Storytellers Jazmin and Steven |

Today on Culture with Travel, meet storytellers Jazmin and Steven from

Why do you love to travel? What do you think travel teaches us about the world? 

Steven was born and raised in Boston while I, Jazmin, was born and raised in Ecuador. We have both been traveling since we were 2 years old. Steven’s family loves to go on road trips. Steven has been in all 50 states more than once, while my parents prefer traveling abroad.

My first international flight was when I was 2, and they took me to Orlando to meet Mickey.

When we met in college, we tried to go hiking everywhere in the state of Colorado, and that is how we started traveling together.

We love traveling because it opens your heart and mind to new things. It also makes you realize how lucky you are to be able to go different places. It has helped me with my tolerance and understanding of different points of views. I remember that in high school I never had to open a geography book, since all my travels taught me what I was about to learn in school. I have a Masters and two Undergraduate degrees, but if you ask me the best school I have ever attended, it’s been traveling the world. It might sound cliché, but it is true.

What surprising aspect of culture do you love about where you’re from (your specific town/city) that travelers may not be aware of?

Jazmin from TravelToBlank.
Jazmin from TravelToBlank.

I will say that people are not aware of the diversity in culture that you can find in such a small country as Ecuador. We have 24 provinces and each place is totally different that the other one, and at the same time we are the size of Colorado. So, I will tell travelers to try to visit as many provinces in different regions as possible to get the full Ecuadorian experience.

Which dish do you feel best represents where you’re specifically from? Share a picture and tell us why you love it!

My favorite Ecuadorian dish is called Yampingacho. It is fried mashed potato with cheese inside and peanut butter sauce on top. It is served with rice, a hot dog, and a sunny side up egg.

Share about a custom/tradition you observe, and talk about the role of family in your life. What does family mean to you?

For Ecuadorians, family is everything. I talk to my parents at least 5 times a day when I am home, and when I am on the road, I will say at least 8. When I am home, I work at my dad’s office and live at my mom’s house. You can see how much they mean to me!

Steven says I am craaazy! Ecuadorians are always thinking about their families. In fact, you only move out of your home when you are married, not before, no matter how old you are.

Steven from TravelToBlank
Steven from TravelToBlank.

Art and dance can tell a deeper story about local culture. Tell us the story of a specific artwork or dance that has a meaning for you. Share a photo, if you can. (i.e. street art, festivals, paintings, architecture, woven artwork, family heirloom, etc.)

Oh, well dance is hard, as in Ecuador, we have so many different typical dances. My favorite is one called the “Iguana” where you shake your butt like you have an iguana tail.

Languages not only give us the power to communicate but also can unite us across cultures. Share your favorite saying, or teach us something in your native language.

Camello, is my favorite slang in “Ecuadorian Spanish,” it means “camel” and it is used to say that you are working.

Photo by Jazmin and Steven from TravelToBlank.

Have you ever met a stranger during your travels who made an impact on your life in a certain way, or maybe it was you who helped someone else? Share the story!

Yes, we have met so many good people on my travels.

My favorite was when our car broke in the middle of nowhere in West Virginia and this pastor helped us out by having the mechanic fix our car enough to go to our destination for free, gave us $100 for gas/food, and paid for our hotel while the car was being fixed.

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