Today I may have cheated a little! I saw this post on Seat 31D, who took it from The Road Less Traveled, who took it from… who knows? But as you can see, travel is a pretty big deal to me!
I thought it would be fun to answer the A-Z of travel questions below, then you can repost and share your answers with me!
So here goes…
A) Age you went on your first international trip:
Tough one but I think I was 9 when I went on a family holiday to Puerto Pollensa, a beautiful little fishing town in Mallorca (if you consider that international?) We travelled all over the island, soaking up the Spanish culture, food, sun, and language. I was so excited as I’d never been abroad, and I absolutely loved the flight – even the turbulence! Not sure how that all changed! If you’re talking further afield, I’m sure I join many others when I say Florida, and I was 11.
B) Best foreign beer you’ve had and where:
I must admit, I haven’t sampled too many foreign beers as it’s not always my thing, but if you’ve read my latest post, you’ll discover my visit to the Granville Island Brewery in Vancouver. I discovered a raspberry ale which was really fruity and yummy – just up my street! So I’d have to pick that.
C) Cuisine (favourite):
Tricky but I’m a bit of a sucker for a burger… so I would have to say the U.S. They just know how to do junk food so so SO well, be it a pizza, fries, or ice cream. Ok, so that’s not the healthiest. If we’re talking slightly healthier, I had some great sushi in Australia, and they also know how to do a cracking steak.
D) Destinations – favourite, least favourite, and why?:
Undoubtedly Hawai’i. I’ve never seen anywhere so beautiful, no matter where you look. There are some amazing deserted beaches if you travel off the beaten track, and it’s so tropical and amazing – literally paradise. My least favourite – hmmm, that’s hard. I’ve not really been anywhere I’ve not liked. I guess I expected a lot more from Toronto when I visited, but I only had a few hours, it rained and some of our experiences weren’t so great there – think I need to go back!
E) Event you’ve experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:
Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and descending as the sun was setting. After seeing a place all over the TV, seeing it in the flesh for yourself really is something. Especially as the city lights are starting to twinkle, traffic speeds by, and there is the most incredible sunset over the ocean and beyond.
F) Favourite mode of transportation:
I’m not a huge fan of the travelling process itself, and I do have a slight fear of flying. The thought that so much weight can take off and just stay in the air for hours really freaks me out! But as a bit of a water baby, I do quite like going on a boat (provided the water isn’t choppy!) It just feels quite safe and there’s something quite relaxing about it.
G) Greatest feeling while travelling:
I love it when the plane has landed, you’ve just cleared customs through the airport, and have just sat down in the taxi on the way to your accommodation. It’s so exciting taking in all of the sights on the way in anticipation of what you’ll get to explore in the time you’ll have to spend in the destination.
H) Hottest place you’ve ever traveled to:
Funnily enough, I’ve not ever been anywhere that has been swelteringly hot. Even Australia was cooling off a little when I visited. I do remember a particularly hot period when I was in Mallorca, but the hottest would probably have to be Florida. I remember getting back to the car (which was a black SUV) after a day at a theme park, and it was unbelievably hot inside after a super sunny day.
I) Incredible service you’ve experienced and where?:
Nothing in particular comes to mind, but I always have to give credit to Americans for their impeccable service. In a restaurant, generally nothing seems to be too much to ask, they’re often friendly and accommodating and try to make sure you have the best experience possible.
J) Journey that took the longest:
Ironically, not my journey to Australia from London. In fact, it took me longer to get back from Hawai’i. Here’s why… I think we woke up around 5am, travelled to Maui airport for around 7am (before it had even opened!), took a half hour flight to Honolulu to get in around 9am. We then had a 3 hour wait for our flight back to L.A., so didn’t get to L.A. until around 5pm. We then had to wait a whopping 5 hours for our flight back to London. This meant we didn’t get to the UK until around 8am the next day. Team this with waiting around for luggage and a two-hour drive to Gloucestershire and you’re talking around 11am. A very, very, very long day! Plus an additional 12 hours ahead in time…
K) Keepsake from your travels:
For a while when I was younger, I would collect shot glasses from every new place I visited. Now, I try to collect something authentic and a little different – I’m not a fan of ‘tourist tat’. So this could be a piece of indigenous art, or even interesting tickets/memorabilia. I hope one day I’ll have a room in my house where I can keep all this stuff out!
L) Let-down sight, where and why?:
This could outrage a lot of people but actually Niagara Falls. I had kinda expected to look up to a big cascading fall of a water that would blow my mind, but it kind of didn’t. It’s smaller than I expected, you look down on it, and even the Maid of the Mist is exactly that – you can’t see much else than mist. The surrounding area is also really tacky with fairground rides everywhere. Although I’d still say go and see it, it just wasn’t what I had expected.
M) Moment where you fell in love with travelling:
This is an easy one for me – literally since I could travel! My family have always encouraged it, and even as a child my granddad would take me all over the UK. So when I first started travelling abroad, I really got a taste for it and think I always will!
N) Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:
Undoubtedly the Hyatt Regency in Ka’anapali, Maui. I was lucky enough to stay in this beautiful hotel on the beach and enjoy its amazing facilities. Even when you turn up to the lobby, you’re greeted by plants and pretty, tropical birds tweeting. There are cabanas, hammocks, and an awesome pool with waterfalls. It really was paradise, and the view from our room was also amazing. I would love to go back.
O) Obsession – what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while travelling?:
I don’t think I’m addicted to taking pictures of anything in particular. I guess you could say food? But I love just generally snapping away and seeing what I come away with. I seem to be getting good shots of sunsets in recent months!
P) Passport stamps – how many and from where?:
Sadly, passport stamps aren’t what they once were. Most of the airports I’ve visited recently just take your passport electronically and don’t leave a stamp, which I actually find quite sad! I always thought it would be nice to have a record of where you’ve been, but never mind. I don’t have any in my Canadian passport but I do have a few from various states in America in my British, but that’s about it.
Q) Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where?:
Hmm, not sure about quirky!? I visited the world’s most crooked street (Lombard Street) in San Francisco, and that was a little different. And whilst in Ontario, my friend and I went to a cheese factory. Other than that, nothing particularly quirky!
R) Really frightening: where’s one place you’ve visited where you felt unsafe or uneasy?
Luckily enough, I’ve not been anywhere too sketchy. But when I was in Miami once, I did feel really scared in an area at night. There are a lot of gangs that hang around, and you know full well they probably carry guns. But luckily for us, nothing dangerous came of the situation. I guess you just have to be very aware of your surroundings and cautious.
S) Splurge – something you have no problem spending money on while travelling:
I do like the finer things in life, but I also love a bargain. So if I see a luxury item that’s cheaper abroad (mainly North America), I do get very tempted. I’ve saved lots on Ugg boots and Tiffany jewellery over the years, which has been great. I also have my eye on a very pretty pair of Louboutins I’ve spotted in a shop in downtown Vancouver which are calling my name…
T) Touristy thing you’ve done:
SO many touristy things! Going up the Rockefeller in NYC, cycling around Stanley Park, going on a tourist double-decker around San Francisco, having photos in front of Sydney Harbour Bridge, the list goes on…! It’s fun to do some of the cliche stuff too!
U) Unforgettable travel memory:
I’m lucky enough to say I have a fair few. Walking along Ka’anapali Beach watching the most incredible sunset. Smothering myself in clay at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Seeing Sydney Harbour Bridge for the first time. Remembering how small I felt against the New York skyscrapers. Sunbathing near the pool in Orlando. Getting drunk and riding in a truck in Ontario. So many, and hopefully a lot more to come!
V) Visas – how many and for where?:
I’m not sure I’ve had one?! Not that I remember anyway…
W) Wine – best glass while travelling:
Hmm… I do love a glass of wine. The best was probably on Phillip Island in Australia, where we did some wine tasting. We had a great Yellow Tail Sauv Blanc, which was made all the better thanks to the sun beating down on our backs, an incredible view over the vineyard, and some amazing cheeses to complement it.
X) eXcellent view and from where?:
The view from the CN Tower in Toronto is pretty spectacular, also thanks to how damned high it is! I also love going on the London Eye for some great views over Westminster and beyond, and I’d love to go up the Shard. Another view that has stuck in my mind is from the Coit Tower in San Francisco – simply amazing.
Y) Years spent travelling:
Well I’ve travelled around the UK since birth, but if you mean abroad, since I was 9 years old. I can’t get enough!
Z) Zealous sports fans and where?:
Well Americans do love their baseball, but I was ‘bowled away’ (geddit!?) when I recently went to a match between the L.A. Dodgers and Team Australia in Sydney – so many solid fans and a good laugh!
That’s all for me! How about you!? Repost yours and share with me below!