The Big Blog Exchange (BBE) is a Hostelling International competition that gives bloggers the chance to swap lives and blogs with each other around the world for 10 days. In the fifth part of our series of interviews with the BBE 2013 winners, Rosario Lamastra tells us how the competition gave her the opportunity to travel the North Island and South Island of New Zealand.
Full name: Rosario Lamastra
Blog url: www.atblueheaven.com
Where do you live: Argentina
Where did you visit on the BBE: New Zealand (Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and Rotorua)
What were the biggest highlights of the exchange?
I visited five cities and travelled the North Island and South Island of New Zealand in just ten days. My eyes didn’t fully adjust to a landscape before I was already looking at another. I contacted local bloggers and they showed me their favourite places. I talked with local people to find out about their culture and way of life. This made me learn even more about my own culture and how valuable it is to have the possibility to travel in order to learn about other cultures.
Has the BBE changed you?
In so many ways! BBE gave me the opportunity to travel alone and meet people from different places. It showed me how beautiful the world is and how important it is to go ahead and search for opportunities that can make you visit new places.
Did the experience change your views about travel?
Sure. It made me understand that every part of the world has special places to show, with kind people who are able to share experiences with you. You don’t only need to visit the touristy places, it’s awesome trying to discover new places by yourself. Just walk and pay attention to every single detail that surrounds you.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of entering?
Go ahead and make it possible! BBE is an opportunity for everybody and is not impossible. If you really want to travel the world, believe me you could find a way of doing it. It only depends on how much you want something. Everything is possible!
On the other hand, if you start a trip, try to follow your own path and pay attention to any corner. You never know when you could find a hidden place that you will never forget!
Would you have done anything differently looking back?
Absolutely no! I planned the trip by myself and I really enjoyed every stop and place I visited in New Zealand. I don’t think there’s a best way of visiting, you only need to enjoy yourself and make your own trip. Enjoy everything, also the spontaneous things.
Sum up the BBE in three words:
Creativity, adrenaline, adventure. BBE is an opportunity to know more about this beautiful world.
Feeling inspired? Sign up for this year’s Big Blog Exchange and watch the trailer for the Big Blog Exchange 2014 here.