Featured Travel Blogger: Brian of Discovering Puerto Rico
Today’s featured travel blogger is Brian, a fellow British expat who lives in and blogs about the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. His site, Discovering Puerto Rico, gives you an in-depth look at the island and its attractions, with some great pictures too. Follow Brian on Twitter at @coqui2008.
Brian, what’s your travel background?
I am an expat Brit now living in Puerto Rico and so my site naturally focuses on the Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico. Prior to Puerto Rico I lived in the USA (Florida and North Carolina) for a few years and before that the majority of my life in the UK. I visited several European countries and traveled extensively around England. Most exotic destination to date: Kenya for an amazing Safari. Longest trip to date: 3.5 week road-trip exploring the beauty of British Columbia, Canada.
What’s different about your blog or site?
I started Discovering Puerto Rico (it was actually named something different at first) to help with the adjustment of moving to Puerto Rico and I used it as a way to research and get to know the island and people.
One of the things I noticed immediately was the lack of up to date information on things to see and do in Puerto Rico on the web, so I believe my site helps to fill in some of those gaps plus gives visitors to the site a local perspective on things rather than the big corporate feel of some of the more well known tour guide sites. My in-laws are always telling me that I know more about places to see here in Puerto Rico than they do, so I guess my site is doing something right
What’s the most unexpected thing that has ever happened to you when you travelled and how did you handle it?
To celebrate my wedding anniversary I arranged to stay at a hotel on the west coast of Scotland overlooking a loch. I naturally made a reservation for a loch view which I confirmed several times before arriving. On arrival the room was very nice but to my complete surprise we had a view of a huge road bridge (and slight water view). The next morning we left the hotel and found an even better one close by where we celebrated our wedding anniversary in style.
Complete the sentence: I never travel without … because …
I never travel without an open mind, because you can miss so much if you visit a place with a preconceived mind set.
When it comes to travel and travel blogging, who is your mentor/hero and why?
I really like the work of Julie Schwietert Collazo from the Matador Network. I like how she captures a destination and integrates a lot of local perspectives into her writing.
What place is on your travel bucket list? Why?
It’s a place that I have already visited (so hopefully it will still count as a bucket list item). Kenya (or Botswana) for a safari. I had such an amazing time the first time I went to Kenya back in the 90s that it is #1 on my list of places that I have to visit. It’s probably not going to happen any time soon; but it will happen.
What is your favourite travel planning tool?
A cop out, I know, but I’d have to say the internet. I know there are a lot of online and phone apps for planning trips, but I do not have one single tool that I use. I’d rather just use a search engine and plan my trip that way.
Anything to add?
For anyone that has recently moved to a new country/city, I strongly urge them to start a website or at the very least start collecting information about the place. It’s a great focused way of finding out about a new place and will get you out of the house exploring and meeting locals.