In our ‘The Scoop Interviews’ series, we meet Erin Ridley. In 2007, Erin moved to Madrid, met a Spanish man and married him. Her site about Spain began as a way of keeping up with friends and family and has grown to become a travel and food blog. One of the reasons that Erin named her blog La Tortuga Viajera, (the traveling turtle) is because she is often traveling and ‘carries her home on her back.’ Her descriptions are fun and informative. And The Scoopettes love her wedding pictures!
Describe your role with your website.
I’m the founder, writer, photographer, videographer, and chief eater of Spanish food, behind my site, La Tortuga Viajera, through which I share my adventures around Spain and beyond.
1. What is the most satisfying part of your work?
Sharing my passion for Spain and its history, people, culture and cuisine. Nothing makes me happier than receiving a message from a reader, saying that they are inspired by something I’ve written – whether they are an armchair traveler, or someone who actually books a trip to experience the country.
2. Why did you decide to start your site?
Like many people, I started my blog as a way to keep my family back home updated on my life overseas. Soon enough, however, I found more people interested, and decided to make the blog public. Also, as Spain has become such an important part of who I am, I’ve felt compelled to share that passion – I feel very fortunate to be here with so many amazing experiences at my fingertips every day, so I just want to bring everyone along for the ride and pay it forward!
3. What overlooked gem in Spain do you recommend to travelers?
Galicia, always Galicia! It’s quite a jaunt to get there, but so worth it. I always say that Andalucía is everything you expect Spain to be, but Galicia is everything you never imagine it to be. Not only is the landscape stunning with its rolling green hills, granite structures and vibrantly colored gardens, but the food…oh the food! My mouth waters at just the thought of an afternoon in Santiago de Compostela, hopping from one bar to the next, snacking on berberechos, pulpo a la gallega and empanadas, all washed down with a glass of albariño and finished off with tarta de Santiago. Seriously, that’s the life. I’ll be returning in a few weeks, otherwise just writing this would be rather excruciating.
4. How do you see the future of the internet affecting your business?
Uff, well, that’s a loaded question . First of all, I wish I could call it a “business” – blogging is gratifying in so many ways, but not necessarily always from a business standpoint (that’s a whole other conversation!). It’s my hope that eventually the internet circles back around and does a better job at elevating quality writing and content development. Until then, I’ll just keep traveling, eating, and tapping away at my keyboard.
5. What are your favorite foods in Spain?
Oh boy, I could wax poetic about this for days (hence, my blog). When it comes to tapas, nothing makes me happier than a juicy tortilla española, or a plate of crispy-on-the-outside, but oozy-on-the-inside croquetas de jamón. I adore pimientos rellenos de bacalao and, during hot months, a bowl of gazpacho. For dessert, I’m rendered completely will-powerless at the mention of arroz con leche (if it’s burnt on top, then I just go plain numb with joy). And finally, there’s my beloved manchego cheese, so fundamental to my existence that when I return home to the US for vacation, my mother must fill the fridge with it so that I don’t slip into withdrawals. It’s borderline pathetic, really.
Related Spain Scoop: Check out more interviews with fascinating people in Spain.