Wanderlust With: Ivan About Town
We take a peek into the travelling life of Ivan Henares AKA Ivan About Town.
A tourism professor and heritage advocate, Ivan Henares is not your typical travel blogger. His site Ivan About Town is a rich mix of worldwide journeys, heritage resources and delectable food pics.
We sat down with the man about town for a quick chat about where he's been and where he loves to go.
Q. What's the last holiday you took?
A: I've had many "holidays" in the past few months, especially in the Philippines. But the last major one would have been my trip to Cuba. We visited the charming World Heritage cities of Havana, Vinales, Cienfuegos, and Trinidad, and the mausoleum of Che Guevara in Santa Clara.
A visit to Cuba is a trip back in time, with its vintage cars, street music culture, and elegant colonial architecture.
Q: What about the first holiday you took?
A: My first holiday was as a young kid, my family went on a trip to Japan and Taiwan.
We visited Tokyo Disneyland, which just opened two years before, and the International Exposition in Tsukuba. I was five and my mom asked me to write a travel journal. I still have it at home, in my own handwriting, complete with photos, drawings, and brochure cutouts from the trip.
Q: What's your favourite destination in the world?
A: That's a hard one! There are a lot of favorite destinations for me. Maybe Mexico.
We traveled from Mexico City north to Zacatecas, then south to Palenque (with visits to Guatemala and Honduras), and then back north to San Cristóbal de las Casas, northeast to Merida, and finally west back to Mexico City, stopping at more than a dozen interesting towns and cities along the way.
Q: And your top 3 things to do there?
A: Eat, eat, eat! Seriously, the food in Mexico is fantastic! I miss those neighborhood tacquerías! It's hard to find genuine Mexican food (not Tex-Mex which most people mistake for Mexican).
Explore Mexico City and go for a trajinera ride in nearby Xochimilco. You'll enjoy the mariachi bands hopping from one boat to another. Mexico City is an awesome place.
But don't forget to visit the many charming towns and interesting ruins all over the country.
View of downtown Guanajuato, Mexico from the El Pípila Monument. You can see the Basílica Colegiata de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato and the Universidad de Guanajuato behind it (blue buildings with staircase). To the right of the university is the Jesuit Oratorio de San Felipe. The green plaza is the Jardín de la Unión, in front of the San Diego Church. The garden is filled with carefully pruned Indian laurels. The Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines is a World Heritage Site.
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Q: How about the top 3 items you can’t leave home without?
My gadgets I guess – phone, camera, laptop.
Q: Lastly, if you could only pick one – beach, city or mountains which would it be?
I'd go for the beach. Growing up in the Philippines, I've always enjoyed the beach.
finder's Wanderlust With is a monthly series featuring travellers and bloggers from around the world. Check back every 10th of the month to be inspired for your next journey.