Jacintha Verdegaal - Travel & Lifestyle blogger
Jacintha is a popular travel and lifestyle blogger originally hailing from the Netherlands but currently based in London. As well as making you want to do a cafe pilgrimage around the capital with her reviews of perfect looking coffees, Jacintha makes time to travel to destinations all over. What helps you really understand the world through her eyes are the explanations that go with each country's photo set: a picture does speak a thousand words, but sometimes words are a perfect addition to appreciate the whole picture and get a real sense of what it would be like to be there too.
Hi Jacintha. What’s your story - where are you from, where are you based now and what do you do for a living?
I'm originally from the Netherlands and moved to London in March 2013. I work as a marketing manager for a global IT company.
Have you ever lived anywhere else?
Yes, I studied in Paris for a year, which was such a great experience that I couldn't wait to pack my bags again and move somewhere else. Two years later I did my internship in New York where I stayed for six months.
Every city has its own charm and is completely different. Paris -to me- is the most beautiful city, but because of the language barrier (and because it was the first time I was living on my own) it took some time to really feel at home.
New York was love at first sight, and I would have loved to stay longer. There's so much energy in this city and it's very easy to make friends.
London is again a completely different city, but it does combine the best of both New York and Paris. The city has an interesting history and there are all these charming neighbourhoods with beautiful old houses. But it's also a very innovative city, with so many things to do. There's always something happening so it's impossible to get bored.
Your website is bursting with lovely photos of food, coffee shops, interiors and travel… what first got you into blogging and how did you decide what areas to focus on?
I started blogging a month after I moved to London. I'd been thinking about it for some time, but in my first weekend I attended a blogger conference, which gave me a better idea of what blogging was all about. This was so inspiring that I decided to just go for it.
In the beginning I was writing mostly about London. I was new to the city, so everything I did seemed new and interesting. But it quickly evolved into a travel and lifestyle blog. I focus on the areas I'm interested in and hopefully my readers will enjoy this too.
How has blogging opened up doors for you?
I've met so many great people because of my blog. There's an amazing blogging community in London which has helped me to make new friends quickly.
We can scoot around to the countries you’ve been to very easily on your blog. Where stands out for you as a favourite?
One of my favourites is Namibia which I visited in 2012. Not the most 'urban' destination, but it's incredibly beautiful.
I'm also lucky that I get to travel for work, which sometimes brings me to interesting places. My visit to Saudi Arabia was definitely memorable. Wearing the abaya and experiencing what it must be like for working women in this country is something I'll never forget.
You’ve recently been to Palestine – did you have any worries about visiting?
This was also for work and a very memorable experience. I was a bit nervous about going there, mostly because of all the stories you see on the news. I went to Ramallah and Nablus and didn't feel unsafe while I was there. People are just living their lives, going to work and are very friendly. But that doesn't mean it's not still completely different from any other place I ever visited.
Can you talk us through a few of your photos?
When it comes to taking photos I feel most inspired when I'm traveling, which is why I guess my favourites are also travel photos. I especially love the ones that show people from that country as well such as in these photos:
Where is next on your list to travel?
I'll be traveling a lot these coming weeks. First Berlin and then New York, Vienna and Prague. I'm really looking forward to being in New York again after 4 years. And it will be my first time visiting Vienna and Prague.
To look at and read Jacintha's beautiful photo diaries head on over to here: http://www.urbanpixxels.com/travel/
An active Instagrammer she also posts frequent photos of her adventures - follow recommended!