The ABC’s of travel: I happened to stumbled upon a post like this on Twenty-Something Travel and decided to join in the fun. I also thought it was the perfect way to reflect on my travels from the past years and look forward to future excursions.
Age you went on your first international trip:
When I was three years old, my family took a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas.
Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where:
I love beer so this is a tough one. Either a tie between Fiji Gold in Fiji and Saigon in Vietnam, or any beer in Belgium.
Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian…any food from Asia.
Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why:
Favorite: Thailand – food, culture, people, lifestyle, scenery. I love everything about the country.
Least: Germany – Munich just didn’t do it for me, but I’m willing to go back and give it a second chance.
Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:
The traffic pattern in Ho Chi Minh City. I have no idea how they do it!
Favorite mode of transportation:
Airplane – it’s always how the best journeys begin.
Greatest feeling while traveling:
Connecting with local people and meeting other travelers from all over the world. Making new friends makes the world feel a whole lot smaller.
Hottest place you’ve traveled to:
Italy in July. It was so hot in Venice that we’d have to go back to the hotel mid-day to take a nap and shower to cool down. Then we’d venture out again in the evening when it was cooler.
Incredible service you’ve experienced and where:
Novotel in Nha Trang. Due to Vietnamese holidays, all the buses were booked, and I needed to be in Ho Chi Minh City at a certain time to catch a plane (the bus ride was 12 hours long!). Not only did they call up friends to get us on a nice bus, but they also had them bring us the last three tickets by motorbike, so we wouldn’t have to leave the hotel.
Journey that took the longest:
Every bus ride in Vietnam. I never thought I was actually going to make it anywhere.
Keepsake from your travels:
Hei matau jade necklace from New Zealand that represents safe travels and my silk kimono robe from Vietnam.
Let-down sight, why and where:
I don’t know if I’ve ever really been let down by a sight, but Venice was different than I expected: hot and dirty. Down the road, maybe in the spring, I’ll have to give it another chance.
Moment where you fell in love with travel:
Visiting a friend who was studying abroad in Rome. Seeing all the sights I learned about in Art History made me want to see everything the world had to offer.
Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:
Atlantis in the Bahamas. I was in high school and totally took it for granted.
Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?
Everything. Sometimes I have to tell myself to put down the camera and enjoy the moments.
Passport stamps, how many and from where?
Thirty-three in one passport and seven in my first passport: Bahamas, Ireland, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Croatia, Belgium, Germany, England, Fiji, Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Scotland, Mexico, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where:
South of the Border in South Carolina while driving to Disney World. As a child, I always looked forward to it, especially the billboards along the drive.
Recommended sight, event or experience:
I’d recommend it all, but for Americans a trip to Vietnam to the War Remnant Museum. Truly eye-opening and life-changing.
Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling:
Usually, I’ll spend a little more on a place to stay. It doesn’t have to be a luxurious resort, but it does have to be clean.
Touristy thing you’ve done:
Kissing the Blarney Stone. So much of my family lives in Ireland that we usually don’t do anything touristy there.
Unforgettable travel memory:
Everything about South East Asia was unforgettable, but riding on an elephant in Thailand the most memorable. Elephants have always been my favorite animal, so this was a dream come true.
Visas, how many and for where?:
Just one for Vietnam, but there’s plenty of room for more in my future.
Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where?
Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand. There were so many shelves full of it, my cousin and I couldn’t get enough.
Xcellent view and from where:
Any view in Kerry, Ireland, it’s hard to take a bad picture. Same goes for New Zealand.
Years spent traveling?
Twenty-seven. Travel, domestic and international, has been important in my family. My parents have been taking me and my brother around the country and the world for as long as I can remember. But, I became more serious about traveling in college, and in the past two years, I’ve been going out there and reaching my travel goals.
Zealous sports fans and where?
I’ve been to a lot of places, but grew up outside of New York City. Nothing beats the fans around here, nothing.