super jealous… I keep hoping that one day I’ll be able to travel all over!

  7. What an inspiring story. I hope that my boys get to travel more than I did growing up. They are 2 years old and have already traveled to Argentina. I think we are on the right track!

    1. That’s amazing, what a great experience for your boys, it really does teach them so much and gives them a deeper understanding of the world. You’re definitely on the right track.

  8. Wow, so true about being a different person everytime you come back from a trip! Loved the interview, I got to see a glimpse of a travelling life I hope to lead someday!

  9. I plan everything,so the moment you spoke of making a plan and solving issue for worse case scenarios I was like yes that is needed. This guest blogger post I am going to have to ensure she works within my topics

  10. Teresa Ribas has travelled lots of places and a true traveller. Thank you for this guide that inspired us to travel. I want to travel a lot, but it is in dreams only. I have to kick my butt out and do it one Teresa by telling that it is now or never.
    Thank you.

    1. I think it’s really important to discover and learn about our own country, so many people don’t!

  11. I love her “I’m a potpourri of everyone I’ve met” view. That’s such an amazing way to view and consider how people enrich your life.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I hope you get the opportunity to travel soon, it’s never too late!!

    1. Thanks for your comment, we’re pleased you enjoyed reading it. Look out for the next interview coming next week 🙂

  12. I love the distinction between a traveler and a tourist. It’s always my goal to blend in as much as possible and to find some of the hidden gems that aren’t always on the beaten path.

    1. I completely agree! We should always respect the locals and the place we’re visiting. It’s important to remember we’re a visitor in their country.

  13. Very cool. My travel friends and I would do this but not for blog just to talk. I love the responses – it shows you how others view traveling (compared to yourself). The underwear part is literally my HAHA MOMENT – we have all been there!

    1. Thanks for your comment! Exactly, we love sharing travel stories with friends too! It is always inspiring to here different people’s stories. Pleased you enjoyed it!

  14. You live a life rich in experiences. I too love to meet people and learn of different cultures but it takes a very special person to travel to do so .

we would love to hear your thoughts about this!

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