We met up with blogger Ben Holbrook, a Welsh native living in Barcelona since 2009. His blog, Driftwood Journals, is a ‘guide to the good life in Barcelona.’ Holbrook is a self-avowed foodie and a keen promoter of the craft beer revolution taking place across the city. Find him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
What is the most unusual request you’ve had?
Typically, I get invited on tours and to restaurants and bars etc., so it’s rarely unusual, per se. However, I was once hired as a copywriter to write a huge amount of content for a Spanish fishing tour company. I know far too much about fishing in Spain for someone who has never been fishing.
What advice would you give to someone who was trying to break into the business?
As a travel blogger/writer/copywriter, you have to really master your craft. There’s so much competition that you have to be exceptional to catch the attention of potential clients. I also suggest specializing: be the expert on your niche. Although I still write about various countries around the world, I found my blog really took off when I started focusing on Barcelona.
I’m just finishing up the Barcelona book for The HUNT Guides. It’s consumed me entirely over the last few months, but it’s really exciting to think it will be on sale in book shops around the world. Then, Ryanair are sending me to Valencia for a little bit to write about the food scene there. I’m still taking on new clients too, so there are always new and exciting projects popping up. And there’s still an infinite amount of things I want to cover on my blog. It’s a hard life.
What is your dream project?
I have a dream of cycling from Barcelona down to Seville and writing a book about it. I’m thinking of doing it on my little fold-up bike; the longer it takes, the better. If there are any book publishers out there looking for the next Bill Bryson, please get in touch.
If you could only bring three things to a desert island, what would they be?
Definitely a guitar, a Kindle packed with new books, and one of my cats.
How would you describe Driftwood Journals in 80 characters?
Your essential inside guide to living the good life in Barcelona (and beyond).
Apple or android? Apple
Picasso or Miró? Miró is my all-time favorite
Coffee or tea? Coffee a.m., tea p.m.
Fame or money? Money, though I’m more motivated by freedom
Love or friendship? Love (I love my friends too)
Train or plane? Train
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.