This meme went around the travel blogging community a few months ago, and while I was never tagged (and am a lot late to the party) I thought it would be a good way to get back into the swing of blogging. So, here you go, my ABCs of travel.
Age you went on your first international trip
Besides Canada (which anyone who lives within a 30 mile radius from the border knows doesn’t count), I went to England when I was 12. I actually turned 12 on the plane ride there. This was also the age of my first solo trip as I was visiting my penpal without my family!
Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where
Beer is my favorite drink and one of my favorite ways of getting to know a new place. I have a huge soft spot in my heart for American microbrews (particularly IPAs), but since I’m required to pick something not American, I’m going to go with Estrella Damm. It’s a cheap Catalan beer that tastes good and brings back a flood of memories.
I love Mexican. Tacos al pastor and chilaquiles are two of my favorites.
Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why
Favorite: I’m a big fan of Barcelona. Catalan culture is interesting and unique and Barcelona is a wonderful representation of that. Gaudi’s architecture, the amazing nightlife, beach, and variety of neighborhoods make it a great place to explore.
Least Favorite: I really did not enjoy Dublin. I had heard great things about the city but it didn’t really impress me. This could have partly been the weather’s fault as my original flight was cancelled which started the trip off on the wrong foot.
Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”
I tend to say “wow” a lot, especially when abroad.
Favorite mode of transportation
I love train travel. Trains stations are a hub of frenetic energy and one of the best places to do some spectacular people watching. Once on board I could stare for hours out the window at the passing scenery. Usually though, the gentle rocking lulls me to sleep before I have the chance to see much.
Greatest feeling while traveling
For me, the greatest feeling is making it to the hostel, tourist site, or restaurant without getting lost and/or ripped off. I have a horrible sense of direction and apparently look like someone who can easily be taken advantage of.
Hottest place you’ve traveled to
Manasquan, New Jersey. No really. It was about 105 degrees Fahrenheit when I was there. I could feel my skin crisping up every second that I wasn’t in the water.
Incredible service you’ve experienced and where
It’s mentioned a lot, but Koreans really take customer service to an entirely new level. They are a very accommodating people, even when you can’t communicate verbally.
Journey that took the longest
I haven’t been on that many long haul trips yet so my longest journey was probably a flight from Detroit-Seoul that I took this Christmas. About 14 hours.
Keepsake from your travels
I don’t buy many souvenirs or keepsakes. If I do it is usually the typical piece of small jewelry. I collect beer glasses, though, so if I hit up a local brewery, I’ll buy a pint glass to take home.
Let-down sight, why and where
I feel traitorous saying this, as Rome is my favorite place on Earth, but I really don’t understand the Colosseum love. It’s an impressive structure from the outside, but I found the inside to be underwhelming.
Moment where you fell in love with travel
I’ve always been the kind of person who hated coming home after a trip but it was when I studied abroad in Rome that I really began to crave travel. There was something exciting about being immersed in a new language and jetting off to a new European capital every weekend. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in
I can’t even remember the last time I stayed in a nice hotel. It was back when I traveled with my parents, for sure. I’m a cheapskate when it comes to lodging!
Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?
Local beers. Graffiti.
Passport stamps, how many and from where?
25. I’d have a lot more without the Schengen Agreement!
Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where
The sex museum in Prague was definitely an out of the ordinary place.
Recommended sight, event or experience:
Frühlingsfest, Munich’s spring beer festival, is a must go. The festival is held on the same grounds as Oktoberfest and, while it is a lot smaller, it is also a lot more German. Or a lot less foreign. While I’m sure Oktoberfest is amazing, there’s nothing like standing on a bench singing German beer drinking songs while surrounded by Germans, not Australians. This was one of the highlights of my time in Europe.
Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling:
Food. It offers a great glimpse into the culture of a new place. And, really, I just love to eat.
Touristy thing you’ve done
I had someone take my photo while I walked across the infamous Abbey Road crosswalk in London. And I loved every moment of it.
Unforgettable travel memory
It is impossible to pick one, because when I do, I immediately think of something else that is equally as good or better. The ingredient for all unforgettable travel memories? Great people, whether they are old friends or the random folks you just met at the hostel bar.
Visas, how many and for where?
Besides tourist visas, 2. An Italian student visa and a Korean work visa.
Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where?
I’m more of a beer girl but I always enjoyed cheap wine in Italy. I’m not particular about the type, but it has to be red.
Xcellent view and from where?:
I’m a sucker for a good view so it’s hard for me to narrow it down, but the view from the top of Mt. Bukhan (Bukhansan) in Seoul is at the top of the list. It’s amazing to look out and see the sprawl of such a huge city while you’re standing on the top of a green mountain.
Years spent traveling?
I’ve been traveling at least once a year since I was a baby, but I’ve been on a mission to really see the world for about 3 years.
Zealous sports fans and where?
Roman soccer fans are nuts, to the point where I would be scared to wear the opposing team’s shirt on game day. Fights, and shankings to a lesser extent, aren’t uncommon. Romans are passionate people and their devotion to their team is no different. And on that note, Forza Roma!