50 People #10: Maliblue My Mind

50 People #10: Maliblue My Mind

 

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>> PROFILE

Name: Laura | Currently in: Barcelona, Spain

I started my first blog when I was at university. It was for a first-year journalism subject and it was not good. The blog was full of awkward musings about the digital landscape for journalists and weird reflections on lectures I’d attended…

Towards the end of the year however, I started to include some additional posts about travel. I had just booked my first solo trip to Europe and it was a very big deal for me as a young 18 year old. The blog made no sense at all by this point, but I’d finally found something worth writing about, something that excited me – Travel.

I left that disastrous first blog behind me as soon as semester ended, but my love for travel writing didn’t end there. And so a second blog was born. I documented my winter escape and daily exploits from my first solo trip to Europe on this blog. I poured a lot of love into it, and I would consider it a success (even if my Dad was the only one reading it).

Since then, I’ve had countless other blogs. Some I love, and some I question what I was thinking when I started them. There’s no doubt about it – blogging is a tough gig. Sometimes you are going to want to throw the towel in and delete everything. Travel blogging in particular relies so much on personal experience, and it is such a delicate balancing act sharing your personality and inner thoughts online.

But as much as I feel vulnerable sharing my personal experiences, the reason I keep writing about travel and sharing the stories of people from all over the world is because it is a beautiful way to document our experiences – the good, the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.

I caught up with Laura, who like me has had one or two failed blogs, but is determined to make her latest venture “Maliblue My Mind” a success. She blew me away with her stories (and the impressive amount of languages she speakers), so I’m sure she’ll impress you too.

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>> INTERVIEW

How do you spend your days?

I work as a linguist in Barcelona (press office mostly translating, proofreading, correcting & helping journalists with their articles) during the week & then on weekends I work with a sports radio writing the column for the Barça basketball matches. I also run a blog, “Maliblue My Mind.”

What motivated you to start “Maliblue My Mind?”

I had followed several blogs for some time and really liked one that combined fashion, traveling, cooking and other random life posts. That motivated me to start my own, to write about the things I liked, including fashion and travel. I personally like to write travel posts under the title of “(City) blue my mind” since almost all places I’ve been to DID blow my mind.

You write a lot about fashion and travel. Do they intertwine?? Does your geographical location impact your fashion choices and vice versa?

I would like to think so, but I also think everyone has to dress the way they want. When I travel I always try to choose my outfits in advance and spend some time thinking about them and trying them out. Of course I take the weather into account. Traveling “in style” does not mean heels in cobbled streets. I like to bring great outfits abroad but you have to be sensitive about it.

What’s the single biggest reason you travel?

I guess I’m curious and want to discover more about this continent (Europe). So far I have only traveled around Europe but I’m in love with every part of it. When studying History I always felt the need to visit the places we were touching on, and the same happened with Art and Architecture. When I don’t travel for some months I feel overwhelmed and stressed and feel the need to book a ticket anywhere.

Is it important to learn the language of the country you’re in? Or can you survive with just a few basic phrases?

Sure. If you’re going to spend a long time in a different country I think the least thing to do is to learn their language so you can interact and show interest and respect. If you’re visiting for some days then learn the basics. That’s what I do because English can take you anywhere but locals really appreciate that interest. It happens to me whenever tourists say a few words in Catalan, it shows interest and effort.

As an avid language learner, what’s been the most difficult to master? And the easiest?

I guess it depends on your native language, you’re more likely to find easy to learn those languages that are related to yours. I grew up learning Spanish and Catalan at the same time, and then easily learned French and Italian in high school. English was also easy for me because I listened to a lot of English music as a kid and read and watched TV too. At university I started studying German and Dutch but they were very difficult for me so after a year I didn’t continue and eventually lost the few things I knew. Last year I tried learning Czech because I love Prague and plan to come back now and then… but Slavic languages are crazy difficult!

Do you have a travel philosophy?

Just go wherever you feel like, even if you have already been there before. Lots of people tell me “Why don’t you go to X and instead of keeping on going to Rome/Prague?”… And to that I say, “Why not? There’s always something new to do/discover in cities you have already visited, if that’s what you want.”

Favourite place you’ve been to or best experience?

I have always been in love with Rome and Prague – that’s why I keep visiting them. It would be hard for me to make a ranking/list because I like almost all the cities I have visited in Europe. I spent a whole year living in Belgium and that was a big experience, and allowed me to travel around Europe easily thanks to the small size of the country and good train connections.

A fun experience was going to Rome for a day only. And this year I did the same in Milano. I told my friend of a sudden “let’s go somewhere”, checked cheap flights and the following night we were driving to the airport with our passports and purse only to spend the day in the fashion capital of Italy.

I also have had a tradition of spending my birthday abroad since I was 19. I thought a trip anywhere would be a better birthday present (from me to me) and that’s what I have been doing each November. Why spend your day at home, working or studying, with constant reminders on the phone telling you “congrats you’re one year older”? The day is yours

What’s next? What are your plans for 2016?

I have travelled quite a lot this year so I plan to be quiet from September to December and then spend Christmas in NYC. The obsession (with Christmas holidays) is for real and I am already excited for this trip. And then in 2017 I will try to visit Greece and Croatia (I promised it to my brother) and maybe some cities in Spain.

Anything else I’ve missed you’d like to share?

Despite my passion for traveling and visiting other European cities… if I had to choose a place to live it would definitely be Barcelona. As typical as it may sound, my favourite city is the one I have. Although I travel a lot and love the experience I always find myself coming back and loving it.

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Want more like this?

Loved this story? Read more interesting accounts about how and why people travel around the world in the #50people50places series here

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