Daniela Bonilla is a young woman from Costa Rica, which just with 29 years old has already been traveling on different countries of the EU, Asia ,North America South America and Central America; she has been exploring different cultures and learning about the world. This lady is a traveler that is always looking for new adventures and experiences, inspiring me to think about future travels. In this moment she is getting prepared to conquer Costa Rica’s highest hill, the Cerro Chirripó.
As a frequent traveler we wanted to ask her some questions and she was so kind to give us a few minutes of her schedule to answer. Fortunately Daniela had some space in her calendar for us, sharing some experiences, important tips and what she has learned from her constant trips.
1. Daniela, can you tell us in which countries have you been?
“Hi!, well I’ve been in Hungary, Romania, Germany, Holland, Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Austria, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, USA, Canada, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico and Ecuador. So in the EU is really easy to go from one country to another so that is why I was able to know different places.
2.What took you to travel or what made you think about traveling?
“Since I was a kid I had this adventure curiosity and I always wanted to be out of my comfort zone. I wanted to explore the world and learn about so many things, like cultures, food and places.
3. What was your first trip alone and where was it?
“The first one was when I was only 24 years old, I wanted to move to Canada for a while, so I saved some money for a year and then I moved to Canada. In that moment I found a Job with a company that allows you to work and travel, in that chance I was working in a hotel in Canmore , Alberta. In this places a lived with some roommates that were traveling as I was. I have really good memories of this trip, I was able travel by the very first time to learn about other cultures and had awesome experience, as an example I remember ones I was just walking with my friends back to our apartment and we saw the Northern Lights!, I had this experience that not everyone can have, I saw this lights and I was so excited”
4.Can you tell us about when you went to Europe, and how was it?
“This was my second experience, I moved to Hungary. I applied for an internship, this was using an open platform where people can go and apply for this options. I was renting a room in a university campus. Being there I was able to learn a lot about the culture and about the people; it is funny that we are so different and there are so many things to learn. I remember that people used to ask why I was always so happy, but I just remembered that in my country we are all like that, and this was the first time that I thought about these differences. This country is completely different from my home, there are a lot of thinks different not only in the people, but in the weather, the geography and the culture”
5.How did you do to travel to other countries of Europe?
“So, as I was working in Hungary I used to save money for a period of three months, and after those three months I decided where to go to visit. Being in Hungary I was able to know places like Romania, Germany, Holland and Czech Republic. Then after I finished the internship I decided to be a backpacker in other countries as in Spain, France, Greece and Italy, after that I decided to go to Asia, to Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia. When I was in Europe I used couchsurfing.com, which is a really good option because you can learn a lot about the people and the culture, and in other cases I was staying with friends that were living in those country”
6.What are the most difficult things that you had to face in your travels?
“I think that fear is one of the most difficult thinks, as this has the power to stop you, but you need to learn how to stop it and get over it. The other thing is the language barrier, I speak Spanish but I also speak English, but not in every place the do speak English, so that is why is a little difficult to communicate in some places, even though there must be someone that will understand you there, these people that can help you and will understand you I call them the ‘’Angels of the road’’. I used to practice Yoga every day; that helped me to maintain myself calm; in that moment I was going through some difficult situations, so it helped me to continue my trip.”
7.Can you give some tips to travelers that are just beginning a new adventure and people that are thinking about traveling?
“Yes! I have a few tips: First, travel with someone, this is a really good option and you will have someone to trust and someone to be. In many cases you will be more secure when you are with a friend.
Second: Get information from the country that you are going to be travelling to. This is really important as you need to know about the culture and you will learn how not to disrespect the people, there are countries with really different cultures and ways to think, and you are the visitant that is why you need to respect.
Third: Plan but not in excess, this means that you definitely need to plan about what you are going to do but there are some things that are just not planned , and is many cases is tired to try to accomplish all the planned activities. There are some things that you will only enjoy when they are improvised.
Fourth: Let the trip to surprise you! Not everything is in the websites or in the different travel agencies, there are a lot of things that you will only see if you go to the place and talk to the people of the area. You need to talk with local people and they will tell you about the places that you must visit and the food that you need to eat, this is the only way to learn a lot of different things.
Fifth: Have always a “wildcard” in the week. There must be always one day where you can rest and sometimes just stay in the hotel to get energies and plan you next week. I remember I had this day to review my finance, review the next places I wanted to visit and clean some clothes, and more things.
8.Can you tell us about what have you learned about these experiences?
“I learned that people is so different in the world and one of the most important things is that the way I was raised is not the correct or the incorrect way, it was just different from the way the people that was surrounding me was raised, we were all different and it was just that, just different. I learned to have an open mind and as well not to have prejudice”
9. Any message to travelers?
“Just don’t stop traveling with and open mind, never stop learning and enjoying”
We wish Daniela the best of the lucks with her new travel conquering the Cerro Chirripó!
If you have any question you will like to ask to Daniela, please let us your comments and we will make her receive them!