Adriana is a city girl with a taste to explore the world while seeking to do good. Not too long ago, she left Miami behind for undergrad and departed the country for grad school (she Spain). She returned home looking forward to more adventures, stories, experiences, AND social impact. Hence, the birth of Travepreneur.
Follow her and her adventures along on Instagram as well.
What inspired you to start traveling?
I actually started traveling when I first participated in a study abroad program in college. During the summer of 2009, I set off to study in Santander, Spain.
Before this moment, I hadn’t a clue about traveling or what study abroad meant. So, when a study abroad advisor entered my class one day, it all changed.
Once I began to realize that I wanted to see the world after this summer experience, I started seeking out more and more opportunities to travel.
What do you pack first?
I pack my underwear first! I just have a fear of being somewhere without clean undies. And, yes, I know I can go commando, but I don’t feel as secure without them.
Where do you go for the best view?
Mountains! I hiked my first ever mountain during my first study abroad trip to Spain. I was 20. So imagine, not seeing a mountain until then. But, it makes for a great view of everything.
What’s your fave foodie destination?
This will sound super cliché, but the best foodie destination is Italy.
I tasted a melt-in-your-mouth pasta dish in Florence that I still dream about. It was so delicious. I will never view pasta dishes the same again.
It was just that good.
Name a place that most lived up to the hype.
Not that I heard so much about this place, but the Caribbean, in general, has been hyped for years!
And I can see why. I traveled to the Caribbean for the first time last year, specifically to Barbados. Darling, it was fabulous.
I’m from Miami, so it gave me a taste of home, islands, and so much more. I will definitely go back. And, that’s saying something because I usually don’t like to travel to the same place more than once.
Name a place that least lived up to the hype.
Paris was my least favorite. I’m sorry to say that Paris was kind of blah. The food, especially.
I traveled to Paris around Christmas time and it wasn’t as enthralling and mesmerizing as I’d hope. I don’t remember much from that trip besides it was cold, rainy and gray.
But, I do love the rest of France. Smaller cities like Nice and Cannes were awesome and beautiful.
If I had a one-way ticket to anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
New Zealand! I studied and researched New Zealand while working with one of my adult English language learners who wanted to prepare for her trip there. At that time, I learned a lot about the country, including its diversity and unique culture and traditions.
Tell us about a great little place you know?
Do I have to?! Just kidding.
In Nepal, I visited a small community of Dalits, formerly known as the Untouchables, in the Aapshawara Village. This village is so special.
You learn about the history of the caste system and how the Dalits were treated and still is today. But, more than that, you’ll feel welcomed to their homes and learn to appreciate the meaning of family.
While I was visiting, I stayed with a family of four, a mother, and her three children. The youngest and I played Uno, while the second oldest and I spoke about love. Even with just a short visit, I vibed with their positive energy and generosity.
Where in the world have you felt happiest?
On the plane, above the clouds is where I’ve felt the happiest. Once I take off and am above the ground, life becomes serene and unimaginable. At that moment, I think about the creation of the world and its beauty.
We take for granted the world we live in and the components that make existence so beautiful.
Any horror/funny stories while traveling?
So, when I was 16, I participated in a science program in Miami.
For a week, my peers and I, along with our mentors took a trip to Key West. As you can imagine, Key West is no place for teenagers. But, whatever, we were excited to head to the “southernmost point” of the US.
That night of our arrival, we went on a ghost tour. I like spooky stories and the dark side of a place. On the tour, we stopped in front of a house. We stood across the street as our tour guide began to tell the tale of Robert and his voodoo doll, also named Robert.
If you don’t know who Robert is, he is the inspiration for the movie, Chuckie. The tour guide started sharing life inside the house of both Roberts. Things would be moved, the doll would appear in the window scaring children passing by. As the guide told us this, he pulled out a picture of the doll.
I, with a disposable camera, took a picture of the photo. Seconds later, the guide explains that anyone who wants to take a photo of Robert would have to ask permission. Nonchalant about the request, I shrugged him off. He elaborated that if you didn’t ask permission, all of your digital photos would only be of Robert the doll’s face.
Weary of what was to come, I silently asked Robert and continued on with the tour. I didn’t think much of it until a week later when the group and I headed to our program site to work on our summer projects. We edited clips and formatted our video project until our computer unexpectedly shut off. No biggie, we thought. We rebooted this brand new MAC desktop computer and waited for it to reload. A white screen appears. We wait. Nothing. We continue to wait. And, still, nothing happens. We inform the IT department and after investigating and examining the computer, they could never explain why that brand new computer went out. Til this day, the only explanation my friends and I could come up with…was it Robert the doll?
What places have you planned for 2019?
I will be visiting Greece and Ghana for the very first time!
I can’t wait to explore these countries solo, especially Ghana because 2019 is the “Year of the Return;” the 400th year of the African Diaspora. What’s crazy is that I’ve even had some people question my solo trip, even going as far as to say I should rethink my itinerary.
So just for that, I’m more excited and ready to see a new country.