Last year the Big Blog Exchange competition sent 16 excited bloggers from across the globe on a 10 day adventure, swapping countries, cultures and blogs with each other for 10 days – all the while sharing their experiences with the rest of the blogging community following their journey digitally.
Andy Andersen, one of our winners in 2013, travelled from Puerto Rico to Spain on his exchange. Read his interview and see what he had to say about his BBE experience:
Full name: Andy Andersen
Blog url: http://www.backpackingdiplomacy.com
Where do you live: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Where did you visit on the BBE: Spain (España)
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 in 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.
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.
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
Could we be posting YOUR winners interview next year?