Travel Blogger Interview Series – Ivan Henares

5

Join over 5,000 people who are subscribed to receive a once daily email with all of our posts. Never miss out! Click here to subscribe.
Learn how to maximize your points & miles! Join Our Facebook Group!

Ivan in Cuzco, Peru.
Ivan in Cuzco, Peru.

Quick Note: For those who are new to the site, every Saturday I interview a traditional travel blogger. From time to time there may be a points & miles blogger mixed in, but even they will be talking mostly about travel. The idea is to talk about travel with the experts who live & write about it everyday. Enjoy!

Introduction

Ivan Henares is a professor and Filipino travel blogger who lives in Manila.  I met him while traveling in India and was immediately impressed with his interest in the local culture.  He often went out of his way to find relevant information to bolster his understanding of what we were seeing and doing.

Ivan has a wealth of knowledge and information and is always willing to share it with others.  I hope you enjoy the interview and I highly suggest checking out his blog, Ivan About Town, where Ivan shares photos & stories from his travels.  On to the interview!

Interview

Boracay Island, Philippines.
Boracay Island, Philippines.

1. How long have you been writing/blogging about travel and why did you start?

Ivan About Town went online in April 2005, so this is my ninth year of blogging. I started the blog because I enjoy sharing stories of my trips with friends.

2. What was your first memorable travel experience/trip?

The trip that got me in high gear was an island-hopping journey around the Visayas in the Philippines which has some of the best beaches and diving sites in the world.

Great beaches in Central Philippines can be found on the islands of Boracay, Panglao, Cebu, Bantayan and Siquijor, among others.

Sunset in Boracay Island.
Sunset in Boracay Island.

3. Can you tell me what makes your blog unique?

The blog has an obvious bias towards culture. So if you like old architecture, food and festivals, you’ll find them in the blog.

4. What is your absolute favorite place in the world and why?

How does one answer that question? Every place has its strong points. But I will always consider the Philippines my favorite because “It’s more fun in the Philippines!”

The country is best known for white sand beaches, coral reefs teeming with biodiversity, the rice terraces, colorful festivals, charming colonial towns, great food, and fun people who always smile at visitors. Plus almost everyone speaks English! It’s my absolute favorite because I call it home.

Ivan enjoying the amazing views in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. Palawan was no. 1 in Travel +Leisure Magazine's list of the "World's Best Islands 2013."
Ivan enjoying the amazing views in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. Palawan was no. 1 in Travel & Leisure Magazine’s list of the “World’s Best Islands 2013.”

5. Can you share a useful travel tip with my readers? Something that you have learned through your own travel experiences.

Here’s a tip about tips. Tips can be helpful and can save you a lot of time and money. But always make your own plans. The experience is better when it’s tailor-made for your own interests and preferences.

6. What inspires you?

Seeing, tasting, hearing or experiencing something new and different are always inspirations.

Fantastic views and a colorful local culture will greet you at the Batad Rice Terraces in the Philippines. It is part of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, a World Heritage Site.
Fantastic views and a colorful local culture will greet you at the Batad Rice Terraces in the Philippines. It is part of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, a World Heritage Site.

7. What is your overall favorite travel experience and why?

Driving around Europe and exploring South America by bus are on top of my list. With a rented car, I got to see a lot of places around Europe that are not easily accessible by public transport.

In South America, that involved a lot of 24-hour bus rides! In both trips, experiencing the local culture and heritage was unforgettable!

8. Why do you continue to travel?

I want to see as much of the world as I can in my lifetime. That keeps me going.

 Ivan at the picturesque Laguna Miñiques (4100MASL) high up in the Andes Mountains, in Chile’s Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos.
Ivan at the picturesque Laguna Miñiques (4100MASL) high up in the Andes Mountains, in Chile’s Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos.

9. Backpack or suitcase and why?

It depends where I’m going and what I plan to bring home. I like taking home souvenirs that showcase the local culture. So I often bring a suitcase with me.

10. Do you have anything else to share with my readers?

As long as you are not breaking any rules or cultural norms, don’t let others force their manner of travel on you. There are so many ways to see the world. One is never better than the other.

Don’t believe people when they say there’s a difference between a tourist and a traveler. We all are tourists and travelers. What is important is you are exploring on your own terms, the way you want it.

Conclusion

I want to thank Ivan for participating in this interview series.  Please read his amazing blog as he truly takes pride in sharing his wealth of knowledge. You won’t regret it.

There is one thing I want to note before going.  This is the last of the interviews with the old shorter questions.  I tweaked the questions in order to hopefully get more in depth answers. You can see the new questions in last week’s interview with Stefania van Lieshout.  Have a great weekend!

 


This post may contain referral, affiliate or sponsor links that provide Miles to Memories compensation. Thank you for your support.

5 COMMENTS

  1. MMS started a blog interview series which was in my opinion poorly copied by Delta points.
    Most bloggers have been interviewed.
    Do we really need a third interview series?

    • I have been doing this interview series for awhile. Like I mentioned in the post, these interviews are with normal travel bloggers, not miles & points bloggers.

      I think they bring an interesting perspective, which is why I decided to start doing the interviews.

  2. Shawn,
    What’s interesting about the bloggers you “interview,” is that unlike the points bloggers, these people have true, cultural experiences. When you spend a week in Paris at the Hyatt or hop to various places in first class…are you really seeing/experiencing the world?! I don’t think so!
    I hope you stay with your series; it is a breath of fresh air!

    • Thanks Kim. I am glad that you are enjoying the interviews. As I mentioned, I have now tweaked the questions so that we can get even more detail from them. Each and every one of the people interviewed thus far has been wonderful and I have more awesome travel bloggers lined up.

    • @Kim, you can travel in first class and still get a cultural experience, especially if you fly the national airline of the country you are going to. As for the hotels, it really depends on each property (some are old castles or have historic significance yet others tend to be part of a large skyscraper.)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here