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From Puerto Rico to Spain: A Big Blog Exchange adventure part 3

June 02, 2014
Amy

The Big Blog Exchange gives bloggers the chance to explore a new country by stepping into another blogger’s shoes for ten days. Andy Anderson, from Puerto Rico, won the chance to swap lives and blogs with Sara Rodriguez from Spain last year. In this interview he looks back on the experience and reflects on his favourite moments from the exchange.

Full name: Andy Andersen
Age: 26
Blog url: http://www.backpackingdiplomacy.com
Where do you live: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Where did you visit on the BBE: Spain

Andy Andersen

Andy in Louisiana before his trip to Spain

What were the biggest highlights of the exchange?
Aside from the wonderful treatment of all of the people affiliated with Hostelling International, I got a really unique and unprecedented opportunity to get to know Spain. I was sent to a multitude of different cities over various regions of Spain. For me it was a really amazing opportunity to see things up close with insiders teaching me about their cities. Some of my favourite memories include walking the streets of Granada overlooking Alhambra, hiking in Murcia, harvesting rice by hand in southern Catalunya, and getting to know the many beautiful places and people in Spain.

Has the BBE changed you?
The BBE was a really great experience for me. Has it changed me? It depends on which way you mean. I was really moved by many of the people that I met while in Spain, and I often say that people change you by sharing their perspectives and experiences with you, so I suppose in a way, I can say yes.

Toledo

Exploring Toledo

Did the experience change your views about travel?
My views about travel have always been the same. I live to experience the world first hand, to learn from other’s perspectives, and to try new things daily. I think that if anything, the experience reaffirmed my beliefs.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of entering?
You have nothing to lose. It can be a great life experience for you if you are chosen. Even participating in the project gives you the ability to meet and get to know a lot of interesting bloggers. Additionally, you will get some exposure for your blog and maybe attain new followers, which is never a bad thing.

Meeting the HI staff

Meeting the HI staff

Would you have done anything differently looking back?
I don’t think that I would change anything.

Sum up the BBE in three words:
Live for experience.


Feeling inspired? Sign up for this year’s Big Blog Exchange and watch the trailer for the Big Blog Exchange 2014 here.

The Big Blog Exchange 2014

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