Traveling is Not A Competition! Read This Interview with Claire – FTT

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Claire - First Time Travel

For those who are thinking of traveling,  Claire Marie Algarme has a number of tips that will help and inspire you. She loves to travel and take snapshots of the event in order to preserve the memories. I am sure you would love to do that yourself too.

She not only able to travel great places and write about it she also had her writings published in the a number of publications in the country. You can check all of it on her About page in her Travel Blog

Her travel blog “was created to help first-time travelers as they embark on something different. It is an assurance for every tourist and traveler that even the most seasoned one has started out as a neophyte. The articles [here] are my experiences and observations when I had set foot on a place for the first time.”

What made you start your travel/travel blogging and when?

Claire Algarme of First-time Travels: I started writing around 2004 at the Discovery Channel’s IgoUgo wherein I can earn points per entry I submit.

But it was limiting.

Some of my friends asked me to write a blog so I placed it in Multiply and WordPress.com and then later I migrated to my own domain in 2009.

I really like to write and to travel. Travel blogging is a platform that made me enjoy both passions.

Pinoy Top Travel bloggers

Any favorite or most memorable post you’ve published so far? What makes it the best? What’s the one with most interaction/visits?

CA: I must admit that my later posts gain more readers and followers than my earlier posts. The most visits are the posts on beaches, like the one on my three secret islands. I think it’s because readers both within the country and abroad searches for both “Philippines” and “beaches”.

Are you or the blog member of any travel blogger community? Facebook group or online groups? Share about the Badges on the site.

CA: At first, I was part of the Lonely Planet Blogsherpa program for three years before Lonely Planet stopped the program. It gave me the opportunity to interact with travel bloggers across the globe. We even had a book project.

Then, I also joined the Pinoy Travel Bloggers (PTB) Facebook group because Nina Fuentes, the other Filipina who was part of the Lonely Planet Blogsherpa program, invited me there.

Since then, I have also joined other FB travel or blogger groups, but all these are loose groups. Right now, since I moved back to my hometown, Bacolod City, I became a member of the Negrense Blogging Society, Inc. (NBSI). It’s more structured because we have officers and a membership process.

Were are you able to learn new language/dialects.. or did it take you a while to learn it?

CA: I love learning languages. I want to believe that I have a knack at it. 😊 My friends would often ask me to mimic the intonation of other languages.

I lived in Indonesia for almost a year and, though I didn’t take any formal classes on Bahasa Indonesia, I was able to converse with the locals.

Also, when you live in the Visayas, you get to know various dialects and languages at an early age, so it was an advantage.

What was your scariest moment during your adventure that almost made you want to stop traveling?

CA: I really couldn’t think of any moment that have discouraged me from hitting the road.

I was based in Indonesia when the Bali bombing happened but it never deterred me from traveling. I do take precautions when traveling and I only take calculated risks.

I remember going to South Korea in 2013 when North Korea was making threats of war. Still, I went ahead and traveled with a friend, but I also gotten in touch with the locals there to get their advice.

The scariest I can think of was when I went to the US. I arrived in San Francisco all by myself at night. I took the train from SFO to downtown San Francisco and the homeless people there were trailing after me while I was dragging my luggage to my hotel.

When I went to LA and roamed the downtown area on my own, I also encountered a lot of homeless people who would ask money from me.

Jac: You are one brave lady!

Jac: For every trip you’ve made, were you able to taste their local food? Any strange thing you ate that’s memorable?

CA: Oh, yes, I do. I try to eat the street foods as well.

When I went to Laos I found out that they have their own version of balut. But I love balut!

There were crispy fried tarantulas, bugs and caterpillars in Thailand and Cambodia, which weren’t that bad but they weren’t spectacular either.

What place is still on the top of your bucket list you have yet to crossed out? (Not sure if the To-Do list is in specific order or not)

CA: I really don’t have a bucket list but I only have a must-visit list. I want to go to Europe and Santorini is at the top of the places I want to set foot in. I also want to go to the Vatican City, Finland, Peru, and Scotland.

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

CA: I really feel at home in Thailand. It’s my most visited country and whenever I’m in Bangkok, I feel I’m just in Manila. I also like Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taipei. I feel safe and carefree there. Seoul captured my soul that I did thought of finding work there.

Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travelers?

CA: Enjoy the journey and the destination. Traveling is not about who has gone to most cities or places. Traveling is not a competition. It’s a moment you just have to enjoy and cherish. No one can dictate how you should travel. Travel the way that is most fitting to your needs and style. 😊

Do you have list of visited Philippine beaches? What’s your favorite?

CA: Among the beaches in the Philippines, my favorites are those that offer me serenity, a good environment, beautiful scenery, nice sand, and clear waters.

My favorites are the ones in Siquijor, Negros (both Occidental and Oriental), Caramoan, Coron, Bohol, Boracay, Camiguin, and Dipolog.

This summer I went to Siquijor and Sipalay, Negros Occidental and the beaches in these places took my breath away.

What has travel taught you?

CA: Travel allowed me to have a look at life in different angles and various cultures. Seeing the differences and similarities in cultures made me appreciate people more and respect them. It opened my mind to many things.

It also made me treasure the beauty of the history, natural attractions, and creations of places, cultures and societies. Travel has provided me with the opportunity to connect and have affinity in the places I have visited.

Follow Claire on Social Media! Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and of course, on here blog – First Time Travelers.

follow claire first time travel

What Do You Think?

Now, back to you! What did you think of our featured travel blogger for this week? I enjoyed re-reading it. I think she is spot-on when she said – Traveling is not about who has gone to most cities or places. I say, just cherish and enjoy every moment be it by yourself or with you family and loved ones!

Let me know what you think. We welcome any suggestions. Do you want to know something else about our pinoy travel bloggers? Let me know! Shoot me an email or comment below. You can also LIKE our Facebok Page

And finally, here is a special message from Claire herself if you decided to take your first travel, your first adventure.


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