We ᴚ Going Places

Ever wanted to just pack your bags and travel the world? Well, UPR students Ana María Yapur and Amaury Suárez Caro did just that, and they’re not just here to tell us all the hows, whens and wheres, but also to tell us we can live their adventures with them through their Instagram page @wergoingplaces. If discovering your planet is on your To-Do List, these guys can be your inspiration.

 

Getting to know them

Ana got a Marketing Bachelor's degree in the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, while Amaury got an Economics Bachelor’s degree at the same campus and is currently pursuing his second year of Law School. Ordinary folk, just like you and me, pursuing their careers and following their dreams as citizens of the world.

 

HC:   How did you go from studying in la Iupi, to traveling the world?

AY: During my last semesters at college I applied to the Arturo Morales Carrión internship in Washington DC. After being exposed to so many different cultures my urge for traveling was born.

AS: I discovered my passion for traveling around 2011. My best friend was doing an internship in Spain and I decided to visit her and spend around two months traveling through Europe. We are both still students, so we do both.

 

HC: When did you start?

AY: I’ve been traveling more or less since seventh grade thanks to my parents.

AS: I’ve been traveling since I was little, first family trips and then on my own since 2011.

 

HC: What motivated you to do this?

Cultures, knowledge gained, stepping out of our comfort zones. For the future blog and current Instagram page, we had always talked about having. Now that we have visited quite a few places we felt that it was time to give it a try. We are going to use our blog to connect with other people who love to travel, and who knows, maybe we can get a few sponsors for our next adventure.

 

HC: How did you guys meet?

 

AS: I’m going to let her tell the story, she does it so much better.

AY: As you know, we both studied in the same University, our faculties were side by side. But we had the pleasure of meeting each other in our respective Washington DC’s internships. I started mine before, but Amaury was also in DC, he did the congressional internship Córdova y Fernós. We became friends at first, we ate and hung out together. We spoke about everything, we fell in love with each other and the city. DC will always be in our hearts. It was such a perfect experience for both of us. Since then we have been together for two years, with a common passion for traveling.

 

Traveling

 

HC: Where have you been?    

AS: Around 22 countries; Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, different states from USA (around 12), Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada, US Virgin Islands, Spain, France, Italy, Vatican City, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Norway, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos.

 

HC:   How did you do it?

AS: The first thing is saving, saving, and saving money and doing some extensive research on the Internet. We don’t have a strict choice for the destination, we just do extensive research on dates and places, comparing prices, and when we find a good deal we buy the tickets. Then comes the research. We use trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, and a few more travel blogs. We buy books from the places we are going to visit and try lo learn everything there is to know before flying. Flexibility is key. The best strategy is not having a strategy at all. Last spring we visited Norway, we didn’t know that much of Norway before traveling there. I was browsing through Norwegian Airlines website because my best friend read an article about cheap flights to Europe, when I stumble on an unbeatable deal, $300 round trip San Juan-Oslo.

I didn’t think too much about it and just bought the tickets for the both of us without even consulting it with Ana. We had a week off from school because of Spring Break and we just took off without any expectations at all. On the other hand, when we visited Asia, (we spent 45 days traveling around Southeast Asia) we did a LOT of research before committing to buy the tickets. Our biggest headache was dealing with the visas. We bought “Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring” and that was our main guide but we didn’t rely our whole trip on that book because we wanted a more authentic experience. We wanted a local/traveler experience, not a touristy one.  We read a lot of travel blogs. We also had the opportunity to attend an internship in Washington DC where we meet people from all over the world. My roommate (Irshath, who became more like a brother to me) is from Singapore, and Ana has a friend (Ha Dang) from Vietnam.  We asked them for advice and they even accompanied us on our travels when we visited their respective countries.

 

 

HC:   What has been your favorite place? Why?

AY:  Norway and Vietnam. Completely opposite but so so so much beauty. I can't even explain it. Those are places that you can only see in movies as perfect and unreal destinations and once you are there you cannot believe your eyes.

AS: Norway. Norway has it all, nature, big cities, warm people, the best views. The only thing we didn’t enjoy in Norway was their cuisine. Their food is just bland, no flavor. We missed a good “arroz mamposteao ” while we were there.

 

Instagram

 

HC:   Why should we follow you?

We speak for other travelers with our pictures and we can show other Puerto Ricans and people from all over the world that are possible. Just book a flight and go. You will not regret it. The Instagram page is just the beginning, we wanted to let ourselves get exposed so that when our travel blog is ready people will find it and read it.

 

HC:   Why and/or how did you pick that name? (‘We r going places’)

AY: We decided that Amaury was going to be in charge of the pictures and I was going to be in charge of the creative stuff. I was brainstorming with a few names and this one just popped into my head. I told Amaury how about @wergoingplaces and he liked it, so we decided to keep it. It means that we are going to keep going, that this is just the beginning, so many places more to come.

 

To fellow Travel Dreamers

 

HC:    What would you say to people who want to travel but find it impossible?

AY: It is possible. You just need to put your mind into it. We don’t belong to wealthy families, we are both students, and we both work. I am currently working a full-time job in Aon Hewitt as an interpreter and studying Portuguese at night. Amaury has a part-time job in Banco Popular while he pursues his second year of law school. We work hard to achieve our goals, and for the moment our goal is to travel the whole world. We still go out with friends but we have reduced spending, we may drink a beer instead of six, and we keep track of every other dollar we spend. We also have a few credit cards, and we take advantages of their perks. People should not be worried about credit card debt; they just need to learn how to use them. We never pay interest on our credit cards as we pay them down every week. We use the cards for everything; from a bottle of water to the electricity bill and this strategy allow us to earn points and then redeem them for travel.

 

De Puerto Rico al Mundo

 

HC:  Do you see the world differently than you did before you started?

Yes, definitely. We love to meet different people. We know now that everybody does not get the same opportunities as we do and because of this, we have grown to be more appreciative of the things we have. The whole world is beautiful and there is just so much to see. So many people live in a bubble nowadays and seeing parts of the world just opens your mind to different perspectives about life, politics, economics and everything else.

 

HC: Do you see PR differently? If so, when did you start seeing differently?

Yes, we now appreciate more the beauty of our island, the warmth of our people, the taste of our food, the white sand at our beaches, our family. We have always loved our country but now that we have something to compare it to we know how fortunate we are to have been born here. Puerto Rico is paradise. We have been to the beaches in Thailand, the most beautiful beaches in the world to some people, but we dare to say that our beaches have nothing to envy. We have spent Christmas away from home and there is nothing that can compete with Christmas in Puerto Rico.

 

HC: Do you consider yourself a United State citizen, a Puerto Rican citizen or a citizen of the world? What do these “titles” mean to you?

Puerto Rican all day every day!! We are proud to be Puerto Ricans and we wouldn’t change that for anything in the world. The titles really don’t mean much to us, what really matters is how you feel. No matter where we are in the world, when people ask us where are we from we answer loudly “from Puerto Rico” and we don’t even try to hide our accent. We have encountered a lot of people in our travels that don’t know where Puerto Rico is and some have never heard of it. When this happens we rapidly search for a map on our phones and start talking about our island and our culture.

 

HC:   How long do you plan on doing this?

Our whole life.

 

With a little determination, traveling seems more possible than ever these days. Don’t forget to follow these love birds as they travel around the world on their Instagram @wergoingplaces.