1) Can you tell us a bit about who you are, and what you do?
Renata: “I’m Renata, 100% Southern heart and temperament. A big traveler, my parents loved packing their tent and discovering Europe ever since I was a child (first big trip was to Norway when I was 2!). I learnt the love for traveling from them. I can’t spend a holiday home, I always need to be on the move. I studied in different places around Europe and always loved it, the challenges of new places, new people and new cultures.
6 years ago I got a job offer from Brussels, and I moved here. I’m still working for the same company, Toyota, and I am still the same enthusiastic person I was when I arrived. Brussels intrigues me, every day I discover new sights, new challenges, new people. It’s the right place for me, a capital with a province town feeling. You got all you expect from a big city, pubs restaurants theatres concerts parks, but you don’t have the traffic! Besieds traveling out of Belgium for work, I spend my time hanging out with friends, checking new places, eating well, dancing, going to the movies, walking around to discover something new.”
2) What was your motivation to become a Spotter? Do you like it so far?
Renata: “As soon as I heard about this project I’ve been excited to get part of it.
I was nervous for the “interview” with Sanne and Bart. I had so many things to share with them, so much enthusiasm that I believed I had over-loaded them with information. The reason I liked the idea so much is that I love traveling visiting friends. They will certainly show you a side of the city which you would never experience as a tourist. Maybe you’ll miss out a big thing, but who cares if you have experienced something genuine? For example I went to Moscow to visit a friend. He brought me to the international expo park on the outskirts of town, great place, but I haven’t had the time to visit Kremlin, and I was not disappointed at all.
It’s fun the feeling of being a point of reference for other travelers. I am now seeing the city in a different way, much more curious, I always think of what visitors might like. This is what I like the most so far!”
3) What do you think about the Spotted by Locals concept?
Renata: “Well, I guess I explained it above. It’s great, it gives travelers the opportunity to know different sides of the cities, to live as locals. It gives you tips, reviews which are truly genuine. I would love it to be extended worldwide…I’m planning a trip to South America…how can I find out about that tasty churrasco in Rio or that local milonga in Buenos Aires?”
4) Do you have a nice Spotters-story?
Renata: “I was out for a lunch at the Gare du Midi market. I wanted to check out the Moroccan stand, to make it s spot. I was there with people I knew, and I mentioned I wanted to take a picture of it. And then, out of the blue, one of the guys there looked at me and said: “that’s where I saw you before…you are a spotter!!”. It was exciting. He started asking me questions about Spotted by Local, how I got in, what I was doing…I felt important ;-)”
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