As our Instagram community is growing fast and we’ve reached more than 20k followers, we got an unbelievable chance to interact with some amazing travelers from all around the world. So, we came up with an idea to introduce the most outstanding ones and their inspiring stories to everyone. We hope that you’ll have as an amazing time reading these stories, as we had collecting them.
Our Instagram follower María makes us jealous every time she posts a new photo. The destinations she visits and the photos she posts are more than stunning! Since 2015 María and her boyfriend Alberto started moving around the world – establishing their temporary headquarters in the different countries of the world. First it was Ethiopia with a lot of spectacular destinations in between, and at the moment it is Chile with whole South America’s treasures around.
We are so fascinated by María’s adventurous approach to the world we live in, that some time ago we asked if she would find some time to share her story with us and you, Dear Reader. Happily, she kindly agreed and today we are very excited to show it to the world. Sooo, prepare to be inspired! Here is what María told us:
About the Traveler
It is time for you to meet María!
Firstly, we would love to hear more about you! Could you, please, tell us more about yourself and your activities?
Hi! I am María, daughter of a farmer and a teacher, who grew up in a small village close to the Mediterranean sea. And yes, it was really quiet and peaceful there. Basically I didn’t go almost anywhere outside my village up until I decided to study architecture in Alicante. This was the moment since when I started to look at the world in a different way.
During my studies, with a very special teacher and my course buddies I went to Egypt. Back then we traveled with local tours and though it was hard, it was really amazing. I will always remember the night when we found ourselves in a local wedding – we danced with the wedding couple by the traditional music and drank homemade liquors… From that time forward during my travels I seek for deep experiences by immersing into country’s culture and people’s feelings.
How do you manage to harmonize between your job and travels?
Me and my partner Alberto have been working on this for some time and we found a good formula. Once in awhile, we move to an interesting country and establish our headquarters for traveling there. We started moving around different countries in early 2015. Back then we moved to Ethiopia for almost two years; now since late 2016 we are staying in Chile and we believe that it is the perfect spot to get to know South America.
Our favorite part! Let’s hear what María has to tell us about her travels.
What type of traveling do you like the most?
Since we move and make our headquarters in a completely new environment, we really enjoy the road trips. You are fully independent and you can flexibly modify your travel plan on the move. The best thing is that you aren’t tied to any schedule.
How many places have you visited?
Well, maybe my list is not too long, but here we go. It is Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, France, Ireland, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Japan, Mexico, Peru and finally Chile. So it is around 16 countries!
What was your longest trip?
To be honest, when I moved to Mexico for a year with student exchange program, I was permanently on the road for all those 12 months (just shhh, nobody tells my mom!). 😀
Could you briefly describe the trip that left you the biggest impression?
Well, I think it is the feeling of traveling to the country that has an entirely different culture. It is like a Martian experience! First time I felt that while living in Mexico. Maybe because I was young and alone and it was my first deep cultural immersion. But the strongest this feeling was when I traveled in Japan. The reason for this is that they do things completely differently: they sleep differently, eat differently, make love differently, work differently, etc. Therefore, you are always observing and witnessing new things, always trying to understand new cultural habits and actions.
What is the most wonderful place you have ever visited?
Actually to try to answer this question it is like to try to answer who loves you more – mom or dad? You can’t answer such questions and you shouldn’t! All countries I have been to are full of wonderful places to see and experience. What is more, sometimes the impression of the place depends on the experiences you had there and the people you met. All the places you visit have its own context, its people, and the way how you interact with them is the thing that creates your special personal travel moment.
Though I have to admit that Seychelles were so beautiful that it feels like such a beautiful places couldn’t truly exist!
What was (were) the most memorable or challenging story (stories) from your trips?
It is hard to answer! One of those was when me and my two girlfriends decided to go to Morocco. By car! From Spain! It was an epic adventure.
Also when I was studying in Mexico, I had these spontaneous trips alone or with a friend, where we went on a road without any plan and almost without money. We had big smiles on our faces every time we reached a new, undiscovered place.
Though I think the most challenging story was when I was visiting Erta Ale Volcano. We were walking for 4 hours on the slope of the volcano in the night time at 40º C when we arrived to the lava lake where volcano was simply overflowing. Without any warning! You could smell the burned rubber coming from your shoes, and Alberto even couldn’t place the tripod because the ground was so hot that it made the legs of the tripod melt. We were walking over yesterday’s cold lava and sometimes you could see it flowing below your feet when the top of it cracked. This amazing experience of ours was totally, totally irresponsible!
María’s Instagram gallery is bursting from captivating shots. The views there makes your wanderlust grow even bigger! Therefore, we would like to hear how she and Alberto manage to make them so astonishing.
Tell us a bit about the equipment that you are using. With what did you start? What do you use now? Why did you choose this particular model? Is there a camera that is on your wish list?
The pictures with me in them are mostly taken by Alberto, but while taking the others we share the same equipment and I probably (just don’t tell this to him!!) take the better ones. 😃
Our main camera is a Canon 5D mII, but additionally we have a Canon 1000D and a GoPro Black 4.
5D model is a very versatile camera, but in our opinion a good lense is the thing that makes a difference. The humble Canon 1000 takes perfect shots with a 24mm pancake, this is the one we use for markets or events. We keep the 5D for landscapes and portraits where the 50mm 1.4 is our best choice. In our bag you can find also a 24-70mm 2.8 , a 17-40mm F4, a 70-200mm F4 and a Samyang 14mm, the one that is used for night photography.
Considering our situation of constant traveling, we are thinking of jumping to a lighter equipment as we don’t need the F2.8 lens. We would like to replace it with a F4 lens to lighten the bag. Regarding the camera, we are still waiting for a substitute for the Sony A7II. This could be our next camera due to its weight and other features that our 9 year-old 5DmII don´t have.
What was that inspired you to get into photography? Do you have like role models?
I was always interested in photography, but it wasn’t until I met Alberto, who opened me a door to a lot of new techniques. I actually enjoy a lot spending time simply to search for inspiring photos from other people.
What is that you love to take pics of the most? Moreover, why?
I love taking portrait pictures. The main reason is because it allows you to interact with people. While Alberto takes care of the landscape, because, I believe, he is more technical.
Walk us through some basic rules that you apply to when taking photos. Are there some particular techniques? Do you take pictures only during some particular time of day?
As my time for travelling is limited, I take pictures under any conditions. If it is possible, golden hour is my favorite!
I have deep respect for people, wild life or cultural events while taking pictures. I have seen people doing whatever is necessary to take a picture or selfie and to upload it to Instagram. But I could easily loose the chance to take a picture, and instead to have the chance to live the moment entirely.
We want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to María for sharing her way of traveling with both, us and you, Dear Reader. Hers and Alberto’s formula for traveling seems more than awesome, not to mention the destinations they have picked as their headquarters. All this model is more than I N S P I R I N G!
At the end, we always ask our dear guests one final question: why do you think everyone should travel and what they’re missing out in their life otherwise?
Through traveling you become more mature and empathetic. Traveling allows you to become more secure of yourself. And you don’t need to go to exotic places – each country has something wonderful to offer!
Moreover, traveling opens your mind, increases the understanding of how complex the world we live in is, and after you meet different people from different cultures with different religions, you realize that everyone want the same thing: to have a quiet life, to enjoy time with their family and friends, to have a job, to be able to give an of education for their children, etc. Basically, to live in a piece.
So, I wish everyone to start their journey to discover the world and the people living all around it.
Finally, don’t go crazy with social media. You have to enjoy yourself above all, and try to learn as much as your can from the places you visit and the people you meet.
Don’t forget to follow María on Instagram!