Introducing the “Passport to People Series” where I’ll take you around the globe, via inspiring, creative souls I’ve met while on my travels!
Meet the solo adventurer behind Go Viajero, Melchor Bernardo. I’m excited to begin the year with a fellow blogger I admire wholeheartedly. Mel for short, is one of Tim’s coworkers at the international school he works at and is also a Pinoy like myself (the nickname for Filipinos)! I might be biased when it comes to Filipinos but from the moment I first met him, I was drawn to his lightness of being and warmth. He exudes a sense of kindness and ease to him that most don’t. I felt like we had known each other for a long time. He has since inspired me with frequent jaunts around Vietnam, a fan of weekender trips, and his love of teaching. The travel blog he runs doubles as a TEFL/TESL resource for aspiring and/or teachers already in the field. I also envy his dedication and steadfastness to the work he’s produced and hope to one day have the same work ethic. So without further ado, here’s Mel!
Hello Mel! Thank you for joining us today! Let’s start with the basics: what is your favorite thing about traveling?
Catching the sunrise on the beach, exploring a new city, eating whenever I want and going wherever I want. I totally love my 9-5 job and I even blog about what I do, but traveling gives me a wonderful break from the work routine. It’s rejuvenating.
Where do you go for travel inspiration?
Tripadvisor and Two Monkeys Travel Group (it’s a blog).
What is your travel mantra?
“Take the road less traveled.” I love going off the beaten track where I can have more room for do-it-yourself exploration.
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
I am a big Game of Thrones fan so my ultimate bucket list include most of the series’ filming locations such Northern Ireland, Croatia, Malta, Morocco and Iceland.
What’s a song that puts you in the traveling mood?
“Sun Daze” by Florida Georgia Line specially the part that says “Work a little less, play a little more; That’s what this day is for!”
Let’s ger to the fun stuff! You, unfortunately, have been condemned to die. But fortunately, you get to have any meal in the world before you go. What is your menu?
I will go for chicken adobo. Comfort food, man!
Best foreign phrase you know and why?
“Anh yeu em” which is a Vietnamese way of saying I love you to a girl. Works every time!
What’s your best travel-related investment?
A DSLR camera. Great photos last a lifetime!
What is the oddest place you’ve ever been to?
Oddest place would be the Australian Outback, particularly Uluru rock and the domes of the Olgas.
Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten.
I’m sure it wasn’t a cockroach but it was an awful-looking insect sold in the streets of Cambodia. It tasted like potato chips until I felt the legs stuck in my teeth.
Most overrated country?
You have just won a trip around the world! List twelve cities on your flight path.
Kathmandu, Beijing, Tel Aviv, Cairo, Athens, Bern, Rabat, Reykjavik, Valleta, Havana, Malé, El Nido.
What do you “know now” that you wish you “knew then”?
That winter or a freezing weather takes the fun out of traveling. I’m from a tropical country, so yeah, that’s it. Brrrr!
Here are some pictures taken on Mel’s travels…
Biggest lessons learned on the road?
I learned this the hard way: don’t be trusting and always be extra cautious.
Memorable advice from a stranger?
Get out of your hotel room and do what you came here for.
Travel book you most wish you have “lived through.”
Wild by Cheryl Strayed.
Any strange travel rituals?
I don’t travel on a Friday the 13th if that counts.