In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we speak with Steven Kreimendahl and Jazmin Harb Andrade, the traveling couple behind the blog Travel to Blank. We chat with Steven and Jazmin about sustainable travel, what travel means to them, the most exotic place they’ve ever visited, and much more. Check out their favorite destinations around the world and find out where they’re headed next!
How did your passion for travel get started?
We both grew up traveling with our families and our love of travel is what actually grew us together. While we were used to vastly different types of travel before we met, traveling together allowed us to encounter many obstacles as a couple and overcome them, crafting a stronger relationship.
Steven Kreimendahl & Jazmin Harb Andrade of Travel to Blank in Boulder, Colorado
What does travel mean to you? Why do you feel it’s important?
Travel means getting out there and exploring something new, whether it is around the world or around the corner. We often see people get caught up in the fact that they are unable to travel to some distant land and at the same time have not taken advantage of what their own region has to offer. Travel is important because it introduces us all to new ideas, new cultures, and new life perspectives. It allows us to better realize the vast diversity this world has to offer and how to be inclusive and understanding of everyone’s background.
The two of you run a travel blog called Travel to Blank. Can you please tell us a bit about it? How did it come about? What makes it different from other travel content out there?
Travel to Blank is focused on creating walking guides to a growing number of cities and destinations around the world. It has also expanded into road trip itineraries, dog-friendly guides, and romantic getaways. Our content is not about reaching a certain travel type, as we have stayed in hostels and all-inclusive resorts and everything in between. It is all about immersing yourself into a destination for the best experience. It grew out of our own frequent travels when friends and family started to ask us for travel ideas or to help plan their vacation. Writing up the guides allowed us to skip that step and just send the whole plan to them!
Steven Kreimendahl of Travel to Blank with one of his two dogs.
You two like to promote sustainable tourism rather than focusing on the amount of money to spend on a trip. What is sustainable tourism and what are some ways we can promote it while traveling?
Sustainable tourism is hard to pinpoint, but for us it is a basic understanding of how to ensure future generations can enjoy the same experiences we have. You can think about it on a local or global level. Each destination has so much more to offer than its top five highlights and visiting more off the beaten path attractions allows a city to sustainably handle an influx in visitors. While it is unrealistic to expect every action in someone’s trip is the most sustainable option, every step we collectively take makes a huge difference.
Steven, you grew up in Boston, while Jazmin was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador. What are some things you suggest travelers do when they visit these cities?
In Boston everyone should walk along the Freedom Trail for a short history of the city and the founding of the country. In Guayaquil make sure to climb the 444 steps to the top of Las Peñas to the iconic blue and white striped lighthouse.
Jazmin Harb Andrade of Travel to Blank in a large pit of bubbles
How many days/weeks do you travel in any given year? What types of places do you like to visit?
Our travel time varies throughout the year and has changed over time. In 2018 we spent three months on a road trip around the United States living in our minivan. This year Jazmin has had more opportunities to travel and is just finishing up close to three months of near-continuous travel for different projects. In reality, we do not always have the ability to travel together due to work requirements or campaign budgets. Our favorite places to travel are ones rich in natural beauty, be it a beach, rainforest, or breathtaking mountains.
What do you want audiences to gain and learn from your work?
Our main goal is to inspire our audience to get out and explore. It is so easy to put travel on the backburner in life, but the value of the experience and personal connections made should inspire you to do something new today!
Steven Kreimendahl & Jazmin Harb Andrade of Travel to Blank getting a bird’s-eye view
What are the top three destinations you’ve visited?
Ecuador, Morocco, and Israel.
Give us your ‘Top 5’ list for one of your top 3 destinations. Like a mini-guide or a to-do list of sorts. It can be anything from your favorite hotel, the best place to have lunch, the best sightseeing, etc.
The best things to do in Ecuador are go diving in the Galapagos, hike at the Cotopaxi volcano, enjoy the swing at the end of the world in Baños, stay at an indigenous community in the Amazon Rainforest, and of course, try all the regional foods!
How many countries have you visited so far?
Jazmin has been to over 50 countries and Steven has been to over 40 countries, but he has been to all 50 US states.
Steven Kreimendahl & Jazmin Harb Andrade of Travel to Blank at Havasu Falls in Arizona, USA
What are your top 3 favorite cuisines?
Mexican, Ecuadorian, and Italian.
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? What dish do you recommend there?
It is hard for us to recommend food as our diet limits us from eating pork or shellfish among others, which is unsurprisingly a staple in many traditional foods around the world.
What is your favorite travel movie?
National Lampoon’s Vacation is up there in the list of great travel-related movies. It provides a very realistic look at everything that can go wrong while on the road and makes any road trip mishaps we encounter seem trivial.
Steven Kreimendahl & Jazmin Harb Andrade of Travel to Blank at Canyonlands National Park in Utah, USA
What is your favorite international airport?
There is not one airport that jumps out to us as being particularly noteworthy. However, if you are a frequent traveler it is worth looking into a travel rewards credit card that includes a Priority Pass for lounge access at a long list of airports!
Which city had the friendliest people?
We visited Kathmandu, Nepal about a year after the destructive 2015 earthquake. Many of the buildings and sites still had significant damage and at the time there were increased trade tensions with India, leading to a gas and commodity shortage. Even with so many challenges the people we met at our hotel, as tour guides and just on the street were so welcoming and friendly. Everyone we encountered was happy to share their own life story and unique perspective on everything.
Who is your favorite travel companion?
While I would have to say my favorite travel companion is Jazmin, I know her answer is going to be our dog, Gordo.
Steven Kreimendahl & Jazmin Harb Andrade of Travel to Blank on their 4th of July roadtrip with their dogs Gordo and Floyd
What is the best way to kill time while traveling?
Simple, explore more.
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
We got to spend a week in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador which is the most biodiverse land per square kilometer in the entire world.
What is your best bit of travel advice for someone who wants to, or is about to, embark on a life of travel?
While planning is an important part of travel, prepare the mindset to go with the flow, as it is inevitable that something goes wrong.
Steven Kreimendahl & Jazmin Harb Andrade of Travel to Blank going on a wild ride together
What are 4 things you could never travel without?
We can never travel without a camera to document our travels; our phone to plan, organize, communicate and navigate; emergency cash just in case; and a solid pair of walking shoes to explore in comfort!
What is your ultimate dream destination?
Our next big trip will hopefully be to South Africa. Being a long flight with so much to see it is hard to find enough time on our calendar to fit it all in.
What is your favorite travel quote?
It is not a travel-specific quote, but a short section of a famous quote from Hillel, “If Not Now, When?”
Where are you headed next?
We are headed to Italy for Thanksgiving with Steven’s family.
Steven Kreimendahl & Jazmin Harb Andrade of Travel to Blank in Prague, the Czech Republic
We are Steven and Jazmin of Travel to Blank. We have been exploring the world together since the moment we met. Jazmin was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador and Steven in Boston, MA. They now call Raleigh, NC home with their two chocolate labs, Gordo and Floyd, but you will most likely find them on the road. Please reach out to us if you have any questions about travel or would like to meet up for a drink during one of our future travel adventures.