Welcome to the next installment of our new interview series highlighting the amazing writers who make the RoamRight Travel Blog possible. Today we’re chatting with Norbert Figueroa. Norbert is an architect who hit the pause button on his career in 2011 to do a round the world trip. He's been blogging for over three years at Globotreks.com, where he shares his travel experiences, budget travel tips and a good dose of world architecture. From hiking Mount Kilimanjaro to diving with great white sharks, he is always on the search of adrenaline and adventure. Norbert is originally from Puerto Rico and has traveled to more than 80 countries in 5 continents and his goal is to travel to all 193 U.N. recognized countries. Follow Norbert on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Q1. How did you get into travel blogging/writing?
Norbert: I started my blog back in 2010 as a hobby, right after I came back from a backpacking trip in Europe. It was more a place to share my travel stories with a few friends, but eventually, it took off and became my profession in a way. In the beginning, I was quite shy and embarrassed about my writing since I had never done anything like this, but eventually I felt more comfortable and started sharing my posts with more people and took my time to learn and improve.
Q2. What has been your most rewarding travel moment?
Norbert: Oh, I've had so many but all the rewarding travel moments that come to mind involve the generosity of some stranger. But, one moment does stand out. Long story short, I arrived in Uganda by mistake (yeah, things like that can happen), so I stepped into the airport with no visa and absolutely no knowledge of what to do or where to go. It was past midnight, so the airport was almost empty. A woman sees my frustration with the situation and offers some help. Have in mind that this is my first time in Africa, so I have no idea if to trust or not. I accepted. Turns out, this woman was like my "guardian angel" in Uganda. She took me to town, arranged everything for me to stay safe, recommended things to do, and much more. To this day, we are still friends.
Q3. Have any mishaps happened to you on the road? What was most notable?
Norbert: Oh lord... so many. I've been assaulted at knifepoint in Morocco and gunpoint in Kyrgyzstan. I was in a car crash in Russia and broke a tooth in Thailand. But, I think the most "memorable" was when I fell from a Mayan pyramid in Honduras. I tumbled all the way from top to bottom. At first I thought I was lucky, and nothing happened to me except for a few scratches. Then when I looked at my right knee, I saw the biggest cut I've had in my life. I could see the patella. Yes, that deep! Turns out there was no hospital near the ruins in Honduras, so I had to cross to Guatemala (with wound open) and take a 6-hour bus to Guatemala City to go to the hospital. An old lady saw my pain along the way and recommended that instead of going to the hospital (and wait there for hours) to go to her house to be treated by her son, who was a doctor.
Q4. Has travel insurance ever helped you out during your travels?
Norbert: Oh yes! This one time I got a horrible food poisoning in Tunisia, and after days of not getting any better I went to the hospital to be treated. While visiting a hospital is never a nice thing to want, at least I felt comfortable with going there since I knew I would be refunded the cost incurred on the visit.
Q5. What’s your best travel tip you always give people?
Norbert: Always keep an open mind and be flexible with your trip. The world is much more diverse than you can imagine and better opportunities than you ever thought of before, can flourish throughout your trip. Accept them and adjust course accordingly!
Q6. If you could only ever visit one more place in your life, where would it be and why?
Norbert: Tough question! I'd say Iceland. I've never been there but everyone raves about it. I've seen countless pictures of its nature, waterfalls, small towns, and even the Northern Lights! I wouldn't want to miss seeing the northern lights.
Q7. What's the backstory behind the photo at the top of this post?
Norbert: A few months ago I visited Argentina for the first time, including the town of Calafate, which is famous for its Perito Moreno Glacier. This is one of the most accessible glaciers in the world, and even better, you can walk on it! I couldn't miss doing that, of course!
Thank you Norbert for participating in our interview series, and be sure to read all of his RoamRight blog posts here!
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