Los Gigantes in Tenerife

About Explored by Marta

Hello, traveler! Happy to meet you here! My name is Marta and I am a full-time world explorer based in Riga, Latvia. Although I am the main character behind this travel blog, nothing of this would be possible without my super-husband Martins!

We have been traveling the world full-time since 2020 documenting everything along the way with the goal of inspiring others to travel more, have unforgettable experiences, and create lasting memories around the world!

Traveling the world for us has never been about the number of countries we have been to. We are slow-travel enthusiasts usually staying for 1 to 3 months anywhere we go and exploring the country while learning the culture and living there (almost) like locals.

On Explored by Marta, you will find travel guides and bucket lists of sunny destinations in Europe and beyond made for active travelers with a little bit of everything – must-see spots, hidden gems, vibrant cities, beautiful nature, fun adventures, and relaxation!

Contact me by e-mail & join me on my social media for daily travel inspiration:

Ursa beach in Portugal

Born to explore

How does one become a traveler? I think, in many ways. I grew up in the countryside of a small village in my small country – Latvia. My experiences as a kid were limited so I always had a curiosity about far-away lands and a passion for exploring the world.

We never traveled anywhere as a family so I indulged in reading books. I took out my library card when I was 5 years old and consumed about 2 books a week while daydreaming about a life I could have! There had to be so much to see out there!

During my school years, I grew up loving languages and learning about different cultures. I knew I wanted to do ‘something international’ in life so after school, I went to study International Economical Relations at the University of Latvia.

Before I even started my studies, I already knew I wanted to go on an exchange program and study abroad. On my first day at the university, I had a plan and I knew all the requirements I needed to meet to fulfill my dream – study one year in Spain!

So off I went!

Azenhas do Mar in Portugal - coastal fishing village with rock pool and sweeping views over the Atlantic Ocean

The year that changed everything

At 20 years old, I boarded a plane for the first time in my life and traveled to Madrid with a one-way ticket in my pocket. I knew nothing about what was waiting for me there and only had a hotel booked for 3 nights but I felt calm and beyond excited.

This turned out to be the year that changed my life. That year I shared an apartment with other exchange students from all around Europe and met so many people from different cultures every day. This mixed environment felt like home to me.

During that year I learned languages, created friendships, and traveled near and far. We visited Madrid and Mallorca, went on a 10-day road trip around Andalusia, the South of Spain, and even went on a trip to Morocco to explore Fes and Marrakesh.

It changed me. I slowly realized I never really wanted to live a conventional life. I was born to do things in my way. It was God putting this special overwhelming love for exploring, learning, and traveling in my heart. I realized I was born to explore.

Andalusia bucket list - Best cities to visit in Andalusia - Seville, Spain

Season of waiting

Once I got back home to Latvia after a year of studying abroad in Spain, I wanted to travel again. I began researching other exchange programs, volunteering, and international work experiences. A dream of mine was born. But I couldn’t quite figure it out.

I never wanted just to travel and visit places on short vacations or holidays. What I truly wanted was the freedom to live (for a while) in different countries around the world, travel, explore, and experience them like a local, and then move on to the next country.

Unfortunately, my dream at that time seemed almost impossible. It was not compatible with working in a regular job or even with owning a business. Plus I didn’t know anyone personally who had managed to live such a lifestyle. So life moved on for me.

I graduated from the university, met my now-husband, and found some jobs. I worked as an Executive Assistant, an economist, and a sports events organizer. I loved my jobs but I knew that they were temporary. Because in my dreams, I was already somewhere else.

Ring Road in Iceland: Skogafoss

Dreams do come true

It all changed in 2020 when the world was met with a challenge – a pandemic. More and more companies switched to remote working and suddenly the dream became a reality. My husband and I share a passion for travelling and we knew that this was our moment!

We cleaned out our apartment, gifted and sold all our belongings leaving only what each of us could fit inside a single suitcase and a backpack. And in the very midst of the pandemic in July 2020 we boarded a plane with a one-way ticket to…Spain!

As a result of the pandemic, we both became digital nomads and have been traveling the world ever since exploring it one country at a time. Latvia is still our home but for now, we are happy with the way things are.

I hope our travels and experiences inspire you to chase your dreams and see the world with your own eyes! Although we are both already in our thirties, somehow there is this feeling that our life has really just begun…

Explored by Marta - Marta and Martins wedding anniversary in Madeira Island

Did you know?

Fun fact! Did you know that my name – Marta – is very international? Although it is a pretty standard name in Latvia and I am 100% Latvian and so are my parents and ancestors in many generations, it is also a common name in other countries!

It is common in such countries as Spain, Poland, Portugal, Italy, and others so people from those countries quite often send me messages in their languages (thinking that I must be from their country) and then are super surprised that I respond in English. Ups!

Let’s stay connected!