Backpacker’s Hotseat: Mica, the feisty Latina of Kaypacha Travels

I stumbled upon this blog one midnight. Aside from its appealing header design, the title aroused my curiosity. The page revealed some interesting facts about Peruvian history. As I went on and checked the person behind Kaypacha Travels, I have met Mica, a “feisty Latina (Puerto Rican) who’s passionate about travel and in love with all things Peruvian”. She’s been backpacking and travel blogging since 2005. I browsed her awe-inspiring posts, was entertained by her lovely photos and was motivated by her travel stories.

It’s the crack of dawn when I realized I’ve been reading her website for hours, sipping my coffee, wishing I have the same energy and opportunities as hers. The next thing I know, I was exchanging emails with her, inviting her to be featured in the Backpacker’s Hotseat.

Now I know her more as the “feisty and friendly Latina”. Despite of her busy itineraries, she still managed to answer my questions for her.

Know more about Mica as we follow her on her journeys!

When and how did you discover your passion for backpacking? I always loved to travel as an adolescent with my parents, ski trips in particular were big favorites along with all the trips we’d take to Puerto Rico to visit my large family. But my first backpacking trip to Europe when I was 25-that was such an eye opener for me. The freedom to explore the world is priceless!

Have you been to horrible experiences on the road? How?
I have had a few bumps in my travels, the worst one almost being robbed by fake police in Bolivia. My big mouth and my fluent Spanish got me out of that one!

Share the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?
I’ve had a few, in no particular order: Watching the sunrise over Machu Picchu, Peru (twice), watching the sunrise after a grueling climb to the top of sacred Mount Agung in Bali, and Paragliding in Merida, Venezuela actually brought a tear to my eye. It was ahhh-mazing!

sunrise at Mt. Agung, Bali

What life lessons have you learned from backpacking?
Having patience- either with people, the elements, or yourself. Travel teaches you to have patience and go with the flow. Being able to adapt and make the best of any situation will always make you a better person.

If I have the special power to teleport and bring you with me somewhere, where do you want to go?
The Philippines! I was supposed to get there on my 7 month trip through SE Asia and I didn’t make it! I’m sad I missed out on the beauty of it, but I know I’ll get there eventually.

Among the places that you’ve been to, which one fascinated you the most?
Some of my favorite moments have been spent living in the Amazon, deep in a remote part where you can only arrive and depart by canoe & the house I lived in had no electricity. It was blissful, left alone with your thoughts among nature. I have a deep respect for the people of this region, some of whom continue to keep their distance with the outside world.

What’s a typical day for you?
Depends on what’s going on. I’m a night owl and usually get to bed around 2-3am. If it’s a day where I’m on a trek or something like that, I’ll try to go to sleep early. But I do love sleeping in, and working all night on the website. I spent about 35 or more hours a week on the site, editing photos, reading other blogs, participating in social media, ect. I love it.

What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?
After 7 years of on and off travel, I’ve had so many moments. The silliest/dumbest was not realizing I forgot to put a new roll of film in my camera when I was still shooting with film while in the Salt Flats of Uyuni, Bolivia. Smooth Mica. Smooth.

What tips can you give to newbies like me in travel blogging?
I still consider myself a newbie since there is just so much to learn! First thing is getting a self-hosted blog! Take loads of photos and make notes- sometimes things I think I’ll remember later get forgotten. If you’re passionate about your work, it will take up more time than you think, so be prepared to not give up!

solo travel through Egypt at the great pyramids of Giza

What’s your favorite travel quote?
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step” -Lao Tzu. This is a great quote because it’s the first step that can change everything. You just have to be brave enough to take it!

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