Meet The Stamp Collectors: Inma of A World to Travel

Meet The Stamp Collectors is a series of interviews with travelers who've reached the milestone of visiting 50 countries, hence they've collected 50 passport stamps. This elite group of adventurers share real-life insights about their love of exploring our precious planet. They are voyagers who seek out unique experiences and develop their own perspective through immersive travel experiences. I hope their stories and sage advice will inspire you to push your boundaries and continue to travel near and far. This is not a contest about who's been to the most countries but a reflection on what it's been like to visit at least a quarter of the world's nations.

Inma Gregorio is the Spanish travel blogger behind A World to Travel where she shares her experiences from her hometown of Galicia and across 60 countries. She's particularly passionate about festivals and the great outdoors and shares snapshots from her journey on @Aworldtotravel. It's not surprising that the first country she visited outside of her home country is neighboring Portugal. After all, the Spain-Portugal border is just 3 hours far from her home. She can't recall a clear turning point of when she decided to dedicate herself to a life of travel but has always craved adventure. Perhaps it was when her parents sent her to the UK to improve her English language skills when she was 14. She's always taken the chance to travel every time the opportunity came her way. 

Which was your favorite country for architecture?

I studied architecture for a few years and I like to check out buildings here and there when I travel. Any big city has lots of cool examples of good and bad architecture. Something I learned along the way is that in the end, traditional architecture prevails for a reason. It's been tested for a long time and is usually built with local materials. It might not be as flashy as all those modern skyscrapers but it is indeed better in terms of sustainability. I loved Moroccan cities because it's difficult to find something that stands out unless it is a religious building. I also love Chicago as a modern architecture icon, stone-built European central villages from the Middle Ages, and Mexico's colorful constructions.

Which was your favorite country for nature?

Slovenia, Canada, Iceland, Indonesia, South Africa, and Nepal are the ones that first come to my mind but I am unable to choose as if you look close or far enough, every country in the world is stunning.

Which country exceeded your expectations?

Out of the most recent ones, Slovenia. You look at the map and see how tiny it is, but don't let that fool you. From Triglav, Bled, Postojna, and tons of other dazzling spots Slovenia might be one of the better looking countries in Europe!

Which country was completely different than what you expected?

South Africa. I arrived to Johannesburg without a fixed plan a couple of days in advance as I was joining a group for a tourism campaign. I had not even made a hotel booking for my first night. I thought it wouldn't be difficult to get a room in a hostel or cheap hotel in the city center on the spot. Well, it turned out I wasn't even able to get public transportation to that 'city center' I had in my mind. Urbanism in South Africa as a result of Apartheid was something that blew my mind. It took me a while to get out of the airport and when I did it, a plan was made.

What countries are on your bucket list?

So many! To start with, I really want to travel South America extensively. It is a shame that being from Spain and speaking the same language as most of that continent I have yet to start exploring it. Mountains are usually my priority so I can't wait to explore the Chilean Andes. Also, I'm eager to go to the Philippines after being in Asia 6 times. It's about time!

What keeps you motivated to continue traveling?

Lifelong learning. It's been said a lot but the more you travel, the more you realize how diverse this world we live in is, and how little you have seen. It's also saddening to understand that no one will ever be able to see, do, and try everything that is out there.  I simply try to make the most out of every day I am alive. Isn't that what everyone does?

What is the most prolific lesson you've learned through travel?

People are genuinely good everywhere. Traveling without fixed ideas or high expectations is the best thing you can do for yourself. Money is only as important as you make it once the basics are sorted out. Sleeping comfortably and eating properly must not be forsaken. Traveling with less will take you further and make you happier too. Being healthy is the best that can happen to anyone. Being sick on the road sucks big time. Travel insurance makes things easier when they go bad. Getting drunk in a foreign country while traveling solo is a big no-no, especially if you are a woman. Act accordingly to where you are at any given moment. The body craves more and more comfort as it ages. If you are considering traveling or you are a traveler you must know you are one of the luckiest people on earth. I never forget this one, how lucky those of us who travel are. It is insane and I will never understand why it happened to me and not to everyone on this planet. We are so lucky. Enjoy the ride while it lasts!

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