INTERVIEW WITH A “BAD ASS” TRAVEL BLOGGER – KARA SANTOS

We’ve included Kara Santos in our Top 26 Leading Pinoy Travel Blogger for a reason. And the reason still stands, two words that best describes Kara Santos, it is definitely “Bad Ass!”

Check out the interview below and discover how great her adventures are!

This freelance writer and photographer is not only an avid gamer, but she is also a motorcycle enthusiast, using it to get to exotic places in the country.

Like the gamer that she is, Kara’s travel adventures also get a level up when she scores high in her games, so that her readers are dying to find out what pursuits she is planning to undertake next.

Favorite Post in Blog

I was actually going to ask why ‘Travel Up’ and when did you start blogging, but since you’ve already mentioned that, any favorite post you’ve published so far? What’s the one with most interaction/visits?

My most popular post is Maginhawa: The Eat Street, a restaurant guide of neighborhood eats in Maginhawa, Malingap and nearby streets in Teacher’s Village, Quezon City.

Maginhawa: The Eat Street

I regularly update this post with new restos and remove establishments from the list that have closed already.

It’s hard to choose a favorite post, but I tend to write more personal travelogues about my rides like Solo Ride around Batanes and Siquijor. I also like how I wrote about a Forest Food Festival in Tarlac.

Most Memorable Travel?

What’s your most favorite or most memorable travel? What makes it the best or why is it the best?

batanes slopes

Batanes is really a special place. The landscape is just amazing wherever you look and the people are so friendly.

Exploring the island alone on a motorbike was great because I wasn’t bound by any package tours. I was free to go wherever I wanted.

Blogger Community

Are you or the blog member of any travel blogger community? Any Facebook group or online groups you are participating in?.. im sure you’re a member of different Gaming groups.. but let’s stick with travel 🙂

I’m a member of Pinoy Travel Bloggers (PTB), a casual network of travel bloggers based in the Philippines.

I’ve met a lot of cool people through the group some of whom have become good friends and travel buddies.

Learned Language/Dialects

From all those travels, Were are you able to learn new language/dialects.. or did it take you a while to learn it?

I usually try to learn a few phrases or expressions but unfortunately, I’m not very good at learning new languages or dialects.

 

Scariest moment

What was the moment that happens that almost stopped your from traveling again?

I’ve had my share of mishaps on the road, but I haven’t come to the point when I wanted to stop traveling.

Food Taste Test

Were you able to taste their local food? Any strange thing you ate that’s memorable?

eel food

I like trying out exotic food when I travel. Some of the strangest I’ve tried include puyoy (grilled eel) in Capiz which kind of looks like barbecued snakes, crispy spider in Cambodia and bu-os or ant eggs in Ilocos Norte.

While staying in a tribal community in Mindanao, our hosts served us adobong kabayo. I wouldn’t normally want to eat horse meat, but it’s customary for the locals to eat it and it would have been rude to decline.

Place You Would Like to Settle in

Is there any particular place you’ve visited that you feel so at home that you were open in moving to that place?

My hometown is Naga City in Bicol. I’m actually thinking of going back and settling there in a few years time since life in Manila is too hectic..

To-Visit Place

What place is still on the top of your bucket list? Why would you want to go there?

There are a lot of places I want to travel to in the Philippines and abroad.

Tubbataha Reefs in Palawan is at the top of my bucket list. It’s very expensive to go there, so I need to save up for that. I don’t dive yet, but I want to learn how to dive so I can dive there.

The reason I want to go there is because I like to do missions or self-imposed side quests when I travel.

One of them is to take photos of Philippine currency at the landmarks featured on the back of the bills.

I currently have 4 out of 6 collected, so I want to go back to the Underground River in Palawan (P500) and Tubbataha Reefs (P1000) just so I can complete the set.

(Jacaranda: That is soo cool! What a great idea!)

If Not Traveling, What Would You Do?

If you are not traveling, what would you be doing now? (assuming you’re doing this more of a full time).

I would probably be managing a cat or gaming-themed backpacker hostel or opening up a microbrewery somewhere in a beachfront property. It’s still a possibility in the future. 🙂

kara santos

What has travel taught you?

Travel has taught me not to be so uptight and to just go with the flow. I used to be very controlling and wanted to stick to plans, but I’ve learned that no matter how well-planned something is, it’s better to be open to new experiences when you travel.

Arrive at a destination with an open mind and no expectations so you don’t get too disappointed. Savor the little things during the journey.

Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travel bloggers?

Find a niche and stick to it. There are so many blogs these days that it’s hard to stand out. Just follow your passion because the best content shines when you’re passionate about what you write.

Have you tried monetizing your blog?

If yes, how? Advertising? Adsense? Affiliate?

Some advertisers have approached me for banner ads, links and affiliate opportunities. I prefer to keep my site clean and mostly ad-free though.

I make money through other means. I also write for print publications and sell stock photos to magazines, so I make money off that.

The rewards I get from the blog are more of travel opportunities and brand partnerships.

 

How does it feel to be a published writer

..in inquirer, choosephilippines and others? Is that a contribution from you with no compensation?

When I started out, I used to contribute just for the exposure, but I’ve since cut ties with publications who try to exploit travelers and get contributions for free.

Now

, as a full-time freelance writer, I have managed to make a living out of my passion for travel and photography. All of the outlets I contribute to now value my work and I am duly compensated for it.

I am thankful to have made a network with editors and publications who pay fairly.

Any last message and where in social media can people follow you?

You can also add my other social media links to your list article 🙂

Kara Santos / Travel Up
www.traveling-up.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TravelUp
Instagram: @karasantos
Twitter: @travelingup

Kara Santos on Pinterest

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