Traveler Tuesday – Lauren of Spanish Sabores
My family lived in Madrid for three years, my sister graduated from high school there. I got to work in the American Embassy in Madrid for a summer, an experience that forever marked me – I learned every way that a tourist can be ripped off or robbed, an excellent set of lessons for future travels! I loved my experiences in Madrid.
Then while I was working in Switzerland I had a vendor based in Barcelona and was fortunate to go there for meetings often, and quite simply fell in love with that town. I love Spain and there are cities like Bilbao that are still calling my name to be explored!
For today's travel blogger interview we are learning a little bit about Lauren who has the great pleasure of living in Spain. She combines her love for finding the hidden gems of Spain with food, she's got my attention!
Let's meet Lauren!
 When and how did you become a traveler?
Ever since I was a child I had the desire to see the world. My family didn't travel much (and we didn't go very far when we did!), so I'd pour over National Geographic magazines and library books, imagining such distinct places, foods and cultures. But I suppose to become a traveler, you have to travel!
My first big trip was when I was 16-years-old, I'd saved up at my part-time job to do an EF Tour of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. I loved everything about the experience, right down to the sugar packets they served with our coffees. As I'd expected, I was hooked. While friends saved money for a better car or nice clothes, I saved for travel. The following year I spent five weeks in Sicily on an exchange program. I'd wanted to go for the school year, but my small Massachusetts high school had never heard of anything like that before. Since then I've been traveling as much as possible, and it never feels like enough!
 What is travel to you in 10 words or less?
Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, laughing, & crying.
 What is your favorite mode of transportation and why?
I adore Spain's high speed train system and would love to try high speed trains in other countries to compare. There is something romantic and wonderful about train travel in general, and the high speed trains make it quick and convenient as well.
 What do you typically do while traveling by plane?
When flying I have my rituals (especially on long flights): I dress in layers so I'll never be too hot or cold, drink lots of water before and during the flight, get an aisle seat for easy access to the overhead compartment and restroom, moisturize before the flight and bring hand cream and chapstick in my carry on luggage, bring a paperback book so I have something to do while all electronics are turned off, I eat before the flight and bring snacks on long flights (I always say no to the plane food), bring my own headphones, and stretch my legs every so often while flying.
 What is your favorite travel memory involving food?
There are so many! Food is an essential part of why I travel and I think it is a key part in seeing and understanding another culture. But recently I traveled to Poland with my mother to meet my Polish aunts, uncles, and cousins that she hadn't seen since she was three-years-old (and I'd never even heard of!). The trip was incredible and their hospitality was unrivaled. On our last night there they prepared a feast of all the foods my mother missed from her childhood: pierogis, stuffed cabbage, mushroom soup, sausages… it was incredible.
 What is one blogging tip or lesson that you have learned along the way that you can share with my readers?
When you are building a blog, don't forget about the architecture. When I first started Spanish Sabores I didn't have a pre-defined architecture for the blog, so I'd invent a new category every other day. I'm still trying to get it all re-organized! I think that thinking architecturally when building a site is a very important skill, and will help you stay focused on your niche and allow you to create content in a more methodical way.
 Where to next?
In September I'll be in Barcelona for a few days as I launch my new food tour company, Devour Barcelona Food Tours. I love the energy in Barcelona and I'm hoping to spend some time in the nearby Costa Brava region as well. After that I'll be visiting Munich in October where I plan to eat my way through the city and New Orleans in November where I might possibly go into a food coma. And I will definitely fill in any gaps between those trips!
Lauren Aloise is the food obsessed editor of the award-winning Spanish food and travel blog, Spanish Sabores. In 2012 she founded Madrid Food Tour as a way to share her love of gastronomy with tourists to Madrid. Now she's busy in Barcelona with her newly launched Devour Barcelona Food Tours. When she's not leading a tour, she's probably traveling, cooking, or curled up with a glass of wine. Follow her Spanish travels and try her Spanish recipes on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
How about you? What would you like to know about Lauren?
I would love to drop everything and travel. Maybe one day. For now I will just read in envy.
@Megan, there is usually also so much to explore in your own backyard it doesn’t have to be around the world to be an adventure!
oh my gosh those cabbage rolls look amazing… I have always wanted to go to Spain!
@Rebekah, where would you go to first?
What a great experience. I would love to travel but I guess that isn’t the path God chose for me to take. I love traveling in my mind with everything you share. Thank you so much
I love this. I wonder why she doesn’t eat plane food? the sodium? I would love to travel more. It was a focus before the wedding planning.
@Candace, have you been to Spain yet?
Lauren, have you been to San Sebastian while you’re living in Spain? It’s the most beautiful little seaside city.. I LOVED it. We spent a week there when we were only meant to stay a couple of nights, haha. I love Spain!
@Chelsea, I went there too as well, so beautiful, totally can see why you would change your plans!
Fun series! Love seeing new places and where people live. My husband went to Madrid for our high school Spanish trip, and we are planning on going back together for our 10 year anniversary.
@Kristine, how fun, when is the 10-year and what will you do when you go?
ohhh! this post gave me the itch to book a ticket and travel again!
@Ruthy, where would you go first?
I love this! I’m trying to get in as much traveling as possible while I have no little ones.
@Betsy, there are plenty of family travel bloggers out there, but I agree it is easier when you don’t have kids!
Oh my gosh, Lauren’s going to Barcelona next? So amazing. I’ve travelled a lot, but I usually end up going to the same desitnations over and over. Time to go elsewhere.
@Nancy, where do you travel to over and over? I think that is okay! My hubby and I go to Italy and France all the time because we love it so much!
Trains in Spain ARE pretty good. I’m a Spanish person who kind of hates Spain and everything to do with it, buuuut yeah the trains are awesome. 😀
I love traveling and trying new food! Those pictures look amazing!
SO cool! I really really need to start traveling!
Thanks for sharing about Lauren! Living in Spain sounds amazing!
I loved these photos! The one place I have traveled is Spain, so a few of those brought back some great memories! So beautiful! 🙂
Thanks for featuring me on Traveler Tuesday Andi! @Candace exactly! The high sodium content and overall lack of nutrition make me feel icky, so I either eat before/after a flight or bring snacks! And @Chelsea I love San Sebastian, check out the blog for lots of Basque Country travel tips!
I have the same wander lust! I would love to travel even more!
I so wish I could travel more! We went to Russia this summer and I didn’t want to leave! It’s SO AMAZING seeing these new places!
I love travelling so so much. I’ve been to Amsterdam and Croatia and I’m off to Morroco next month! Can’t wait. Spain has a very special place in my heart!
I really liked reading about her flying rituals, and her tip about blog architecture was spot on! I just went through hell trying to get all of my categories organized, haha.
Wow. So jealous about the great travels that have occurred. I would love to travel more.
i do the opposite bc i love having window seat.. it’s prob not healthy.. but i try to drink little water.. and maybe some wine to knock me out during flights haha
@Esther, I do the same exact thing!
I’ve never been to Spain, I’d love to try one of her tours if we ever do go!
diana | life in German.
@Diana, in Germany you are not to far away…just an Easy Jet ride away!
Food is so essential to traveling! And I wish I could be traveling to Barcelona too, By far my favorite city in the world.
@Astrid, what is your favorite part of Barcelona? What do you like to eat there most?
I have never traveled by train but have always wanted to so I am intrigued by the Spain’s high speed train system, especially since it’s Lauren’s favourite as well.
@Jenn, I have only done a little bit of train travel myself, I definitely want to do more – like maybe the Orient Express someday!
Oh, how I wish I could travel more. I miss it. I am totally living through Lauren right now. Ha!
A trip to Spain is in my bucket list. I want to visit the home of my ancestor and also, take the train and stop in Paris, Venice and so on.
Oooh it’s always fun to meet new travel bloggers! Thanks for sharing and her tip on blogging is a great one! Not many people think about the site layout at the very beginning. I’m getting around to finally reorganizing everything and it’s such a massive pain. Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler!
@Adelina, I couldn’t agree more, love meeting other members of the tribe and I was thrilled to find your link up!
I would love to be able to travel like that!
Those are the Perfect 10 words to describe traveling!
@Amanda, I think so too!
I’m still waiting for the day for a road trip through Spain. Now that it’s getting colder, I’d love to escape this place to a warm destination.