Photo Source: Linda and Instagram
Whether hanging out with locals or visiting popular attractions, Linda Kondo is there, and she's writing about it. Meet the London-based journalist who loves different cultures, and all things travel.
Tell us about yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do? What inspires you to travel?
I'm Linda, a Congolese-born journalist from Sweden, but I've been calling London home for the past eight years now. I absolutely love exploring and learning about different cultures and people different from me. It sounds cheesy but stepping out of your comfort zone makes you richer.
Does your career in journalism have an effect on the destinations you choose to travel to?
Yes and no. When you go on press trips, it's always destinations presented to you by the PR agencies that represent certain regions in the world. But working in the travel industry also means that you get to learn so much about different places, which can influence where you decide to go. But on the flip side, my curiosity extends beyond my career.
Has your career in journalism taken you to any cool places? If so which was your favorite destination?
For sure! My press trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, was very memorable. That was my first time in Mexico, and I just fell in love with the country. Can't wait to go back! But my favorite destination is Cuba. I spent one week in Havana for my 30th birthday with some friends, and it was just the coolest experience. Not many places have made me feel what Havana made me feel. It felt like I was in a different world. Despite the hardships that Cubans experienced, I loved how everyone was so proud of their country. It's a unique place!
Do you prefer hanging out where the locals go or are you more of a sightseer? Why?
I definitely like visiting the tourist attractions because they are a big part of the destination at the end of the day. However, I'm not too fond of hanging out around tourists all the time, just because I don't feel like you get a true sense of a place by being in a tourist bubble. You get to know a city by hanging out with the locals as you hear stories from them as opposed to some random guidebook. This is not to say that you shouldn't use guidebooks as they're amazing, but talking to people will teach you a thing or two. With that being said, you should always trust your gut and not venture out to places if you feel unsafe.
For all of our fellow foodies, we've got to know... out of all the destinations you've visited which has the best cultural cuisine? Why should everyone try this dish?
I had the best bacalao croquettes in Iceland. Being surrounded by water, the food on the island is very fresh, and you can even order the catch of the day. The breaded fish was full of flavor, making me go for seconds. I love Mexican food, so it was all kinds of tacos for me. It's such an easy food you can customize. I like tacos with shredded beef or chicken paired with guacamole and fresh lime juice. I also had some fantastic Armenian food when I was in Jerusalem. That was my first time having it, and I loved it. We had well-seasoned lamb, grilled bread, hummus (of course), bulgur, and this tangy salad that was hard to resist.
Where else can folks find you?
You can follow me on Twitter at @lyndakonde. If you want to read some of my work, head to www.lindakonde.com
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