Tripper of the Week: Bianca Cloutier

Bianca Cloutier is a local travel enthusiast, aspiring marathon runner and Partnerships Manager here at Tripping! Meet Bianca, our Tripper of the Week...

The places you've lived include Maine, California, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York City, France, Czech Republic and…. a boat? Ok, that's a pretty extensive list. Can you tell us where you are and what you're doing right now?

Of course! I'm living in the Bay Area and I spend most of my time helping to make Tripping as awesome as it can be! In my spare time, though, I love to take weekend adventures with friends, go running (just did a destination trip to Chicago for the St Patty's Day race!) and take in all the great things the Bay Area has to offer.

What's your most memorable travel experience so far?

That's a toughy! I think my most memorable travel experience was back when I was in college. I was studying abroad in the Czech Republic. In the middle of the term, we had an entire week off to relax and enjoy ourselves. 13 out of the 15 people I studied abroad with decided to plan a trip to Cinque Terre in Italy. We ended up staying in a tiny 3 room apartment in Riomaggiore for 3 days. It was amazing! We enjoyed the beach, the community (the local baker knew us all by the end of the trip), hiking through the villages - and of course, eating amazing food. I always tell people that this is the place they MUST visit if they are heading to Italy.

You mentioned you're getting into photography. What do you love to photograph and can you share with us your favorite photo?

Well, I guess that might be a bit misleading. I'm not quite into photography in the sense that I capture landscapes or attractions... I usually buy postcards for that. Instead, I love to capture moments - in some cases it may mean nothing to others but the world to me... like this picture from a recent trip to Chicago overlooking the Windy City!

Where are you dreaming about going next? Tell us how you'd do it.

Two places! Hawaii and Alaska. Ideally, I'd have a boat so I could sail between the two, but at the moment, I'm rather busy. Realistically, I'd probably hop on a plane and head to one of the two. While there, I'd stay in some kind of unique, local accommodation - whether it's in a bungalow or treehouse in Hawaii or an off the grid cabin in Alaska. Either way - it would be an adventure!

What is the best thing you've ever eaten on one of your trips?

The best thing I've eaten recently has to be a sausage in the mountains of Washington state. There's this amazing German town called Leavenworth. As you're driving through the mountains, you literally stumble upon this beautiful little town and it feels as if you've been swept away to Germany.

Anyway, we decided to visit this mysterious town in the dead of winter after a snowshoeing adventure. While there, we discovered this incredible sausage/beer hall in the middle of village. It was all outdoors with super efficient heaters everywhere. After a long day of snowshoeing, being swept away into this fairy tale of a town was absolutely perfect.

If you could give one insiders travel tip to every Tripper, what would it be?

Meet and stay local. It's the best way to explore a place and get to know what makes it special.

Thanks, Bianca!

To connect with Bianca, check out her Tripping profile. She's got tons of travel experience and local knowledge to share with anyone who asks!