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Jorge Gobbi: Travel Blogs and Experiences From the Road

The grand city of Buenos Aires, Argentina is a favorite destination for many tourists. It is also the home of Global Voices’ author for Argentina, Jorge Gobbi, who is a bit partial to the happening metropolis, “It has a great nightlife, many places to get to know. Around here the whole world comes here to eat meat, but one must leave room for pizzas, empanadas and pastas.” He adds however, “it is not so simple to get to know because there is not enough information in the tourist guides.”

Another favorite destination for tourists is Jorge's blog called Blog de Viajes [es] (Travel Blog), which has been online since October 2003. The blog goes beyond simply recommending places to visit in Buenos Aires, Latin America and the rest of the world, but it attempts to address traveling from a different perspective.

Travel Blog, on one hand, wants to help travelers construct their own travel experience, but on the other hand, it wants to discuss the relationship between tourism, politics and economy. Not everything is wonderful in this area, such as what is shown when reading a magazine or a travel supplement in a newspaper. Luckily, I have the freedom to publish what I want; that is invaluable, because the blog is my space for personal freedom.

The blog has also opened many doors for Jorge, as it has helped highlight some of his travel writing, but also it demonstrated his knowledge of this important industry of tourism. He has been hired by a pair of private travel-related companies to maintain their blogs, such as for Despegar [es] (a travel booking search engine) and for Logitravel [es]. Being able to work from remote locations has also enabled Jorge to work from the road, where he has been able to pursue his love of traveling.

Some of his most memorable trips have been in North and South America.

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It was my trip through Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Chile in 1999. It was a trip very important because I had to prove the ability to organize a two-month trip and whether I could do so with the budgeted money and fulfill it in the planned time. My last trip to the United States (New York, New Jersey and Washington, DC) was also important because noting the differences in living in New Jersey suburb was an experience that tourists not always reach. And New York was a city that I have always wanted to go to. It is worth going many more times.

Yet not everything goes according to plan, but sometimes that is part of the charm of traveling in new places being put in different situations.

In 2005 in Bolivia, we also had many problems. During the problems which ended the government of Mesa, we stayed an entire day in a stranded bus on the outskirts of El Alto. Later we were able to reach El Alto and found a taxi that could take us to Desaguadero. However along the road there were many roadblocks and protests, so we had to get out and leave some money so that they could let us pass. All of this took place on a deserted road, without police or anything. It was a bit impressive to see 20-30 people surround the taxi every time we reached a roadblock, they searched the car to make sure that there were no Westerners, Chileans or Peruvians. The small problem was that of the 5 occupants of the car, the taxi driver was Bolivian, three were Peruvians, including my wife and me. So, I was the one that always talked. In the ranking of the most hated, it appears that I, as an Argentine was the least important of us all. It was a tense night, but we made it :). That small incident has not made me lose the idea that Bolivia is a beautiful country and one that I have visited six times in a short period of time.

For Jorge, traveling is much more than seeing new tourist sites and new surroundings, but rather a sort of personal challenge. “Being in motion is something very interesting, as it forces you to be alert all of the time. Sometimes you can relax, but at the same time it is an intellectual challenge,” he added.

But traveling never seems to get old for Jorge, who has a long list of places when asked where he would like to visit.

Many places. One is in my country and I have yet to visit and that is Ushuaia. I have already been to the extreme north in La Quiaca and now I need to go to the extreme south. Outside of my country, I would love to visit Japan, in particular Tokyo, Cambodia and other countries in Southeast Asia; and Iceland and Scandinavia. In the United States, I have yet to visit San Francisco. In Latin America, first on my list are Colombia and Costa Rica. Another place is Prague, and it appears that I will soon get to visit there :). For now, I see most as less likely, mostly for economic reasons.

In addition to his work on the travel blogs, personal blogs, and writing for Global Voices, he is employed at Buenos Aires University in the Department of Communication Scienes, where is also pursuing a doctorate in Social Sciences. He remains plenty busy and may be motivated to stay busy due to an experience from one of his first jobs.

For two years, I worked as a cashier's assistant for a wholesale supermarket, while I started school. I hated that damn job, and from that point on I promised myself that I would only work in fields for which I am studying for, and since then, I have fulfilled that promise :).

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