Welcome and thank you for checking out the second entry in the Humor Travel Life Diversity Series. This series is about celebrating and featuring travelers of diverse backgrounds. Travel is about experiencing the world, and as we all know, our world is beautiful - and most importantly, diverse! I think it's important to acknowledge and celebrate that in the travel blogging industry. Thank you to my friends and fellow travelers who have agreed to be a part of this, and I look forward to celebrating you and your experiences as travelers.
Meet Raul Tafur!
Instagram: @vlogeandoando & @acouplethattravels
1. Where is your home base?
I'm based in Los Angeles.
2. How long have you been living there?
About 5 years. Prior to it, I lived in Vegas for 10 and before that in Lima, Peru.
3. What inspired you to start traveling?
Curiosity is in my nature. I've always wanted to see the world. My mom tells me that when I was a kid I would always say "I'm gonna get me a job that lets me travel the world. I'm gonna see everything!" For a while, I lost that vision and for years, I battled with my weight and for a while with anxiety and depression. I was so focused on "making more money" that I let myself go for a while. Once I was able to beat my anxiety, I decided to change my life little by little. First by moving to LA and doing what I really wanted to do and find a perfect balance of personal and work life and swore to never do things for money and to eventually have more countries than my age. At the same time I started getting more into food, different cultures, etc. So one day, I took a short trip to mexico, then a little further, and further and further and now traveling has become part of my life.
4. How many countries have you visited?
MMMMM...Great question...Over 25 countries, 100s of cities and airports too!
5. What is your favorite travel destination so far?
Asia. Japan is definitely on top. The country's versatility and uniqueness is out of this world. You can submerge yourself into Tokyo's modern life, or head out to Kyoto and explore a more traditional experience. And the food...oh the food!!! And don't even let me get started on the hospitality, harmony and culture!
6. Least favorite?
None. Everything, bad or good have given me a memory and no trip have ever left me such a bad taste that I can call it "least favorite" it's like friendships. They are all different, some more intense, some just for the weekend and in groups but all of them priceless and memorable. ALL trips teach you something. Bad or good, always something.
7. What is the craziest travel story that you have experienced?
Oh there are soooo many but the latest may be one for the books. Let's start with this: I love soccer and Have never been to a World Cup. After 36 years, Peru, my home country made it to Russia 2018. So for 18 days, with no hotel reservations in hand and with just a backpack and my dreams I went through Russia following every single Peru game. I barely slept, drink a lot, cried as much when sang my national anthem, screamed "GOOOOOL" and lived the most incredible adventure ever. P.S Thank you Russia for the hospitality!
8. Where would you like to travel to next?
The wife and I have the rest of the year on lock! San Francisco, Tokyo & Okinawa, Mexico city & Peru.
9. What's the best piece of travel advice you'd give to others?
Don't get intimidated by cost and the "what ifs" Go ahead and do it. Stay in hostels, eat at markets, use layovers to your advantage, learn traveling tricks and how to get the most for your money. No one wants to go with you? Don't let that hold you back! Can't take a long trip? Start small. Take short trips and build up confidence and knowledge. Last but not least RESEARCH!
10. How do you document your travels?
I've been vlogging for over a year every single day. I edit them myself and post on FB and YT. Additionally, I have two Instagram accounts: One for me and my photos and the other to document our travels as a couple.
11. What is your biggest peeve pet (if you have one) of the current state of social media as it pertains to travel?
No pet peeves actually. I feel that Social media opened the doors (and eyes) of lots of folks that have been wanting to travel and didn't think they could either afford it or do it. Also, a lot of hidden gems are being shared with the world and it's positively impacting some countries economy. If social media is doing something good is actually helping young (and old) folks across the world that you all can do it and that the planet is worth being seen!
About the author
Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer, comedian, and television producer who has been featured on Amazon, truTV, The New York Times, Matador Network, BUST Magazine, Tiplr, ARTRPRNR Magazine, YourTango, Thought Catalog, GoMad Nomad, Mashable, The Daily Mail UK, the Cannes Film Festival, LaughFest, Women's Lifestyle Magazine, and the Funny Women Festival LA. For more info visit: http://www.jillzwarensteyn.weebly.com