Hi Friends! is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name CocoBetty Photography. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it.
I started traveling with my family at a young age. My family moved from New Mexico in the United States to Israel when I was 8 or 9 years old. We had the opportunity to travel to several different countries in Europe and around the Mediterranean. I still remember getting off the plane in Israel, it was my first overseas trip and I was immediately invigorated. I have such a strong love for travel ever since then but I can say so many times my love for travel was reborn over the years visiting new places.
What motivated you to start your blog? How long do you have it?
I have my degree in photojournalism and so I have loved photographing and telling stories but it took a while for me to feel like my stories while traveling would be something worth publishing. I have had my blog for almost two years but honestly only started posting consistently about a year ago. I think that as I was approaching turning 30 years old I realized I have lived through a lot in my life and if I could share that and offer some advice to even one person who needed it, then I wanted to do that.
What advice would you give to people who want to start traveling around the world?
Don’t wait! Do it, Do it now! The life you have always dreamed of is waiting for you. Save your money, every penny that you can and travel. It really is so much about priorities and really what drives us. I think that so many of us, myself included, we sometimes get too comfortable just existing and travel challenges all of that.
Who encouraged you to go to Floreana? What did you hear about this island before going?
I was actually traveling around with my boyfriend at the time and he had casually mentioned it as he was trying to visit as many island as we possibly could. I hadn’t heard a lot about Floreana except that it had an insanely small population and there were penguins. Once we started looking into it more and I found out there were pirate caves, I couldn’t book my ferry ticket fast enough.
What was your feeling when you first met the pirate caves? Were you afraid?
Oh the Pirate caves! This was the selling point for me. I have always been enamored and fascinated by Pirates but I am fully aware that what entertainment shows us about pirates versus the reality is very different but I think there is something appealing about it especially when you’re a kid. We long for adventure, freedom and to travel the world… and having no rules is definitely a lure for most of us I believe.
How much time do you recommend tourists stay on Floreana Island?
I didn’t get the chance to spend the night on this island but I think if I had to do it over again I would go for it. It is calm and quiet and there are almost no tourists. It is peaceful and surrounded by gorgeous views everywhere you look.
Mitad del Mundo
What did you like most about Mitad del Mundo?
Mitad del Mundo was a fun little day excursion and the idea of walking straight down the equator is interesting and mysterious. There is so much we don’t know or understand about the world and everyday people know even less when it comes to how the equator can affect us and the earth.
Did you find it difficult to reach Mitad del Mundo?
I am a morning person so I generally like to get to places early to photograph them or miss the crowds so we took an uber there and it was extremely convenient and a lot closer than I even thought it was to begin with. We opted to take the bus back and simply asked one of the many helpful people working there and they directed to the street and hopped on. We didn’t even wait that long for the bus to arrive.
What was the experiment that you liked most about la Mitad del Mundo?
We visited two different Mitad del Mundo sites, nothing claiming to be the equator and regardless on if they are 100% accurate or not it was so much fun to watch the water swirling experiments and the electrical experiments but honestly trying to balance the egg on the nail head was the most difficult and interesting for me.
In your blog, you mentioned that you weren’t very interested in going to Alausí, what made you change your mind?
Initially, due to our timeline, it seemed like Alausi was going to be a bit out of the way and take too much time plus the accommodations in Alausi are a bit more expensive than other places around Ecuador. Ultimately it came down to how I would feel if I missed it later. I try very hard to live my life free of regret, even when it comes to smaller things. At the end of the day, I knew a bit about Alausi and the train ride and I asked myself, “If I don’t do this, will I regret it?” My answer was absolutely yes. I knew this was something I needed to see and experience, plus who doesn’t love a good train ride?
What draw your attention the most in Alausí? The train ride around the Devil’s Nose was hands down the coolest experience! It went above my expectations and the landscape that you pass through was just incredibly stunning!
And finally the most acclaimed question … Do you recommend tourists to visit Alausí? I couldn’t recommend that people visit Alausi enough! Absolutely! This little town was so warm and inviting and everyone was so kind. The Almuerzos, lunch menus, was so delicious and at such a great price and of course, the Narrow del Diablo train ride was and is a once in a lifetime experience in my opinion. The history behind the train is fascinating and well worth it to learn more.
Thank you so much Coco for sharing this experiences with us!