A Reflection: My Blogging Experience

I was never sure if I was one for blogging. Before leaving for my exchange, my mother pleaded with me to write a blog about my travels, but I told her I would be too busy with school. I think, truthfully, I didn’t know the first thing about writing a blog or how to get started! Luckily for me, I enrolled in Multimedia Communication and had to start this blog as an assignment!

I partnered up with Ruth and Julia, and posted my first ever blog post – a post introducing myself and talking about why our topic (trips and travels) is so close to my heart. Over the past few weeks, we’ve had to write blog posts with different assignments in mind. I can’t think of a more pleasurable assignment than having to look at other travel blogs and read about one of my favourite subjects!

You’ll see a theme throughout most of my blog posts… I love food! Which is why I’ve tried to write about travel with foodies in mind. I blogged about Eat Your World in September – a fantastic food blog. I found this blog while looking for a relevant case study to blog about, and I was able to talk about how this website contains all the qualities of a great blog.

More pictures I've taken of food...

More pictures I’ve taken of food… © Paige Grover

Continuing my desire to write about food, I next posted Find Food Wherever You Are. This assignment post was to find references and sources that make your blog useful to readers! This was fantastic because I got to share my knowledge on how to find the best places to eat, while Julia talked about how to get to your destination and Ruth discussed how to make a trip easy to plan. All in all, our blog was coming along!

The next post was to be about a prominent figure in our area of interest (aka travel, and more specific for me – more food)! I discussed Melting Butter, another wonderful travel food blog. Ruth covered 12 hrs and Julia wrote about Jungles in Paris.

Creating this blog and working at it week after week has taught me so much. As previously mentioned, I never thought I was the cut out for blogging, but I’ve come to really enjoy it. In fact, I created my own personal blog after this experience, Paige in Pamplona. I’m fulfilling my mother’s wishes and posting about my travels for all my family back home 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 4.47.27 PM

© Paige Grover

As for now, I’ll keep working at my personal blog and who knows? Ruth, Julia and I may just keep on working together!

Ciao for now!

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Blogging, blogging, blogging and looking back

During the past few weeks we needed to blog every week at least about one topic and share one post with the community. This was a really good experience for me! Although I already had experiences in blogging, multimedia and social media, this task in the class of James Breiner showed me that there is still a lot to learn. I understand know how important it is to insert links, pictures and – for me the most important learning – to blog regularly. I try to keep this in my mind!

Everything started a few weeks ago with a little post – presenting ourself and our connection to the topic travelling. As you can read in the article travelling gets more and more important to me and I will like after this exchange adventure, I still want to see more. More nature, more cultures, more people, more different countries. All in all: More trips and more travel.

Durin the research for my own blog post I founds some blogs which are really great and I totally recommend. I just to read different travel blogs before but since we started our own blog my view was more focused, I concentrated on different parts of the blog and tried to find some blogs which really make a good job. That was for example Canvas of light. He shows how important good photography is to make your blog look awesome. Moreover, he shows the connection between photography and travelling with his beautiful pictures of natures, culture and landscape. This blog was really inspiring for me because I love photography and learn to get better.

© Canvas of light

© Canvas of light

Another blog which was really impressing for me is Jungles in Paris. They use different ways of presenting information to make their blog more interesting. This kind of transmedia journalism is really interesting for me as a communication student and I think they do a fantastic job telling you stories about different countries, cultures and landscapes.

©Jungles in Paris

©Jungles in Paris

Besides the two blogs I presented, there are different blogs which were presented by Ruth and Paige! Have a look at these ones aswell! There are wonderful food blogs like Eat Your World or Melting Butter. If you like to get a great overview what you can do in a short time, have a look at 12 hours or be a part of a trip around the world without any money and get to know Journeyman.

As promised, we showed you aswell how to organize your next trip. With different links and hopefully helpful comments, you can start planning your next trip!

For me the time writing on this blog was really fun and helpful. I am still very happy with my team and hope that we will continue our friendship, blog and travel experience! ❤

By the way: Travel experience – check out our travel map if you are interested which places we already visited!

Melting Butter – A Great Blog to Check Out!

Following the trend this week, I want to point out another great blog related to travel! Ruth already posted about 12 hrs, and Julia has given you some more information on the blog Jungles in Paris. Check out their awesome posts!

As for me, I’d like to show off a blog I particularly like, Melting Butter.

“Melting Butter is the online source for curated travel hotspots for the aesthetically inclined.” (Melting Butter)

I like to think of myself as a person appreciative of pleasing aesthetics, and I enjoy a good Instagram post of a perfect looking meal or a cute, rustic locale – so Melting Butter is a great site so satisfy these interests.

© Melting Butter

© Melting Butter

You can start by choosing a destination, if you already have a location in mind that you would like to visit. Here it’s broken into arts & culture, food & drink, features, hotels, nightlife, etc. Melting Butter has truly done all of the work for those of us who appreciate a cultured vacation.

Under their Food & Drink section, you can check out many posts on great restaurant or cafe finds. You can check out Nightlife if that’s the kind of think you enjoy, or Arts & Culture if that more your scene. The website has editors who combine information from many contributors who research the locations.

Example of a Nightlife find © Melting Butter

Example of a Nightlife find
© Melting Butter

Check them out on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

tripntravels: teaching me!

As you may know, tripntravels was started by Paige, Julia and me as a group project in the class Multimedia Communication at the university of Navarra. Each week we were giving new tasks to enhance or blogging skills and gain experiences in the usage of multimedia. To not only do randome excercises we had to choose a topic, which obviously for us was travelling and especially short trips.

As all of us are either already in our last years of uni and write our own blogs, we already had quite a few experiences and knowledge of how blogging and how to do what. But still it was a good to revue best practices and try out some new tools.

I started my other blog when I went to live in New Zealand, mostly for my family and friends to see what I´m up to. That´s why I never cared about linkbuilding, traffic or having an instagram or twitter account. Since I´m planning to do a around the world trip after graduation, though, I´m very interested in improving my blogging skills and learning how to create a succesful blog. So next to reading other succesful blogs, it was great practicing myself a bit. In the close future I will probably move all the content from rutharoundtheglobe to a wordpress account to kick off being more professional.

One of our tasks was to talk about something related to our topic that was inspirational. I´ve always been a big fan of Fabian Sixtus Körner but now I got the chance to talk about it. Also, this post showed me how nice it can be to talk about something else except your travels all the time. For our Group it was great to see what my friends liked to get to know more about them and to somehow establish roles in the team. Julia for example became our photo expert, while Paige the food-junkie.

The next post was meant to be about tools that are useful for our blog. In our case: any websites you use for travelling – I got excited about that because these website didn´t only mean a blogpost but rather better travels for us. In this case the research was even more fun than ever and now we got our collection to plan travels from the general surroundings, to planning activities and last but not least: food.

Last week we were meant to talk about the best work done on our topic this year. I really enjoyed this again because it made me take time to look at other blogs.Usually I am so planned that I never let myself read blog but now I actually had an excuse: it´s homework. Again: here I learned more than in any class, you see what works for a blog. When looking at successful blogs you figure out what they do different and take a little bit of that for yourself. Myself learned that the more you focus on a niche or a certain topic the better. 12hrs for example do 12 hour long trips in any city but with a focus on design and art. From Jungle in Paris I learned how important multimedia in fact is, not only Social media but also including different types of media in your blog.

Right now, we are unsure what will happen to tripntravels after this class – I hope we manage to keep doing it. But if we do, I am sure we have learned a lot and will be better bloggers than before. Thanks to Mr. Breiner and the www we learned things without even noticing. Isn´t that great? So let´s see, what will happen and never say never.

As always: Happy Travels, talk soon,

Ruth

PS: Yes we learned it is good to put photos, but right now there´s no photo I would want to put here (I don´t like randomeness) 😉

Have a look at Jungles in Paris!

This week we want to recommend you some other travel blogs which did especially in the last year a great job showing us the different places and cultures off the world. Ruth already showed you her favourite blog, which is awesome! Have a look on her post about 12 hours!

I would love to present you the blog Jungles in Paris which is a great site of travel experience, photography and video.

©JUNGLES in PARIS

©JUNGLES in PARIS

They don’t tell you directly, what kind of stuff you need to do when you visit a country, but they inform you extremely good and interesting about different cultures, animals, nature or people in countries all over the world. With this kind of transmedia journalism, they take you with them to all the places they have visited and the stories behind it.

Jungles in Paris is written by Darrell and Oliver Hartman, two brothers, who already have experience in writing. They get help from different people how to great photography or video documentation – that’s how their blog becomes a multimedia experience!

Painted Ladies - ©Jungles in Paris

Painted Ladies – ©Jungles in Paris

Grizzlies of Greater Yellowstone - ©Jungles in Paris

Grizzlies of Greater Yellowstone – ©Jungles in Paris

The reason why they want to show you all these pictures, videos, stories and background information?

“The planet has been charted and documented, and yet there are still discoveries to be made. Unfamiliar ways of living and extreme natural environments help us gain perspective…Jungles in Paris attempts to tell edifying, inspiring stories that celebrate the multi-colored variety of the world around us” (Jungles in Paris)

If you want to get to know these great guys better, have a look at these Interview with Darrell and Oliver Hartman by The Widow. Moreover, you can find Jungles in Paris on nearly every social media channel and never miss a new interesting story. Have a look at Jungles in Paris on facebook, twitter or Instagram!

I really recommend their blog because they do such a professional and interesting work and I hope you also have a look on the blog of these talented guys and enjoy the stories about culture, geography, wildlife and so much more.

And for sure, enjoy your own next trip!

Aspirational Work I: 12 hrs

12 hours

©12 hours

It would be silly of us to only write and write and write without looking on what other people do to help you plan your perfect trip. There is an unknown number of travel blogs, “how to spend a day in”, etc. …. That makes it hard to find the one that suits you best. I´ve been clicking through loads of blogs, liking most of them but today I want to show you my favorite one.

12 hrs.

 “Travel Guide for people like you.”

That should speak for itself. But let them tell you a bit more about themselves.

Travel Guides off the beaten paths, filled with secret spots, flavor and design.”

Søren Jepsen, one of the founders of 12 hours, does the photos and design not only for this blog but for several others.

©12hours

©12hrs

12 hour long iteneraries that boil down the best a place has to offer in one hand shedule.

Not only Søren but also Anna Peuckert, the second founder, have experience with writing for national and international newspapers like Vogue UK.

©12 hours

©12 hrs

“Collected by us, for you, to help you get the best out of your trip.”

“You” at 12 hrs means people that like travelling but also design, fashion and art. But the authors even go further. They show how to explore any city in 12 hours, leaving out the obvious touristy stuff, showing their favorite secret spots instead.

The first thing you will enjoy when visiting 12 hrs are the beautiful photos. For more of these, you should like me, follow their Instagram. In general their Social Media strategy is amazing and they seem to be on any channel possible.

Instagram

Then I love how they meet locals, tell their stories and show their favorite spots. After I´ve just recently been to Barcelona I enjoyed reading their feature with Nuria where she  took them to a couple of her favorite places like the Park de Montjuic or  La Boqueria. Surprise, those two also are some of our favorites – “A weekend in Barcelona” coming up soon;)

Montjuic

©12 hrs alltomorrowparties

But they don´t only do 12 hours trips. Anna and Søren also blog about places they really enjoy may it be a new popupstore in New Zealand,  a Hotel in Paris or a Café in Geneva.

The shelter in Auckland, New Zealand

©12 hrs The shelter in Auckland, New Zealand

My favourite section on 12 hrs, though, is – surprise – the photostories.Take a look at On the streets of Milan and admire, might it be the art of taking photos or the beauty of the women.

©12 hrs. Isn´t this how you´d imagine Milan?

©12 hrs. Isn´t this how you´d imagine Milan?

I like their straight line, their passion and affection. So don´t miss this jewel.

Oh, and after clicking through all the nice stories don´t forget to sign up for the newsletter and planning your next trips.

Happy Travels! 🙂

PS. We got an Instagram-Feed !!!! Hurray!

Find Food Wherever You Are

I’m going to keep talking about my favourite topic – food. Julia has told you how to get to your destination, Ruth has told you how to find things to do once you’re there, so it’s only fitting that I give you some tips about eating while traveling!

Traditional Pintxos in Pamplona

Traditional Pintxos in Pamplona © Paige Grover

A popular website to find restaurants is one that Ruth already mentioned, TripAdvisor, where you can search for restaurants based on where you are going, and sort them based on food type, ratings, price, etc. Another website similar to this is Yelp which has restaurants from around the world. Again, you can search for food based on where you’ll be and filter it by type of food or ratings. If you’re looking for an on-the-go version, Urbanspoon is a great app that performs similar searches!

Another great website to get a feel for what the locals eat, is Spotted By Locals! In their About Us section they state, “We handpick our locals (‘Spotters’) and meet them in person in their city. Our Spotters live in the city they write about, speak the local language, write only about their favourite spots, and keep their articles up-to-date”. You can choose the location you wish to go to, then read reviews about different places people who know the area recommend! But if choose to visit a restaurant, don’t forget to check OpenTable to see if you can make a reservation from the comfort of your home!

For a different culinary experience, check out Eat With! This cool website has found different chefs around the world who will serve you from the comfort of their own home! They put together their own menus, and you get to watch the chef cook the food and get to know them in the process! You just put what city you will be in, and different “events” on different dates will pop up showing you the chef and what they will be cooking! Another website with a similar concept is Meal Sharing.

If having someone else cook for you isn’t your thing, maybe try one of MANY cooking classes offered around the world! This is a fabulous way to learn more about the culture you’re visiting by making traditional dishes! And learning a thing or two about cooking while you’re at it! Check out The International Kitchen to find cooking classes around the globe! This way, you can relive your travels when back at home for cooking traditional cuisine for all of your friends and family.

I hope you take in all of this information for your next trip – and have some food-filled fun!

How to make your day a YAY!:)

Travel Plans

© Ruth Rottwitt

Julia already told you how to make all the neccesary bookings and plan the where, when and how. So let´s focus on how to get the best out of your stay!

It´s the same for all of us. When going to a new city with a limited amount of time we only want to see the most beautiful things and do the most fun stuff. Next to the Must Dos, of course. But what are these things? What are the secret little spots you must see? Tripadvisor is my favorite page to figure out what to do and see. Here other travellers tell about their experiences, list activities, accomodation, restaurants and bars and with the Star-system it´s easy for you to decided what´s your favorite.

Timeout is another great option, similar to Tripadvisor, to find tips for your stay.

The most obvious way to explore a new city are the red tourist busses of City-Sightseeing which you will find in almost every city and cannot miss. Usually they are more or less cheap but let you hop on and off whereever you feel like it.

However, I prefer not going on the bus but taking my time and walking a city because I believe it let´s me see more little details. Therefore I love the free walking tours that you can find everywhere,too. Putting “free walking tour” and your destination´s name will lead you to a lot of results like Free Tours by Foot. These tours don´t cost you a cent and in the end you just pay what you think it was worth. I have the feeling this is the reason for the guides being more motivated and giving better tours. Try it out next time!

I´m sure you´ve heard of this since it was so popular and everyone seemed to “check-in”. You probably know what I´m talking about: Foursquare. This service let´s you search for places in any city, shows you where your friends have been and just recently started to remind your preferences and leads you to similar spots. There goes our data – but, well. What I really like about Foursquare is that it´s offered also as an app and you can use it on the go, receiving advices around your current location.

I could keep going for ages listing tons of nice services and websites but I guess this is my favorite selection and should assure you having a brilliant trip!

So have fun, enjoy and HAPPY TRAVELS!

P.S. Never forget to check the weather!

How to organize a trip to Madrid?

Houses of Madrid

©Julia Renke

This whole blog is about our experiences with trips and traveling that may help you to check out what to do.

But what other websites may help you went you want to travel? Especially if you want to plan everything on your own?

The internet offers a huge choice of different blogs, websites, articles and different stuff which could help you. But the amount of possibilities is way too big to decide. That’s why we want to show you some of our favorite sources for planning a trip. For example a trip to the beautiful capital of Spain: Madrid!

At first you have to decide how to go there. By plane? Train? Bus? Car? You have to compare different prices and find out what’s the cheapest and fastest way to go Madrid. If you want to check on different types to go there you can visit websites like rome2rio or go euro. They give you a first overview about all the different possibilities. On the other hand you don’t have the possibility to check the prices for a flexible range of dates or origins.

If you are sure, that you want (or have to) go by plane to Madrid, you should check the different prices online. Skyscanner gives you the possibility to see the prices for a whole month. The best way to find the cheapest flight if you are flexible! Kayak is a another good website to compare flight prices. You can look for specific dates, +/- 3 days or other options. Moreover, there is the possibility to add different airports which are not far away from the cities you entered. This is helpful is you live in an area with some airports not far away and you don’t really care which one you fly from.

If you wan to go to Madrid by bus, train or car, you are probably already in Spain. To book your train ticket, you should check Renfe. You will get a better price if you book early or if you book a seat for 4 persons. Good opportunity if you travel with a group of friends! For going by bus you should check on ALSA or Movelia. You can book all tickets directly online or at a bus station. For going by car, you can rent a car which is a little expensive or you can join a person who’s anyways going to Madrid. You will find nice opportunities on BlaBlaCar.

Usually the train is the fastest way to travel in Spain, but is more expensive than the bus. The bus system is pretty good and cheap, so it will cost you for example around 20 Euro to go from the North of Spain to Madrid. But you can make a good deal going by train if you book early. BlaBlaCar is always nice because you meet new people. You have to find someone who is driving the time you like, but if you want someone, it will probably fast and cheap.

Of course, you also need an accommodation. Of course, you can go on popular websites to compare prices for hostels and hotels like Booking, Hostelbookers or Tripadvisor. If you want to get to know the people in Madrid, you can also use Airbnb. You will live in a whole flat of someone or in a separated room with different peoples who are living in Madrid. This is a safe and nice opportunity. Moreover, it is cheap compared to other possibilities of renting an apartment. Even cheaper is Couchsurfing. You sleep on the couch, a guest bed or something else in the apartment of someone in Madrid for free. Most times that’s not as comfortable as other possibilities but it’s a nice way to get to know people from different cities and countries!

That should be enough! There are a lot of possibilities for you – now go and plan your next trip to Madrid!

Eat Your World

Some people may ask me “Paige, what’s your favourite thing about traveling?” Is it the views? The photos? The people you meet along the way? Yes, yes! It’s all that. But one of my FAVOURITE things about traveling is the FOOD!

Eating food in different countries and cities is a great way of experiencing culture first hand. Food brings people together and is a shared point of interest when getting to know others. Plus, it tastes so good! My shared love for food and travel is what sparked my interest in Eat Your World, “a guide to regional food and drinks around the globe founded on the principle that what you eat depends on where you are.”

Eat Your World is run by Laura Siciliano-Rosen, a travel-food writer, and Scott Rosen, a photographer. They share my philosophy that eating food in new places is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Eat Your World is a fantastic accessible and interactive website and blog for food and travel lovers.

One of their functions is spotlighting food and drinks that are native or traditional to different areas around the world; this includes locally grown or made food. This is an amazing asset to travellers who have never been to an area, or travellers who are just looking for a new place to eat!

With this map, you can search for regional foods by clicking on any of the pinpoints. As you can see, it’s incredibly diverse!

For example, if you click on Spain, it takes you to a page describing the local cuisine, blog posts by the couple, and user submitted content. See below, their pick of best food in San Sebastián: Pintxos of course! They list the best places to get a pintxo in one of the food capitals of Spain.

pintxos

EYW’s page on pintxos in San Sebastián! © Paige Grover

A great thing about EYW is that they don’t want to just brag about where they have traveled and what culinary experiences they’ve enjoyed. They invite all individuals to get involved and post their own photos and stories describing their culinary adventures; food they’ve enjoyed, cooking practices they’ve learned, and specific restaurant experiences. This shared community of food and travel lovers alike is why I am so excited to share this website. Eat Your World is the perfect place to express fondness for enjoying food around the globe to enhance every travel experience.

Until next time,

Paige