Hi, everyone! Please say hello to Alba, the blogger behind Alba Luna: www.albaluna.es.
Spanish girl from Madrid, but world citizen, she’s passionate about languages and participating in the daily life of the people she encounters. I don’t want to spoil anything else for you so no more talking from me and let her answer some questions, I’m sure you’ll enjoy what she has to say!
Hi, Alba and welcome here on my site! Before my real first question, please take some time to present yourself to our readers!
Hola, everyone! I consider myself a bridge in between cultures, a translator, and a traveler. I’m the best version of myself when I get to do those three things at the same time. I’ve been traveling alone since I’m 18 (10 years ago now), it all started with a grant to learn English in Ireland for a month and from that moment on I couldn’t stop myself from exploring the world we live in. Today, with 32 countries in my backpack, I can say my wanderlust is still growing like a beautiful monster inside of me. The way I like to travel is one with which I not only learn about the place I’m visiting but give something back to the community by volunteering, teaching or participating in different projects that involve local life.[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#65bb46″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]The way I like to travel is one with which I not only learn about the place I’m visiting but give something back to the community by volunteering, teaching or participating in different projects that involve local life.[/mks_pullquote]
You say “I avoid touristic places, use maps as less as possible and just get wonderfully lost in every place I go.” From my experiences, I always noticed females have less sense of orientation than males, even while using a map! So, are you pretending being lost on purpose while you actually have no idea where you are?!?
Haha, I don’t know what you mean… All I know is that I love getting messy in a city and exploring new corners and ambiances by getting lost on purpose. That’s when I actually get in the life of locals and I love it! That’s the way I got invited to a Filipino birthday, got in the house of a traditional Indian family that wanted me to marry their son and ended up sleeping in a hammock at a welcoming stranger’s house in Cartagena, Colombia. Those are the things I do when traveling. Having said that, I believe I do have a good sense of orientation mainly because I have visual memory but anyways, I only use maps to hang them in my room (to inspire me for when I’m not traveling).
There’s a very cool map on your home page and I know you’re Spanish, but there aren’t many places visited in your country. Actually, there’s only Madrid! Don’t you like Spain?
No way! I love my country. I mean, who doesn’t? The thing is that I’ve visited so many places all over the country that’s so difficult to catch up and post pictures about every single place. You actually gave me an idea, I could create a brief guide on some areas to visit in Spain, never thought of using the blog that way. I normally write to inspire people to go abroad, not so that foreigners visit my country. Thank you for the tip! And Madrid has to be there because is my hometown, where I always come back when I come back from my trips =)
Speaking of this map, I have to say that Portugal, France, and Italy aren’t lucky too. I thought because, since you’re also a passionate language lover, the languages spoken in these countries aren’t very different from yours, so they could be less interesting, also from the cultural point of view (in the end, we are all sort of cousins!). What do you have to say in your defense?
For Portugal, I must say in my defense that I visited the whole country several times and I loved it! My village is actually on the border and since I was a child we used to cross it and visit towns nearby. I love our cultures even if we are similar in a lot of ways and we stick together and relate to each other, we do have our differences and I like to remark them when traveling. About Italy and France, I did interrail several years ago but you know, I’m always open to new invitations! There are always new places to explore! Shame on me I don’t speak Italian or Portuguese (yet) but I understand both and always answer with a very funny Spanitalian or Portuñol. I love latin languages! What’s true is that sometimes we forget about exploring our own countries and focus on going abroad while we have some beautiful treasures at home!
Alba, your name, means sunrise, both in Spanish and Italian. But the sunrise is not only different because of the language, it depends also on the place you are. You can see a sunrise on the mountains, or on the sea. Or maybe in the desert. Which is the spot you enjoyed the most this amazing wonder of nature?
I have to admit I love sunrises anywhere, they make me wake up with a different energy. They charge my battery for the day to come. But if I have to choose due to their beauty and intensity, I’d say the best two I’ve ever witnessed were in Venezuela; one in Chichiriviche (in the Caribbean) and the other one in Canaima lake (the jungle). They were so unique and powerful that I almost cried. That country is gorgeous!
Let’s go back to your home country. What’s the situation in Spain about tourism? I spent several months there and I can absolutely say that it’s a gorgeous country but as for Italy, it didn’t seem to me always prepared to handle foreigners. What do you think about it?
Let’s say high-quality customer service lacks in my country. Apart from the fact that most of us don’t speak English properly, Spanish service is quite straightforward in means of communication. It happens not only to people who doesn’t speak Spanish but to latinos that are often shocked by the way we speak. Example? Imagine you get in a bar. The waiter comes to you, they probably would just say hello (if you get lucky) no smile on their faces. They ask: what do you want? Direct, no roaming around. They often scream or shout but that’s normal, we are used to it. Unfortunately, Spanish people are often passive about this, they don’t complain and that way the situation doesn’t change for any better. But I believe this is changing and it always depends on where you go.[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#65bb46″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]What’s true is that sometimes we forget about exploring our own countries and focus on going abroad while we have some beautiful treasures at home![/mks_pullquote]
Any chance to have your book translated into English?
I would love to but that book came from my heart directly in Spanish and for the time being, I can’t translate it. Maybe when time passes and I see that trip from a different perspective I’ll be able to. Most of the time I write posts in Spanish and then translate them into English but there are certain topics that come out in English. Let’s see how this one goes! I’ll definitely let you know if I ever translate it!
Here we are, we reached the end of this interview! Now it’s your time to tell our readers why they should come and read your site, Alba Luna!
I get in the messy places, I talk to real people, listen to their problems, what’s lacking in their lives or what they are proud of their native countries. I try to give back a piece of me, of my culture or my trips everywhere I go through volunteering or participating in the local daily life. I love that and I love connecting those places to readers. I can easily take you with me around the world, no labels, no layers. Would you come with me?
As a little bonus, here’s a video from the long trip Alba took in South America.