Polina is a blogger and store owner in Amsterdam and shows us how traveling should be done. Through her exotic trips and deliciously creative desserts at her chocolate store, Polaberry, she continues to inspire her followers.

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cc: @polabur

Please introduce yourself to our users!

Hi! My name is Polina and I am a lifestyle and travel blogger and shop owner based in Amsterdam. I was born and raised in Moscow, Russia and moved to the Netherlands to study 8 years ago. I fell in love with this country, met my husband here and decided to stay! At the moment I keep myself busy running a chocolate store in Amsterdam and traveling the world in the meantime.

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Check out her chocolate store

Youโ€™re quite the globetrotter! How did you get your start as a travel blogger?

Traveling and photography have always been some of my favorite hobbies. I got my first professional camera for my birthday when I was 16 years old and started documenting my travels online around that time. I have downloaded Instagram on the day it was launched (a photo sharing app sounded amazing to me as a photography lover!) and it made it even easier to share my traveling experiences.

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With so many destinations under your belt weโ€™re sure youโ€™ve had some pretty amazing experiences. Whatโ€™s one memory youโ€™ve made while traveling that your most fond of?

Having visited so many beautiful destinations it's very difficult to pick one, but one of my favorite countries to visit is definitely Australia. I have always dreamed of visiting this amazing country and little did I know that one day I will marry an Aussie and will visit Australia every year from now on. I remember the first time I have seen the Sydney Opera house - the moment I have imagined in my head so many times in my life and it was so much better than I expected!

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Any least favorite experiences?

I don't really like judging any countries/cities purely by my own experience because I could have just been unlucky while someone else could have had an amazing time in the same place. Most of my least favorite experiences involve cancelled flights and staying overnight in airport hotels (for some reason it always happens to me when I travel to the US!). Another bad experience was almost not making it to the cruise in Rome because the flight was delayed and our luggage took too long to unload so we had to leave the airport without our luggage and had no clothes during our 7-day cruise! At least we have learned to always arrive one day prior to the cruise.

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5 staples when packing for a tripโ€ฆ GO!

1. My phone (as I take all my photos with it :)
2. Ear plugs (you never know how loud the street where your hotel is located will be!)
3. Portable charger
4. Headphones
5. Warm clothes (because even in sunny destinations it can suddenly get very cold)

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If you could recommend our users to visit ONE place (just one) where would it be and why?

I would recommend visiting my home city Moscow as I believe it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There are so many things to see in Moscow (museums, churches, etc) as well as lots of amazing restaurants, bars and clubs. It is definitely most magical in winter when covered in snow, but if you can't cope with very cold temperatures then my advice would be to come during the summer time.

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How do you decide where to travel to next?

Checking flights/hotels for future travels is one of my favorite things to do when I have a free minute. I also really like to plan things in advance so I have something to look forward to. However, as my job involves a lot of traveling I never know where I will be traveling next. When I plan trips by myself then I mostly choose the destinations that are on top of my travel bucket list (I like exploring new places rather than going back to the same locations).

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Any tips for someone planning their first big trip?

Make sure to check the best time of the year to go to this specific destination and decide for yourself if you would rather visit during the peak season or not. It really makes a big difference especially regarding the crowds and the weather. I really like to plan in advance so the moment I have booked my tickets/accommodation I spend days researching what to do/eat/see in the destination. Find some travel/lifestyle Instagrammers who are based in this city and check out the places that they go to as locals for the best experience.

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To keep up with Polina (and maybe even try some of her tasty chocolates) follow her here .