Sunday Traveler

Help From a Stranger in Madrid, Spain

Help From a Stranger in Madrid, Spain

Part of the Sunday Traveler (#SundayTraveler) series!

Part of the Sunday Traveler (#SundayTraveler) series!.

It was 7:30 AM in Madrid, my friend Roy and I had just left a dance club when we  boarded a bus that we hoped would take us to the Complutense, the largest public university in Madrid. We realized we were lost as well as dazed and confused from a combination of jet-lag and having spent the entire night dancing and chatting it up with friendly strangers. Just as we were about to get off the bus to find our way back to our hostel, a fellow student walked into the bus with a sense of purpose that immediately told us that she knew this city better than we could ever hope for. After debating in English for a bit about asking her for help, Marta turned around and with a lovely Spanish accent asked us: “Where are you guys going and how can I help?”,  as luck would have it she was heading to the university and thus begun one of my most memorable couple of vacation days.

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“You guys were completely lost and I wanted to make sure that when you go back to your country you have a good memory of my city… “

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After a couple of bus transfers, we finally arrived at the Complutense where the morning was spent meeting other students, most of them understandably curious as to why we would voluntarily head to a university during our vacation. Unfortunately, the professor in the class we attended did not share that same curiosity as she proceeded to throw us out of the class for not being registered students. After being thrown out, Marta decided to skip out on her last 2 classes to take us on a tour of Madrid that included Retiro Park, Puerta Mayor, La Latina neighborhood, her favorite tapas bars, paella dinner at her favorite restaurant and churros con chocolate as a nightcap at the famous Chocolateria San Gines.

 

ChocolateriaThe second day was equally busy as she took us on a museum tour after it was decided that we could not leave her city without taking in all the art found in Madrid’s world class museums: El Prado and Thyseen-Bornemisza Museum. This museum tour was the appetizer to what ended being the main course:  a dinner with a few of her friends at a local restaurant. We spent the next few hours discussing perceived and actual differences in political, professional and cultural views. It was an impromptu cultural exchange of the innocent kind, those that happen when you approach travel without any expectations and open yourself up to any experiences that might come your way.

 

To this day it surprises me that we kept up with her considering the fatigue we felt throughout those couple of days but we did not want to waste the opportunity of having Marta give us a free and private guided tour of her city. At the end of the second evening, I remember asking her:  “What drove you to such generosity? I mean how many people would actually take 2 days out of their busy schedule to show two, disheveled college guys, the city that you so obviously love?” To this she responded: “Well, you guys were completely lost and I wanted to make sure that when you go back to your country you have a good memory of my city… plus you seem like good people.” We ended up saying goodbye with a bit of sadness as we did not know when our paths would cross again…

 

I returned to Madrid last year with my wife and walking through some of the same streets I had passed by 15 years earlier made me both nostalgic and grateful for the lesson that Marta taught me so long ago: When in doubt, just ask the locals. If done respectfully, chances are that that at the very least they will provide you with direction on what to do and if you are lucky, you might just end up with a story you continue re-telling 15 years later!

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If you need a quick recap on how to link-up your post, here are the basic rules you should follow:

  • Add The Sunday Traveler badge to your post (badge codes) & and a link back to one of the hosts. This helps to promote everyones hard work. Posts without these will be removed because we want to encourage everyone to share and credit their work.
  • Follow your co-hosts! You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Link up your holiday travel related post. Link ups will always open at midnight GMT on Sundays.
  • Try to view, comment and share ALL linked-up posts during the week. The more you do, the more you will get from this linky!
  • Use the #SundayTraveler hashtag when sharing on Twitter and other social media (do a quick search on Twitter and you will be amazed at what is already out there for this!).
  • Most importantly, SPREAD THE WORD AND COME BACK NEXT WEEK!

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Cris Sierra is an avid traveler who has lived and traveled to 4 and 40+ countries respectively. He is a firm believer that travel is enhanced when you allow yourself to not only get lost in the destination but to interact with the locals. With that in mind he co-founded tripniks.com to help fellow travelers get free personalized tips from local experts. Cris really enjoys talking about travel so if you have questions or just want to chat about travel in general feel free to drop him a line at cris@tripniks.com

Where Will You Be In 2014?

Where Will You Be In 2014?

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With 2014 shaping up to be our most adventurous year to date, we hope to make the year all the more memorable by connecting and meeting up with new friends, bloggers, photographers and strangers all over the globe. As many of you know, for most of 2013 we lived in Phuket, Thailand which we absolutely loved. While we will be returning to Thailand in 2014, we will be taking a very backwards and exciting route. We realized that we will be working through most of Europe, the Middle East, and India before finding ourselves back in South East Asia and want to meet up with and cross paths with as many of our friends and fellow travel loving bloggers as we can while we are on the road.

Where Will You Be In 2014?Let us all use this space as a place to loosely lay out our 2014 travel plans and see where we all might cross paths and plan a couple travel blogger meet ups. Now, if there is one thing we have learned during our life on the road, it is that plans change, and we all end up in far flung corners of the Earth without really planning it, but, let’s just pretend some things might end up going according to plan and we find ourselves in the same cities at the same time.

We will use this place to update our 2014 travel plans, post about possibly meet ups in different cities and see who is going to be around. If you have travel plans for the year ahead, simply post them below in a comment and look at the other comments for people you might be crossing paths with. We will post ideas and possible locations for meet ups for drinks, photo walks and sheer exploring of new locations.

So, where will you be in 2014? Let’s all have a fantastic year, see the world around us and inspire those around us to get up off the couch and travel like they mean it!

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Our 2014 Travel Plans (subject to massive and unpredictable last minute changes)

January – Ireland

February – England, Wales, Scotland, France

March – Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Sweden, Romania

April – Turkey, Dubai, Iran, India

May – Thailand, Vietnam

June – Thailand

July – Thailand, Japan

August – October – Thailand, Cambodia, Laos

November – Thailand

December – Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

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So there you have it, our extremely adventurous, tedious, robust and improbable 2014 travel plans. Our first few months in Europe will be mad, and we really hope to get to Iran and India before heading back to SE Asia. We know plans will change and who knows but we hope this can be a thread for us all to comment and hopefully share info, tips, contacts and travel plans.

Cheers and we hope to see you along the road in 2014!

– Jeff & Marina

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jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all.

A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh.

Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!


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Latitude 34 Year End Wrap Up 2013

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One year can have a major impact on your life. In just 365 days you can alter your entire lifestyle for better or for worse. Since 2014 is just around the corner we thought we would recap Latitude 34’s highlights from 2013.

This year has certainly changed our lives, and for the better! In January, Jeff and I finally had the courage to tell our parents, families and friends that we were moving abroad to Thailand. Since we made our decision our lives have been filled with wild adventure, unique experiences, new friends and fond memories.

We loved celebrating Thai New Year in April, visiting the Phi Phi islands, playing with Tigers, witnessing the Phuket Vegetarian Festival and I even tried eating insects! So enjoy our Latitude 34 year end wrap up of 2013 and see a bit of what we got ourselves into this year.

Easily our most exciting year yet, we are thrilled to be starting off 2014 with a bang as we head to Ireland in just a couple weeks for what we hope shapes up to be an even more exciting year than 2013 – with just as many laughs, friends and memories.

Cheers and hope to see you all along the road in the upcoming year!

xoxo Marina

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Latitude 34 Year End Wrap Up 2013

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Marina Dominguez Latitude 34Marina Dominguez is the co-founder of Latitude 34 Travel Blog as well as a photographer and documentary film maker.

As a maturing women, Marina has dedicated her life to travel and new experiences. After working a 9-5 cubical lifestyle, Marina sold everything she owned, left her job and begun a new life with her boyfriend and travel companion, Jeff Johns. Together they relocated to Phuket, Thailand and founded Latitude 34 in which they seek to share their alternative lifestyle with the world. 

Marina is a Visual Journalism graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography where she studied photography, videography and ultimately caught the travel bug. Through creating several international documentaries, Marina realized there was more to the world than work and wanted something more. 

Welcome to the Launch of Sunday Traveler!

Welcome to the Launch of Sunday Traveler!

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The day is finally here! We have been very excited to recently announce our partnership with some of our favorite travel blogs out there and our Sunday Traveler weekly blog meet up! Each week we will be publishing a new post which will be a place to come and get your needed fix for the best travel related articles floating around the net that week.

Each week we will post our own new article as well as share articles from our 6 amazing co-hosts. How only can you read through all of the hosts posts (see what we did there?) but you can also add your own to the meet up and have it read and shared world wide!

As this is just the first of many weekly meet ups, we wanted to use this launch post to introduce you to our amazing co-hosts and share what they are all up to in all corners of the globe!

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A Brit and a Southerner

A great team made of A British Lad and a Southern Belle in love, sharing their traveling adventures around the globe. Based in the US but always traveling and publishing great content, make sure to follow this fun couple.

A Southern Gypsy

Ashley is a solo female traveler who is gearing up for a huge solo trip to SE Asia. She is constantly posting great content about her preparations which should be read by all preparing to travel on a big trip in the future.

Chasing The Donkey

Sarah-Jane is half of the Aussie couple behind Chasing The Donkey, who share great travel tales and stories on expat life in rural Croatia. We are always super exited to read any of their info on Croatia as we hope to link up in person this winter when we are in Europe!

Frank About Croatia

Vera and Frank and professional expats, having lived in four countries together! Currently in Croatia (what are the chances we have 2 Croatian based bloggers?) they post a lot of great travel and Croatian content. Now we have two great travel blogging couples to meet up with in Croatia!

Ice Cream and Permafrost

Jess, the first of our final two bloggers, posts fantastic travel content, especially about food! If you want to learn about far flung cuisines, odd eats and yummy desserts, head over and get lost in her site!

Pack Me To

Adelina, a serial expat and food lover provides a deep passion for travel and food and will give anyone reading a reason to get out on the road and start eating their way around the globe with her.

 

So that is our amazing team and we cannot wait to “meet up” with all of you as well. Make sure to check back weekly, read, share, like and comment on our posts, feel inspired, share your own and catch the travel bug with the #SundayTraveler!

 

How to Get Involved!

Here is the lowdown on the #SundayTraveler (yes, this is our Twitter hashtag that you can search for to find our latest news and stories) and what needs to be done by YOU to participate:

  • Add the Sunday Traveler badge to your post (thanks to Sarah-Jane for providing a great page with links to the various colored badges etc. Find them here).
  • Follow your co-hosts on Twitter/Facebook etc (they will all return the favor).
  • Link up your travel related post (click on the ‘Add your Link’ button underneath all the other links at the bottom of this post).
  • Use the hashtag #SundayTraveler when sharing on social media.
  • Spread the word and come back next week!!!!

If you have any questions at all about this process or idea, just ask one of us and we will be glad to help you out!!!

The spot to be to get the low down on all things travel. Link up your blog post or read ours and be inspired for your next venture. No matter if it’s around the globe or close to home The Sunday Traveler has got you covered.

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The #sundaytraveler is the spot to be to get the low down on all things travel. Link up your blog post or read ours and be inspired for your next venture. No matter if it’s around the globe or close to home The Sunday Traveler has got you covered. Cheers!

Sunday Traveler is Coming Soon!

Sunday Traveler is Coming Soon!

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We are super excited to announce a new partnership with some of our favorite blogs on a new project called “The Sunday Traveler”. Each week we will be posting great new content based on different themes, locations and topics related to travel. The Sunday Traveler will be a place to check out weekly for travel inspiration as well as a place to add your own content and have it shared worldwide by other travel bloggers!

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“If you are a fellow travel blogger, make sure to bookmark this page and come back this Sunday to link up a blog post this Sunday!”

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So set those alarms, get those posts ready and plan to join us this Sunday for the official launch of The Sunday Traveler!

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Join us by:

  • Adding The Sunday Traveler badge to your post
  • Follow your co-hosts
  • Link up your post
  • View and comment on at least one other link
  • Spread the word and come back next week!

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Cheers and we’ll see you all soon!

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