Travellers’ Tales – Meet Arabela from Spicy Travel Girl

Meet Arabela from Spicy Travel Girl

I created the “Travellers’ Tales” section to give other travellers an opportunity to talk about their travels on my blog. Today I would like to introduce you to Arabela , a travel blogger studying in China . She blogs at Spicy Travel Girl.

I would love to hear about your travels too. Go to “Travellers’ Tales, fill in the quick questionnaire and email it to me with your blog links.

Read about Arabela’s travels here,

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, my name is Arabela and I’m a 19-year-old travel blogger and full-time undergrad student. I’m German-Peruvian by blood and (under normal circumstances) study in China. So far, I’ve visited over 50 different countries on four continents, all without massive savings and without ever having taken a break from my rigorous academic schedule. I travel mostly solo although I never turn down an opportunity to travel with my partner. The mission of my blog is to empower more young and busy women to travel all corners of the world and convey my huge passion for different cultures.

2. What is your earliest travel memory?

Although this isn’t quite a memory, I boarded my first international flight when I was less than a month old and I moved from Oregon, USA, to Germany.

3. Where was the last place you travelled to?

I’m currently in Pakistan, where I hope to stay until I can return to China.

4. What was the best thing you did there?

My best experience in Pakistan so far was celebrating Eid al-Adha with a Muslim family although I’m looking forward to many more adventures in the upcoming weeks.

Arabela - Pakistan from Spicy Travel Girl

Badshahi Mosque - Pakistan

5. What was your best holiday ever? Why?

Two of my most amazing trips were a West Balkans road trip with my dad back when I was 14 and a solo trip across Mindanao (Philippines) last year.

On my Balkans road trip, I was blown away by the natural beauty, ethnic diversity, and sense of hospitality in the region. We clearly went off the beaten path on this popular tourist trek and because my dad is one of the best historians you could imagine, I learned so many things that most travelers miss out on.

My Mindanao trip was originally supposed to be taken with my boyfriend but unfortunately, he didn’t get his visa. I was completely shattered at first but eventually, I became even more determined to make this the most epic solo trip of my life. I ended up swimming in the most pristine tropical waters, riding motorcycles across hilly landscapes with stunning views, getting refreshed in waterfalls after a long day, and sitting in the most cramped vans for hours to get to the most remote parts of the island. The best part, however, was when I got to the Cotabato region. This Muslim majority region is relatively unknown and, quite frankly, there isn’t much to do there. However, the unique local culture and immense friendliness of the people there made it the highlight of my trip.

6. What is your favourite travel destination?

This is one of the hardest questions you could ever ask me! I’d say Pakistan and the Philippines.

Pakistan for its vibrant culture, amazing food, and the incredible hospitality of the people.

Philippines for its stunning tropical landscape and the kindest people you could ever imagine. I’ve made so many long-lasting friends during my short time there who never stop caring for me.

I’d also add the Balkans as a region for its natural beauty and cultures that are so different from the rest of Europe.

7. What must one do there?

In Pakistan, you should stroll through the local markets, buy beautiful dresses, admire the stunning Mughal-style architecture, and stuff your belly full with kebab and karahi until you can’t move anymore.

In the Philippines, you should swim in the ocean, travel across the tropical countryside, indulge in fresh coconut and halo-halo, and definitely share your Facebook with the friendly locals.

In the Balkans, after exploring the popular tourist sites along the beautiful Adriatic Coast, you should drive up the mountains, experience the traditional hospitality, and learn about the region’s history.

Arabela from Spicy Travel Girl

In China

8. Who is your favourite travel companion/s?

My boyfriend for sure! (Although sometimes he can get quite annoying so I travel solo instead).

9. Name one item you must have when travelling.

Passport!

No, seriously. Even if you just go out casually, you should always have your passport with you. In Pakistan, you might cross a random military checkpoint somewhere and be asked to present your ID. In China, foreigners need a passport to board trains.

10.  Your best travel advice?

Book flights with long layovers! You might be able to visit one or more additional places for free! Once I was even able to visit the stunning Sheikh Zayed Mosque during a three-hour layover in Abu Dhabi!!

11. The one place you want to visit before you die?

I want to visit every country in the world but if I had to choose ONE, I’d definitely say Iran. And Afghanistan. (...wait, that’s two…)

12. Any embarrassing travel moments?

I was in a hotel room in Malacca, Malaysia, with my boyfriend and we suddenly heard the sound of shots at night. Convinced they were gunshots, my boyfriend and I locked ourselves inside the bathroom for hours, called our parents, and posted our last wishes on Instagram. Our messages spread like wildfire. After a few hours, the hotel lobby called to reassure us that everything was fine - there were just fireworks outside - and that the police had told them about our panic. However, by that time, one of our social media followers had already informed the embassies of three different countries about the “terrorist attack in a Malacca hotel”. Ouch!

13. Worst travel experience?

Anything between nearly getting raped in Chunking Mansions, Hong Kong, getting groped by an unofficial taxi driver in Abu Dhabi, and the countless times I’ve gotten harassed on the street.

14. How can people connect with you?

Blog: The Spicy Travel Girl

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thespicytravelgirl

Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Arabela-Iggesen-Valenzuela-1

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thespicytravelgirl

Thank you, Arabela , for sharing your fascinating adventures with us!

I would love to hear about your travels too. Go to “Travellers’ Tales, fill in the quick questionnaire and email it to me with your blog links.

Who will I feature next? I’ve got an exciting line-up ahead. Make sure you subscribe to the free newsletter so you don’t miss out on some exciting travel tales.

Arabela from Spicy Travel Girl

Travellers’ Tales – Meet Arabela from Spicy Travel Girl 3

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