I have a serious case of wanderlust. And a love/hate relationship with that word itself; I think on one hand it sounds a bit pretentious but on the other sums up exactly how I feel. If I am bored, or feeling down, thinking about where I could travel to next can always put a smile on my face.
|(...that and education)|
1) Your most treasured passport stamp?
As a citizen of the EU, I feel fairly cheated on the passport stamp front. Sure, it's nice to be able to visit so many places without a visa but where are my stamps?! When visiting Ireland with my Canadian friend, us three Scottish girls asked if we could have a stamp anyway - denied.
Anyway, my most treasured is probably my stamp for Zanzibar. Not a country, but you get a stamp anyway. The name itself sounds cool and it holds a special place in my heart.
2) Can you recite your passport number from memory if asked?
The first four digits but after that I need to check!
3) Preferred method of travel; planes, trains or automobiles?
As someone who loves travelling, it is rather unfortunate that I suffer from travel sickness. This means cars/buses are definitely not preferable as I have to spend the whole time staring out of the window. Planes are good in that I don't feel sick when I read, and you can watch films, but really the whole experience makes me feel groggy and disgusting and I just tolerate it - but I am ever so grateful that they can get me half way round the world in just a few hours.
So that leaves trains, which I actually do quite like. Which is just as well, as I spent the best part of a month back in 2011 interrailing around Europe - I'm actually thinking of doing a little series of this, so if that's something you'd be interested in hearing about please let me know!
4) Top 3 travel items?
Camera firstly. I always say that if someone tried to steal it half way through the holiday, I would be pleading for them to give me the memory card back, as I don't think anything could upset me more than losing photos that had been taken.
The other two...well apart from the obvious clothes etc., I would probably say dry shampoo, which has saved me on many a morning after a night train, and a money belt. I cannot stress how much more safe I feel with a money belt on in certain situations, despite the fact that it causes me to sweat in an extremely weird place.
5) Hostel or hotel?
Hostel. Don't get me wrong, I won't complain if I end up in a lovely hotel, and I certainly was not complaining when we got upgraded to a 4 star hotel after slumming it for 4 weeks in Europe. However, when you are travelling, in my opinion one of the best things is meeting people and it is just so much easier to do this in a hostel.
People sometimes think hostel and think of the massive dorms, which of course is common, but you can often get private rooms which are still so much cheaper than the average hotel. Also, I find that you can get so much more added extras with hostels - free wifi, included breakfasts...etc. etc.
And one thing that is guaranteed is that you will come away with more stories from staying in a hostel than a hotel!
|Sleeping in the garden of a hostel at 6am after a night train that got us in before our room for the next night was ready|
6) Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?
I mainly like to explore new places. I find that the more you travel, the more you want to travel and see more of the world. That said, there are several places I've been to I'd really like to go back to, like New York or Paris. And I think I could visit Rome umpteen times before I got sick of it.
7) Do you read up on your destination (culture, history, safety) or do you wing it?
Anyone who knows me will vouch for the fact I am a compulsive planner. I've loosened up a bit in recent years, but still wouldn't dream of visiting somewhere without even reading up on it! I think you can waste your time somewhere if you don't research it a bit before, and you can certainly get yourself into trouble if you don't look into the safety of the situation. That said, it's good to not plan every moment of your trip so that you can be flexible - you're bound to get recommendations while you're there and these often turn out to be hidden gems.
8) Favourite travel website?
Tripadvisor is amazing for checking up on hostels/hotels before you book them, and finding out where to eat and what to see when you're there. I also like looking at Wikitravel for a good overview, Hostelworld/Hostelbookers, and Skyscanner for flights. And STA Travel for giving me inspiration.
9) Where would you recommend a friend to visit? Name a city and why.
City wise: Budapest. That's not to say it's my favourite city, but it is a brilliant place to go for 2/3 days so it's ideal for a city break, it's relatively cheap and there's lots of interesting history and sights as well as some cool nightlife.
10) You're leaving tomorrow, money is no option, where are you going?
Is going on a round-the-world trip cheating? I'm going to say no and (resisting the temptation to say everywhere in the world) go first to Kenya, to visit one of my best friends who I miss terribly, then to South Africa, up to Thailand where I'd go to some more of the islands and the north of the country, over to Laos, down to Australia and New Zealand then across to Peru where I'd trek the Inca Trail, from there to Brazil and from there the East Coast of the USA.
Sorry, that probably is cheating. Oops.
I tag you to answer these questions; I love reading about other travel tales and getting inspiration!