Vanessa Ramos is a travel and lifestyle writer from Puerto Rico. Vanessa has traveled for international work exchange, backpacking, and solo traveling around three continents. When she’s not writing about the best things to do, places to visit, or where to stay on the island of Puerto Rico, she’s hunting airplane tickets for her next trip abroad.
🎓 Education: University of Puerto Rico (Audiovisual Communications, 2017)
✔️ Fun Facts: Majored in film production and I’ve worked in US productions. I do theater. I worked temporarily in Seoul, South Korea. I don’t have a kidney!
📚 What was Your Favorite Travel Experience or Story?
It was November 17, 2019. I took the wrong bus after visiting the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple and multiple lighthouses in Gijang-gun, Busan. By the time I noticed I was going the wrong way, I was already lost. It was past 4 pm and I had only eaten breakfast all day.
After I recharged my bus card, I waited at the bus station in the middle of nowhere. Unlike in Seoul, the streets here were deserted and lonely.
While I was waiting, an old couple approached the station with multiple bags. The “halmeoni” (grandmother in Korean), sat next to me. I greeted her with a slight nod, and we both continued to wait for the bus without talking.
Moments later, she reached into her bag, took out a mandarin, and signaled me to have it. I thanked her by using my poor basic Korean skills and immediately started to peel it. As I was finishing the mandarin, she passed me another one.
We ate together in silence. Her bus arrived before mine, and she left with, who I assumed was, her husband. Fruits aren’t exactly cheap in South Korea, but she still shared two mandarin oranges with me.
That “halmeoni” fed me without any prejudices or questions. For a moment, she was just a grandmother feeding a lost (in many ways), cold, and lonely young woman in a bus station.
No words were exchanged beyond a thank you, no numbers, or social media. But, she is always in memory, reminding me there are still kind people in the world.
🗺️ What’s Your #1 Expert Travel Tip?
Wait to buy your airplane tickets! I’ve seen countless people rushing into buying tickets just because they feel like they have to buy them many months ahead.
In truth, I’ve bought some of my best-priced tickets with just a month left for the trip. Of course, not everyone can enjoy such flexibility. In that case, at least use a flight app to track the prices of your tickets and find the best deal within your limitations.
Remember, the more money you save on your ticket, the more you could spend on your trip.
🚶♀️ Do you prefer walking, public transportation, or renting a car?
Whenever it’s possible I rather walk to the destinations I’m visiting. It saves me money, keeps me in shape, and allows me to see unique sights I would have missed otherwise.
✨ What can’t you travel without?
I can’t travel without a passport, my phone, and a debit/credit card. It seems like a joke, but it’s not! In 2022, after stepping into an airport for the first time in three years, I came to the horrible realization that I’d forgotten my backpack with everything at home.
All I had on me was three layers of winter clothes and a small fanny pack with my passport, my phone, and my card. As it was too late to turn around, I traveled with just that. Since then, I realized you don’t really need much for traveling.