Name: Ben and Jenna Thomas
Current location: Detroit, Michigan, Hometown: Carbondale, Colorado, USA
Occupation: Photographer and Writer
“Dramatic cliffs and swirling clouds”
Welcome to the ZakopaneGO Travelbloggers Q&A sessions. Today we’re joined by a couple with a wild imagination all the way from Detroit. Ben and Jenna, it’s great having you with us. First, let’s introduce you both to our readers and let us know what Wild Imagining is all about!
Ben and Jenna Thomas are a pair of newlyweds who both grew up exploring the mountains of Colorado. Right now, they’re making their way around the world, from one exciting adventure to the next. Ben loves mountains, Jenna loves cities; Ben is a photographer and Jenna is a writer. It’s a match made in heaven for their blog and Instagram feed, where you’ll find Ben’s stunning photos—landscapes and cityscapes from around the world—paired with Jenna’s stories.Now back in the United States, their adventure’s not over. All their exploring this year has made them realize just how much they have left to see in their home country. They are looking forward to writing more about the places they have already been while planning long road trips, weekend getaways, and city breaks all over the USA and trying to figure out how they can incorporate travel into their lifestyle in the long term.
Give us a quick list of where your travels have taken you so far!
New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Morocco, Germany, USA, Turkey, Serbia, Slovenia, Hungary, Denmark, United Kingdom, Poland, Norway, Croatia.
What a list already! Tell us, what was it that motivated you to go out and start travelling?
Travel has always been a priority in our lives. From Summer family road trips across the USA, to finally exploring Europe as teenagers, we realized the growth and experience that can only come from getting immersed in new cultures and stepping out of our everyday routine. We saved up money for over two years, got married, quit our jobs, and were off.
Sound like you really made the dreams come true! Talk about a romantic story! Now, as travelbloggers, you know how globetrotting can change a person’s life and open them up to new cultures, perspectives and experiences. What made you choose Zakopane as one of the places you wanted to visit?
Everywhere we travel, we try to explore the natural world. Being from Colorado, mountains are our favorite landscape to explore. When we decided we wanted to go to Poland, Zakopane stuck out as easily the most popular and dramatic mountain experience in Poland. Once we saw images of the High Tatras, Zakopane was on the itinerary.
What time of the year did you visit and why?
We were lucky that we were able to be flexible and plan our time in Zakopane to be in the Fall and during the week. This helped cut down on some of the crowds, but the town was still busy enough to get the full Zakopane experience. All the best restaurants were still open, the trails were free of snow, and we got to experience the area fully.
You got that spot on, and fall is a truly amazing time in the Tatras. The colours really come out and some valleys are simply breathtakingly beautiful. It’s good that you managed to come at a time, when the city is still lively and you got to experience the Zakopane lifestyle. Where did you stay and how would you rate the facilities?
We stayed at the Willa Amata in their apartment (we were traveling with Ben’s parents as well). Willa Amata was fantastic. The apartment was the perfect mix of cozy and spacious, the breakfasts were delicious (especially the pancakes!), and the location was ideal. We were able to walk to towns, trailheads, and still be far enough away from everything that it was quiet at night for a good night’s rest after a long day of exploring!
Really does sound like a perfect getaway. What would you say was the highlight of your trip to Zakopane?
The highlight of our trip came on our second day in Zakopane. It was foggy and moody, with low-lying clouds as we started hiking. We headed up to Sarnia Skala, hoping the clouds would break up or that we could climb above them. At first, it seemed like we were doomed to only see gray. Slowly but surely though, the light got brighter, and suddenly the clouds were breaking and Giewont was towering above us! It was incredible! With the dramatic cliffs and swirling clouds, the peak seemed impossibly big. It was quite the introduction to the Tatras!
What activities would you have liked to see made available to travellers visiting the region?
We were satisfied with everything that was available to us. I can’t think of anything we missed.
Anything the city could improve on to enhance the experience of tourism in the area?
Nothing comes to mind. Zakopane has a great tourist infrastructure!
Your top travel tips for visiting the city/region?
Get an early start! I have never seen such a wide range of people out on trails and so far into the backcountry! It was great! However, if you want a little more solitude, getting an early start will help. Don’t be surprised to see some Polish friends up with you at sunrise though!
Where’s next on your bucket-list?
Hopefully South America! We need to start saving up for that adventure next!
Your RSVP or nomination for the next ZakopaneGO Travebloggers chat?
We are the first people we know who have been to Zakopane, but we’ll be recommending it to friends in the future!
Anything else you’d like to share with the readers at ZakopaneGO.com?
If you are ever in Colorado and want to visit a Colorado mountain town similar to Zakopane, Aspen is a great choice!
That’s a definite! Coming from Zakopane, Aspen is always going to be a place any Polish highlander would want to visit at some stage. It really does look magical. Guys, it’s been great chatting with you and we hope you visit again. In the meantime, all the very best for your next big adventure. Where can we keep up with you on the worldwide web?
We’ll be sure to stay in touch! Ben, Jenna, thank you for joining us and all the very best!