Kaspars Misins – travel blogger
Every other week, Discover Walks will share with some great insight from Travel bloggers from around the world who fell in love with Paris. They will share their favorites addresses and things to do while in Paris. Because genuine advice and stories are so important to us, in addition to our born-and-raised Parisian tour stories, we now bring you real advice from fellow travelers.
Bonjour Una, can you tell us more about who you are?
Bonjour! My name is Una, and I am 27 years old. I was born in Riga, the capital of Latvia. I’ve lived there until few years ago when I left to travel.
I am a computer science graduate, and I’ve worked in telecommunications field. Even though I enjoyed my life and work in Latvia, I started to want to try something different – to live and work abroad, and travel. My partner of many years, Kaspars, had the same ambitions.
Our common interests, ambitions and wishes made it very easy. We left, and we are still on the road, living the lives of digital nomads.
Why did you start writing wearefromlatvia.com?
Our blog was created so that our foreign friends could follow our adventures as well.
Before creating blog “We Are From Latvia” each of us had a blog where we wrote in Latvian. The idea of creating a blog where articles would be written in English was born when one of our foreign friends told us: “What a pity that I don’t understand Latvian. Well, at least I can look at the pictures, haha!”
After some week wearefromlatvia.com was created and the first blog posts were written. Our English-speaking friends were happy. Now the blog has evolved into something more than just a diary.
Why did you start traveling?
As I mentioned before, even though we were happy with our lives and work back in Latvia, we wanted to try something else. We started to feel like that immediately after our first trip abroad.
It was summer 2012, and we went on our first trip abroad – to Italy and Portugal. After two weeks spent in these amazingly beautiful countries in Southern Europe we felt that it is not enough. We just loved that feeling of being abroad. being abroad. The decision was made – after a year we will move abroad to live and work.
During that year we traveled some more. And next spring we went to Spain to hike a part of Camino de Santiago. But then we still hadn’t made up our minds on where are we going to go. During all these months that followed our first trip abroad Kaspars and I were reading a lot of travel novels and blogs and we decided that we want to travel for some time instead of just move to another country. And after that period of traveling we might move someplace.
Soon after our return from Spain Kaspars proposed a crazy idea. “Let’s go to India and cycle around it!” “Okay,” was my response.
What’s special about your blog?
Our story is unique. Do you know many people, who have cycled in India for 5 months, haha?
Apart from that one big part of our articles are about our adventures abroad. Reading those one can hopefully get inspired to get out of the house and see the world for himself. Just few years ago we had absolutely no experience in traveling, but now it’s far away lands, where we know no one, that we feel the most comfortable.
What would be your top 3 things to do in Paris?
- Definitely visit the Louvre Museum even if you aren’t really interested in art! Like us, we aren’t really interested in it but we still went and we are glad we did! A lot of paintings there are grand and impressive! We spent a lot of time looking at the smallest details in several paintings and couldn’t stop being impressed by the indescribably amazing skills of the artists.
- Just wander around the city. Choose a destination where you want to go (e.g. the Louvre Museum) and walk there from your hotel/ guesthouse/ hostel/ apartment. When you are ready to visit the next place on your list, again, walk there (unless it’s 20 km, haha). Thus you will see more of the city. That’s how we do in every new place. We just wander around.
- Visit Notre Dame Cathedral. It is one of the most beautiful historical buildings I have ever seen. It is even possible to walk up to the towers (you need to buy a ticket, though), and the view from up there is wonderful.
Your Top 3 good addresses in Paris?
- Paris Flea Market – get there to get authentic shopping experience and to take amazing photos!
- The Abbey Bookshop – cozy and wonderful English bookstore. And it is definitely a heaven for the bookworms. They sell both brand new and used books. As I am crazy in love with books, I always search for bookshops everywhere I go. I don’t even need to buy books, I get my satisfaction just from looking and wandering around a bookstore.
- Jardin du Luxembourg – it’s a nice park, where you can rest after a long walk and eat the sweets you have been carrying around for “refueling”. This is what I and my partner usually do after a tiring walk!
Your favorite landmark in Paris?
Definitely, the Eiffel tower. As it is a very popular landmark and probably by now (almost) every living person knows about it’s existence, I will not talk about it much. I’ll just mention that I love it because it’s grand and impressive, and the views of the city from it are magnificent.
What is your favorite neighborhood in Paris?
I haven’t found one. But if I was going to mention one – it’s Disneyland. Yep, it’s definitely my favorite. Even though it is not a neighbourhood and technically it’s not in Paris.
Disneyland is a magical, amazingly fun and colorful world every traveler should visit at least once in a lifetime.
Could you give us your recommendation to first timers in Paris?
Before you go make a list of places you want to visit. Do a research, look up the places. Paris is a big city and has really a lot to offer. So, it is better to plan a bit before you go just to make sure you don’t end up not seeing the places you would want to see.. But also – don’t forget about what I’ve said earlier – about walking to places!
And, very important – dedicate one day just for wandering around, when you can forget about your must see list.
Thank you so much Una, keep on enjoying Paris
Merci beaucoup :-)