"I am a photographer by trade and have the great fortune to live an 'it' city, Nashville, Tennessee. I started my blog, Ginkaville, to help my fellow photographers when they visit Nashville for work and it grew from there. My goal with Ginkaville is to help my readers navigate a booming city and find the hidden gems; to inspire exploration and curiosity whether traveling or at home; and to remind them what a privilege it is to age well and to take advantage of every single second we have."
Ginka Poole was kind enough to answer some of our travel questions below.
She has also written for Travel Awaits in the past. Check out her piece A Local's Guide To Nashville's Music Scene.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Ginka: I started traveling solo as a young teenager between divorced parents and did a summer through Europe in high school. I've been hooked ever since.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Ginka: Adventure solo and luxury couples travel.
TA: What is the best vacation you've ever taken?
Ginka: Zimbabwe with my friends who are nature photographers. They are from Belgium and spend part of each year there working. It was a real insider's look at Zimbabwe and an expert lesson in nature photography. It was my most challenging trip to date and I certainly wouldn't call it a "vacation". I shed a lot of tears and not all of them were of joy. I learned so much about myself and the state of the world. The best part: I'll be able to brag to my grandchildren that I rafted the most dangerous river in the world!
TA: What's one place you've always wanted to visit?
TA: What's one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Ginka: A pharmacy kit. I forgot it once in Mexico and it didn't turn out very well.
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Ginka: Expect difficulties.
TA: What would be your #1 recommendation for a place to travel in 2019?
Ginka: If you haven't been to the UK, go now. I always look at exchange rates and with Brexit, the pound is finally down and making it (slightly) more affordable.
TA: What are the top 3 websites you use for research/inspiration when planning a trip?
Ginka: My Instagram feed, Pinterest, Peter Greenburg.
TA: Do you have any good airport or flight hacks for people traveling by plane?
Ginka: Splurge on a seat with extra room. It's frustrating to have to do that but they are often only $30-50 more per leg (no pun intended) and are well worth it.
TA: What is the best piece of travel advice you've ever been given?
Ginka: Get a credit card with the best points program and utilize it! I get at least three domestic flights and hotel stays per year paid for with points.
TA: Is there something you think most travelers worry too much about?
Ginka: Missing connections and getting on the plane as soon as possible.
TA: What was the most romantic place you ever visited with a partner?
Ginka: The Amalfi Coast in Italy. We spent two weeks exploring the coast for our 30th wedding anniversary. Our favorite place to stay was the Hotel Luna Convento. It had the best spot to lounge like a mermaid among the rocks along the Mediterranean.
TA: What's something that other tourists do when traveling that drives you crazy and why?
Ginka: Complain loudly. It doesn't help and it poisons everyone's experience around them.
TA: Which underrated destination deserves to be more famous?
Ginka: Bentonville, Arkansas. Think what you will about Walmart, but it has transformed that corner of Arkansas for the better. There is a 21c Museum Hotel, one of the best collections of American art at Crystal Bridges, and great restaurants and bars.