Along the Way with Toby, Travel Blogger

Toby, Travel Blogger

Photo Credit: tobyo of travelswithtoby.wordpress.com

I don’t talk about it much here on my blog, but I also speak Spanish.

I’m learning more about the language and culture everyday, which makes it all the more interesting when I encounter another Spanish speaker on the web like Toby, a travel blogger–go figure! I consistently saw her blog posts in my feed and something about them had a magnetic effect on me. There was something that unraveled a little more with each time I read her words and took in her beautiful photography.

Toby lives in the twin cities area of Minneapolis/St. Paul with her husband, daughter and two cats.  Although she has worked with numbers in accounting roles and financial analysis roles throughout her entire career, her passion is Spain and the Spanish language, which she has a degree in. She and her husband fell in love with Málaga, Spain when they visited in 2010, and are saving up to retire and relocate there. Toby plans to teach English, travel and she’ll continue to share about her adventures on her blog (lucky for us!).

You don’t have to have wanderlust to be able to appreciate the beauty and poignancy of what Toby shares on her blog. In fact, she can take you on an adventure without you ever having to leave your seat.

You remark that your uncle and you were pen pals, and his love of travel rubbed off on you. Is that the defining event that made you want to start blogging about your travels?

Do you ever share any excerpts from those conversations?

I’m not sure there was a defining event that made me want to start blogging. But one thing is that I have always wanted to write and I thought that by having a blog I could get that started. I also have in mind to monetize my blog to provide extra income once I retire to Spain. But perhaps writing to my uncle started my love of writing. He would correct my spelling at times which I think made me become a bit of a perfectionist. I read and reread anything that I write. 1) so that there aren’t any errors and 2) so that what I write is easily understood.

That’s a biggie for me too. I have to find the balance between being detail-oriented and not getting bogged down so much that something is never “good enough.”

Oftentimes, it’s easy to forget the creative challenges and blocks that we as creators encounter. Travelling alone can be wrought with many challenges.

What do you personally find challenging in your travels? What are some of the key themes and takeaways from those experiences that you want your readers to know?

I find it challenging to ensure that I get from point A to point B.  When travelling with others, it can also be a challenge to ensure that everyone is enjoying themselves and that their expectations are being met.  Finding things to eat that everyone will like is another.

I would say that preparation is a key theme for any sort of travel. For example, it’s always a good idea to buy tickets to the Alhambra ahead of time because most of the time it is sold out and it might ruin a traveler’s trip to Granada if he/she were unaware of this. Good travel preparation has many factors, from making lists of what you want to pack to purchasing tickets in advance so that there aren’t any surprises, even setting up reservations at restaurants that are on your “must do” list–these are all things that I do when I travel.

You cite this quote on your About page: “When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Imagine that you were a bird if this metaphor had actually taken place. What would you have seen?

I would fly to all the places in Spain that I have not yet seen. And of course go back to the places that I love: Madrid, Sevilla, Granada, Toledo, Córdoba, Málaga, Barcelona.

Mention a few bloggers who you follow and tell me why their blogs are striking to you. What do they prompt you to do? What value do they add to your life?
1. East of Málaga This was one of the first blogs I followed when I started blogging. Marianne is a British expat and lives near where I want to retire so that alone interests me. I love reading her posts about her travels in Spain. She is a source of inspiration for me as well as this is the type of blog that I want to have once I’m actually in Spain. She also takes fabulous photos and if I could, I’d spend all day just looking at them.
2. Barcelona Blonde  – This is another one of the first blogs I followed early on. Jessica is also an expat and has both British and U.S. citizenship.  She lives in Barcelona (notice a pattern here?) and I love her blog for much the same reason as I love Marianne’s blog.  Hers is also one that inspires me.  It also provides me with great ideas for when I’m next in Barcelona.
3. Lady of the Cakes – Yep, another blog from Spain!  This is a blog pal who lives in Toledo.  She’s originally from Germany and lived in London a long while so she is fluent in English. She moved to Spain to learn Spanish. I have this dream of becoming a freelance writer and Simone does that for a living. So, she inspires me as well.  She’s also very funny and we have great little conversations in each other’s blog posts.
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For more information on Toby, visit her blog.

If you would like to be a part of the Along the Way series, you may send me an inquiry too!

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