Q: Sele, what do you search for on your trips? What do you expect to find when you leave your home to discover the world?
When I travel, I look for these moments that will always be among the happiest in my life. We don't travel only to places; we travel to those moments that fulfill us, reminding ourselves that the world is too big to stay at home. We don't collect countries or stamps, we collect moments. That's what I'm searching for on my trips: the moment.
Q: You have just completed one of your “travel dreams”, flying over the Bagan temples in Myanmar. Did it match your expectations?
Indeed! In fact, I would say that it surpassed my expectations! Bagan is one of the most impressive monument complexes I have ever seen. There are more than 2000 scattered temples that you can visit on your own. You can appreciate the big picture from the top of some temples but it's even better from a balloon. When you are slowly flying through the sunrise sky, it is really difficult to count all the wonders in front of you. Definitely, Bagan is in my personal travel top!
Q: Recently you have also been on a safari in Botswana; I guess it was also a memorable experience...
I really love nature trips. I like to stare at Mother Earth's eyes, especially when I feel that she is looking back to me. It was my second time in Botswana and I had one of the best safaris in my whole life. I came back with a lot of wild life scenes. In addition, to camp in the middle of natural parks, to sleep hearing lions and hyenas is something that still gives me goosebumps.
Q: You really had some incredible experiences lately, but I'm sure that you are already preparing a new adventure.
Right now I'm going to dedicate one month or maybe a month and a half to writing down moments and sensations. At the beginning of 2016 I will start to prepare the next challenges and adventures. If I travel only half of what I did in 2015 I will consider it a good year!
Q: Looking at the long-term, which are your pending tasks, the big trips you still have to do?
It's really difficult to choose, but I will tell you three. I would like to see the mountain gorillas in the Virunga Mountains, to reach Antarctica by boat and to discover the indomitable island of Papua New Guinea.
Q: Here at TBT we have some people that have been to the 193 countries in the world. Do you see that challenge as an objective?
I will not deny that I have always wanted to visit all the countries in the world. But I have channeled that yearning towards “deeply knowing” some places more than collecting stamps. At this moment I prefer to improve my understanding of places where I have already been. I travel whenever I can, but now I try to do it in a slower way.
Q: I know that is difficult to choose a favourite country, I will ask you for three...
Indonesia, Colombia and Botswana have given me some of the most special moments in my life.
Q: Do you have any memorable story to share?
I really have a lot of stories, like calmly leaving Lebanon 24 hours before the bombs started to fall there. All my family thought that I was still there because I had casually crossed the border out of there before I had planned. And the 2006 war was an unexpected one! I also would pick a story about another border, the DMZ between South Korea and North Korea that I crossed two years later.
But as I told you, I could tell you a lot of interesting stories, like that time when our camping tents were surrounded by hyenas and elephants during the night, the time I had to pay a big bribe to the Mozambique police or when I had to travel on an elephant with a very high fever at the Mondulkiri Cambodian forest, with two natives that couldn't understand a simple “hello”!
Q: Your blog, elrincondesele.com, has become a reference for the Spanish people. What do you think you offer that makes this success possible?
My blog is the result of reuniting my two passions, to travel and to write. Sharing experiences, places and these moments that I talked about before… I'm really lucky! I have been accompanied by a lot a people since I started the blog ten years ago. They would be the right people to answer your question, to tell you what they like from El Rincón de Sele and why they are still there.
Q: Is there some motivational phrase that you always have in mind?
My maxim is “Travelling means investing on life”. And I really try to respect my maxims!
Q: Finally, if you could invite four people to a dinner, who would they be?
I love that question, but it's really difficult! I would love to share a table with Jesus (not at the last supper), the admiral Blas de Lezo, László Almásy (The English Patient) and Christopher Columbus. I would go as a listener; I would let them talk at length. And I will hope dessert-time never comes!
The photos in this article are taken from www.elrincondesele.com