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 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?
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.
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.
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 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
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?
- Understand how much money I had and was willing to spend.
- Know how long I could stay away for.
- Buy a bottle of wine and some cheese or Jamón Serrano.
- Check out
skyscanner, fill in the “from” section and add “anywhere” to the “to” section.
- 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
We really want to go to
For anyone who is traveling in Portugal, I’d definitely recommend:
- 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 “
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
. 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.
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
I never forget to pack …
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.
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.
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.