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Our interview with Barbara Weibel from holeinthedonut.com travel blog:
Why did you start travelling?
I’ve been traveling from the moment I turned 18 and could go off on my own. I think it must be in my genes, as I’ve always had an intense desire to travel. I often wonder whether the piles of National Geographics in the front hall of my childhood home had anything to do with this passion, as I would sit on the floor for hours flipping through them. Indeed, I could trace many of the places I most longed to see back to articles I read in those early days. But as I matured, my curiosity about other cultures, along with the need to write and take photographs, became my driving force. Today I travel to satisfy my own passion, but also to bring the stories of far away places to my readers.
What is the most important during Barbara Weibel travels?
Undoubtedly, the most important aspect of traveling is connecting with locals in each destination I visit and immersing in their culture.
What is the most important experience that you had during your travels?
For years, I struggled to provide an answer when people asked about my favorite country, as I liked different places for different reasons. And then I scheduled a three-week visit to Nepal. Three months later, I was still there. During my stay, a Nepali family ‘adopted’ me, and I have returned year after year to visit them. They taught me the meaning of unconditional love and reinforced my feelings about what is truly valuable in this life (hint: it’s NOT money or material possessions). Nepal is my spiritual center, and the fact that it is among the most beautiful places on earth is a bonus.
What is the most beautiful place that you have been to?
It’s truly impossible to pick one place as the most beautiful. As I said above, Nepal is gorgeous, but I also love the opulence of Thailand, Machu Picchu in Peru, New Zealand, the Alps in Switzerland, the south coast of England, and the temples of Bali.
What Barbara Weibel avoid when travel?
All-inclusive resorts, American fast-food restaurants (though I have been known to buy coffee at a McDonalds to use the wifi), hanging around only with other tourists, and travel guide books. Also, I try to use public transportation whenever possible,, rather than flying.
What is your biggest travel dream?
I’ve been on the road for nearly eight years now, so I’m living my dream. Of course, I’ve only visited 55 or so countries, so there are still plenty of places to see. Strangely, the more I travel, the longer my travel wish list grows, but the top destinations on it at the moment are Tibet, Northern India, Cuba, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Nicaragua, Slovenia, Montenegro, Croatia, Antarctica, the Philippines, Borneo, Ethiopia, and Namibia.
What are favourites travelers Barbara Weibel? Which blogs do you read?
My blog and traveling keep me pretty busy, but there are a few blogs that I stay in touch with. Like me, Sherry Ott travels the world perpetually with no permanent home. Her blog is Ottsworld.com. I enjoy the writing of Donna Hull at My Itchy Travel Feet (myitchytravelfeet.com) and Jodi Etternberg at Legal Nomads (legalnomads.com). My favorite European blog, Heather on her Travels (heatheronhertravels.com) is authored by Heather Cowper. And my friend Anil Polat authors Foxnomad.com, an eclectic travel site with stories about subjects ranging from attending a Star Trek Convention to exploring northern Iran. I also enjoy reading classics travel writers such as Graham Greene, George Orwell, Mark Twain, Martha Gelhorn, Pico Iyer, and Patrick Leigh Fermor.