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Traveler Tuesday – Kristin Luna of Camels & Chocolate

Traveler-Tuesday-on-Misadventures-with-Andi: Matt Long of Landlopers

You would not believe how psyched I was when Kristin of Camels & Chocolate agreed to appear on Traveler Tuesday! It's not that she's too snobby to do it, far from it, this travel writer was born and bred in the South so she is all charm, but she is so darn hard to pin down.

She's a wiggly one, always on the road somewhere. Even when she is “home” in (or near) Nashville you'll find her out and about at a concert, a sports game, or off with some of her extensive family members having a good time.

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Traveler Tuesday – Kristin Luna of Camels & Chocolate in Lake Kivu, Rwanda

She is also really, really bored all the time. Despite being a professional writer/journalist and a blogger which takes up a lot of her time she has also become a certified travel advisor as well as a first-time homeowner, but not just any home, one that was built in the 19th century and needs massive renovation, just another little side project for this little lady, her adorable husband and their fur child, Ella. Who knows what she'll find to occupy her spare time next?

Traveler Tuesday – Kristin Luna of Camels & Chocolate in Scotland

And you know what? She does it all with an energy that is infectious! You really have to push her buttons before she will say a disparaging word (I must apologize for CDG!), she is exactly the kind of blogger I like to read. Fun, dynamic, on the go, and above all an excellent writer.

Well, I could just go on for days, but instead, I'll let you check out Kristin's responses to my Traveler Tuesday questions.

Traveler Tuesday – Kristin Luna of Camels & Chocolate in Borneo

[1] When and how did you become a traveler?

My first plane ride was to California when I was nine months old. Apparently, I cried the whole time. (Can't say I remember that; also, my mom has a tendency to embellish.) As kids, my sister Kari and I were able to do a good deal of traveling around the United States, thanks to our jetsetting mom. Kari hit all 50 states at the age of 21; at almost 30, I’m still lingering at 49 (Iowa evades me).

In high school, my mom took our whole family to England for Thanksgiving one year and me to Italy just before I graduated. We also did some traveling to the Caribbean and Mexico. But I didn’t ever travel on my own accord until the summer between my sophomore and junior years in college when I decided to backpack solo around Europe—my first time going abroad for a long stint of time, and alone at that.

I'd say that was the point when I became a true “traveler” in every sense of the world–and when I knew I'd never live a stationary life again. Luckily, I married a guy–a fellow American I met living abroad in Holland, go figure–who shares my curiosity and wanderlust.

Kristin Luna

[2] What is travel to you in 10 words or less?

New experiences. Cultural immersion. Fantastic foods. Kind souls. Lasting memories.

[3] What is your favorite mode of transportation and why?

The train. Truth be told, I'm still a little bit wary of flying, but I love the train system in Europe and think it's such a convenient combination of “sightseeing” and getting to where you need to go. Plus, European trains are far more comfortable and spacious than any plane I've ever been on!

[4] What do you typically do while traveling by plane?

During takeoff, I catch up on the pile of Entertainment Weekly that accumulate on my office desk. And then, if the plane has personal TVs, I inevitably spend the duration of the flight sucked into whatever movies are on offer. I'm a pop culture junkie, so I sacrifice sleep in order to catch up on the latest new releases I may have missed in the theater!

I always have my Kindle in my purse, too, so if the entertainment options are minimal, I break out a book instead. While I never travel without my MacBook Pro, it's very rare that I'll actually use it on a plane. I feel that flying is the one time I can really disconnect from technology, and that's what I love most about spending so much of my life on planes.

Traveler Tuesday – Kristin Luna of Camels & Chocolate in Scotland

[5] What is your favorite travel memory involving food?

I wouldn't call myself the most adventurous eater–in fact, I didn't even really eat meat or seafood before moving to California in 2008 (don't worry: being a San Franciscan changed me in more ways than one!)–but I do try to sample the local delicacies, from kangaroo in Australia to black pudding in Scotland (and, of course, chocolate always!).

I worked on a ranch during a couple of summers in college, and we would have to put down any rattlesnakes we encountered as they were a threat to the children, I distinctly remember the staff sitting around the fire and roasting up a fresh snake one evening during training. (You called for memorable, right, not appetizing?!)

I'd say my most favorable memory, though, was when I went on a progressive dinner tour of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. The group had three different courses at three different locals' homes. Not only was the food fantastic, but the company was excellent, and I got a true peek at authentic islander life.

Traveler Tuesday – Kristin Luna of Camels & Chocolate in Lake Louise

[6] What is one blogging tip or lesson that you have learned along the way that you can share with my readers?

Write for yourself, not for SEO purposes. If you start trying to tailor your blog toward Google standards, a) not only will the algorithms likely change the next day but b) you will grow bored of it very quickly. I like having a personal narrative slant to my blog–it keeps things interesting not only for me as the writer but also for those reading–so you won't see a whole lot of “best of's” and “top 10” lists on my site for that very reason.

Thanks Kristin, you are such an inspiration!

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Traveler Tuesday Travel Blogger Interview with Kristin Luna of Camels & Chocolate

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    1. @Laura, hi and thanks for stopping by, I am obviously a big fan too!

  1. Your intro just made my day! THANK YOU for being so sweet—and you know, I *always* have time for you!

  2. She sounds absolutely amazing!

    I met my husband while studying in Mexico, we haven’t traveled much since (babies, mortgage) but it’s definitely something we plan to do more of as the kids get older.

    1. @Kate, she is pretty cool! Kids can be fun to travel with, hope that happens!

  3. This was so fun to read. I loved the pictures, especially the canoe one. I agree about writing for yourself. I realized I’ll probably never be the most popular blog, but I definitely stay true to myself and so I love it still.

  4. What a lovely interview! I’ve always admired Kristin’s spunk and her energy. Great interview and a reminder that we ALL need to have integrity to succeed!

    1. @Charu, she is a fantastic person and has a lot to teach, except she does typically have way too much going on 😉

  5. Gail Williams says:

    It was so enjoyable meeting Kristin through your interview. I especially liked her answer to “What is travel to you in 10 words or less?” Following blogs is a new thing for me. I love traveling, photography, making significant moments and discovering new places. My husband is about to retire so we do much more traveling even if we do not have the energy of those much younger in years.

    1. @Gail, Kristin is wonderful and I am glad you like it. Less energy just means you will slow down and appreciate it each and every aspect of your trips!

  6. She’s ahead of me…I’m only to 48 states. Alaska and Hawaii are elusive!

    1. @Sarah, hope you get there. I love Alaska!

  7. Tracy @ Cotton Pickin Cute says:

    Hi Andi, wow – sounds like Kristin’s living the life I’ve dreamed of living. She looks like such a sweet soul with an understanding that every day is here for her to make the most of. And she’s doing it!!! I’m heading over to check out her blog now.

    1. @Tracy, she is definitely hard working and worthy of every opportunity she has been given, all while being a total sweetheart!

  8. I wish I had the energy and resources to do what this lady does. It seems exhausting but I would think quite fulfilling.

    1. @Janell, she works very hard as a journalist and is rewarded because of her talent and professionalism, but she is on the road A LOT!

  9. Dorothy Boucher says:

    she is absolutely amazing, love the attitude she carries and the smile from ear to ear ; ) keep it going Kristin

    1. @Dorothy, she is pretty awesome!

  10. It’s always nice to find fellow train travelers- I’m one of those people who’d rather the trip take 2 or 3 times as long on a train rather than fly.

    1. @Kylie, I have not had the opportunity to do much, but I did just go on one a few weeks ago and loved it!

  11. Jessica H. says:

    That last picture is gorgeous! I am glad to see that she does not tailor her blog just to get more traffic, but rather to her style and experiences. I think you get more information from someone who writes from the heart. The progressive dinner idea sounds like a great time! Thank you for sharing this interview!

    1. @Jessica, Kristin is amazing and I am glad you liked the post.

  12. LOL I love the photo with the long haired cow you are so lucky to be able to see all that

  13. Cassandra Garffie says:

    I wonder if she ever misses the feeling of being “at home”.

    1. @Cassandra, she might as she recently bought a house and is settling down a bit more!

  14. I am so envious! I dream of travelling around the world and experiencing different cultures. I’m glad Kristen can and that she shares her adventures with us. I also appreciate that she reminds us bloggers that we should write for ourselves and not SEO- it’s sometimes hard to remember all that.

    1. @Anna, like I always say, you don’t have to travel far to travel. There are great experiences to be had every where!

  15. oh wow, that picture in the boat, that water is incredible looking 🙂