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Lorraine Caputo Interview


Lorraine Caputo is on assignment for V!VA, traveling solo through Colombia.


V!VA staff caught up with Lorraine on the road and asked 10 questions to find out what she's been up to.


V!VA Staff: What is it like to be a travel writer for V!VA on the road?

Lorraine Caputo: It has been intense, the schedule I have. Because we are determined to write a guidebook that is for everyone, and especially for the backpacker on a long-term, low-budget trip, and one that is respectful of Colombia, its people and tremendous natural richness, there is much to cover. But I am finally able to see places I have long wished to know, and visiting once again places I have come to love in Colombia. And because we are making this a guide for everyone (I am a hard-core shoestring traveler with almost 20 years experience), I find my boundaries being stretched, considering the business traveler, those with a bit more money--& even families.


VS: What's a typical day like?

LC: A typical day begins around dawn. Over a quick breakfast, I'll review what's on the slate for the day. Sometimes plans will have to be shifted due to the weather or other unforeseen things. I'll spend the day hoofing through town, checking out hotels, restaurants, things to do & see--where all the basic services a traveler needs. Then come evening I'll grab a dinner, then return to my room to begin writing the days entries for a few hours. I'll catch an evening nap, then work a few more hours in the wee hours of the night when inspiration seems to click better.


VS:What is the craziest experience you've had during this trip?

LC: It just happened. I have spent the day visiting a number of sites near here, Villa de Leyva, walking from site to site. As I was leaving the last, a taxi with three Colombians I had met there--a couple & their friend--pulled alongside. They offered me a ride into town, & spent almost the entire trip trying to guess where I was from. Then, as a welcome-to-Colombia gift, they gave me a peach. This is the hospitality of the people of this country.


VS:How is it to be a woman traveling alone in Colombia?

LC:It's great traveling alone. There are no problems that I have encountered. Of course, I remember that I am a woman alone and take common-sense precautions. I actually prefer to travel alone, as it allows me to spend more time talking with people, learning from them.


VS:What's the best dish you've tried in Colombia?

LC:Uh, hmmmm....meats roasted on a vara, an up-right spit placed over a wood fire. The taste is incredible!


VS:What do you miss most from home?

LC:Cannolis, cassatta cake & a good, creamy cheesecake.


VS:What are the challenges and frustrations with the job on the road?

LC:The frustrations is finding inexpensive internet--or in some villages, to find it at all--so I can upload the information as soon as possible for people on the road, as well as other technical problems.


VS: How did you get involved with V!VA?

LC: For years my friends and other travelers have urged me to get a job with a guidebook, so I could share my knowledge and experience with others. That is when I learned about V!VA Travel Guides, as I was researching opportunities. At the time submissions were being accepted for V!VA List Latin America. I submitted 20 pieces. I also began to submit reviews for the website in 2006. Earlier this year I was traveling in the north of Peru, & V!VA asked if I would be interested in covering that area for its new guidebook on that country. & from there, the rest is history.


VS:How has the transition been from an office job, to being on the road?

LC:Perhaps this question is best asked the other way around. Why do I say that? This past Monday I celebrated 5 years out on the road in this trip. I am now, once more, in the active, the moving stage of traveling!


VS:What's next on the trip? What are you most looking forward to?

LC:The next part is to continue this nascient exploration of Eastern Colombia, covering the well-known sites & uncovering some of the hidden jewels of this country. What am I most looking forward to? Returning to my favorite part of the country, the Caribbean coast, & sharing with folx the wonders there to be found.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to V!VA Travel Guides: Safety, Colombia Border Crossings, Renting In Colombia, When To Go, Cali Neighborhoods, Services, When to Go, When to Go to Laguna de Perlas, Safety and Nicaraguans.

22 Nov 2007

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