An avid video game fan and a motorcycle enthusiast, Kara Santos may not be your typical girl-next-door. She would gladly drive a motorcycle for lunch in Tagaytay rather than sit at the backseat of a car. She would try out the weirdest food and consider it a conquest. And she would write about it, share it for the world to read. She is a writer, a travel writer, and a good one at that.
A contributor for various travel & lifestyle magazines and major newspapers, Kara has traveled around the Philippines and through several countries as well. In March 2011, she started a blog after participating on a media trip that explored the provinces in North Luzon for six days. “I met a lot of great people on the trip, including several veteran travel bloggers whose posts I remember reading before”, she said, “Though I had been writing for several travel and lifestyle magazines, I felt that I couldn’t possible publish everything about all the places I had been to in print media and thought that setting up my own travel blog would be a good creative outlet for articles and photos.”
Kara named her blog Travel Up, which was inspired by her love for video games. “The name (of my blog) gets inspiration from the video game concept of leveling up, exploring new places, meeting new people, and gaining higher levels by completing tasks”. And level up she did. Opportunities started coming her way as soon as Travel Up gained readership and its own following.
“Traveling has opened up a lot of opportunities and taken me out of my comfort zone”, Kara said, “I think it’s also given me a clear goal in life since there are so many places on my bucket list.” And the best experience in her travels? “Learning to drive a motorcycle and traveling this way. Each ride has made me see places in a different light. When I travel by car, bus or plane, I often detached from the place itself, and usually just end up sleeping, but there’s a different focus needed if you’re driving a motorcycle”.
Her true passion, photography has enabled her to capture beautiful moments in her travels. Kara has seen colorful festival, traveled treacherous roads to discover rarely seen beauty and captured Filipino smiles in different parts of the country. But preserving this beauty and traveling comes with a great deal of responsibility as well. Kara knows this by heart. She hopes, “that all travelers and locals will learn to be more responsible and preserve our country’s resources. The country is blessed with so many natural attractions – beaches, waterfalls, mountains – but we need to manage these responsibly to ensure that more people can enjoy them in the future.” To that, we can only agree.
From her adventures in the virtual world to her real life level ups, Kara Santos shares it all in her blog, www.traveling-up.com