And so do they: Con Arena en la Mochila
Today, in our section “And so do they”, we introduce you to Robert and Ely from the travel blog CON ARENA EN LA MOCHILA.
1. When, where and why was that moment when you said: “Let’s do a travel blog”?
It was during one of the worst winters remembered in Europe, in 2013, when we had barely more than a year living in the French Alps. The snow and the cold made it impossible to go out, so out of a travel journal we had written on a trip to South Africa in 2010, we began to learn about this whole world of blogging and about how the hell a blog was created. So far, social networks, hosting, and all that talk sounded like Chinese.
How was the process of choosing the blog style you wanted to do?
Well, the truth is that we did not have a clear idea. Although it is true that we started to write on a daily basis, today we also like to write practical posts with the already eaten information, without forgetting the self-experience, and the sincere and personal opinion of the trip, which in a way is what differentiates the travel blogs from another kind of publications. What we did know for sure was that we wanted to give it a bonus to nature, responsible tourism, and diving, something about which there is not so much information.
3. How has your way of seeing and living a trip changed since you are bloggers?
The truth is that we enjoy it in the same way, but it is true that when there is a specific place you are passionate about, you almost see the post that you will write later. What is most difficult for us is to maintain social networks up to date. We take a while in the evening while resting at the lodgings but we do not let it obsess us. We first want to enjoy the trip so that we are able to write about it better later on.
I guess many people who want to travel for a long period of time are afraid to leave their friends and families behind. How do you deal with that?
We, for the moment, have not made a long trip, and our family got used to us traveling often. We had it worse during our 4 years living in France, 700 km away from our hometown in Barcelona, where we spent long periods without seeing family and friends. Now that matter is solved, as we continue to live in the neighboring country but close to the border!
5.Why do you think many people say that bloggers do not work and just have fun?
Well, there are many kinds of travel blogs but if you take it consciously it is something that takes a lot of work and time. The proof is that most blogs do not exceed the year of life. Only a few endure. We take blogging as a hobby besides our “normal” jobs to which we dedicate most of our time. Way too much!
6.Do you remember the feeling of writing your first post?
Yes, we felt: “This is not going to be read at all”. But then it is not so. There are in fact people who read you and even ask you for advice and information, that is the time of compensation. Having said that, we believe in a maxim and is that family and friends are the ones that read you the least!
7. Where is your blog now and where do you want it to be in a couple of years?
Well, right now after three and a half years of blogging we think that we have picked a good pace and we have energy for a while. For the time being, we are happy with the results and interaction with the readers. In two years we hope to have greatly expanded the amount of post, as we always lack the time to go writing them as we discover places.
8. How were Robert and Ely before the blog and how are they now?
We sincerely believe that we are the same. We are two persons who strive during the year to work to fulfill their dreams making travel a priority before other luxuries. We follow the same guidelines when preparing a trip that when we did not have a blog: read guides, read forums and blogs, read reports …
9. And for our last question, we want you to be “PIE Y PATA” (Foot n Paw). How do you imagine a day of traveling and blogging with a child and a dog?
Well, traveling with a dog we have done it until last year Nala, our traveling dog, left us. With her, we have visited several countries of Europe and it was always a wonderful experience. Traveling with pets is even more difficult than with children when entering restaurants and accommodations, although there are more and more facilities now that are accepting pets. Traveling with children is something we have not had the occasion yet, but if that day comes, we will continue trying to keep the pace. To tell you the truth, we are a little tired of a phrase we hear quite often: “Take the opportunity now because after having a kid it will not be the same.” We always say that whoever thinks that, it is someone without any will. You only have to see the number of travel blogging families that go with their children around the world without any problem.
BONUS TRACK: Choose a corner, in a city, in a country, in a season, doing what you love the most, to make your perfect place and moment in the world (they do not need to be from the same place).
Robert: I would leave the seabed of the Galapagos after a dive, to spend some time on a Bahamas beach. I would continue with a meal somewhere in Yucatan overlooking its ruins and enjoying a coffee in the Colombian Coffee Growing Area. In the afternoon I would explore a corner of the Amazon and a piece of African savannah to end up dining in the cosmopolitan New York.
Ely: I do not need to change places as much as Robert … surely if I closed my eyes and dreamed I would wake up in a hammock under a blue sky and a wonderful sun in the middle of the African savannah. The only sound that would wake me up would be that of nature in its wildest state and once I opened my eyes I would have before me the purest place on earth …